I was watching Sky One with my brother when all of a sudden there was a banner on the bottom of the screen which read “Breaking news, turn to channel 501 for a special report”
My brother and I both commented that this is highly unorthodox and so we could only surmise that some sort of historical event was taking place. With the recent Nepal earthquake still fresh in my mind I assumed the worst and thought that something even more cataclysmic must have taken place.
We switched over to find that this breaking ‘news’ was merely announcing the arrival of the new member of the Royal Family- a new princess. There is still much speculation as to what the baby will be called, but it is widely expected that Diana will be one of her names, with SkyBet giving odds at 8/1.
If she is called Diana then I couldn’t think of anything more apt. I was young when William’s mother died, but I can still remember the mass hysteria that followed it- to be honest it never really fully died out. Now of course death is always a tragedy, but what was more tragic was the deification of the late, former Princess of Wales. Yes she visited people with AIDS and she even had a brief visit to Africa, and this seemed- in some people’s minds- that this was evidence of her egalitarianism.
The thing is that Princess Anne did astronomically more than Princess Diana ever did for the plight of Africa, but she won’t ever receive her due recognition, and she never had any news coverage because she isn’t as good looking as Diana. Diana was nothing more than a pretty figure head, she herself became more than she ever was in death than she was in life. Let’s not forget that if it were not for the death of Diana, and the subsequent political manoeuvring by Tony Blair, then in all probability the Royal Family would have been dissolved. Public opinion of the Royals was at an all time low in the 90’s, and with good reason too.
What purpose does the Royal Family actually serve? Tourism? Well France has more tourism than England, so let’s stop this myth being perpetrated that we rely on the Royals for anything. Unfortunately in 1848- the year of revolution- we didn’t manage to dissolve our monarchy like most of Europe, and now we seem to be stuck with them. It’s interesting with an election looming that we are given a stark reminder at the state of the UK- we are still an aristocracy, with an antiquated electoral system propping up a constitutional monarchy. A monarchy that does nothing I might add; a monarchy subsidised by the working people of this country.
Can we please get some context on this birth? Why in the 21st century are we dedicating time and money for an archaic relic of the past? I don’t think that a ‘breaking news’ banner was used for any other more significant event- like the Nepal earthquake- than this banal occurrence. Why does the birth of a princess warrant a banner on Sky One more so than the death of more than 7000 people?
For those of you who actually care about this ‘historical event’ I think it was summed up best by Christopher Hitchens in ‘Diana The Mourning After’:
“Golden girls and boys all must, as chimney sweepers, come to dust. The golden princess is gone and she’s not coming back… golden boy Prince William may grow stale as his father has in the gloomy wake of the Windsor succession. Of course we do have an alternative which is summed up in the injunction ‘get a life.’”