Posted by Immigrant, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm
Ironically, people in the U.S. are far more into this wedding than the Brits, (I was born in England). The Brits just see another Royal divorce in the future. To many of them it's a waste of money.
It's on our morning TV shows everyday. ABC have even sent a reporter to the North Pole to follow the Best Man (Prince Harry) as he walks across the pole with Afghan and Iraq veterans who have lost limbs. As he put it: "I'm freezing my ass off for these guys." Why is he doing this? To raise money for the vets of course.
Near the North Pole Prince Harry rightfully seemed a little annoyed when an ABC News reporter asked him if he had composed his speech for the wedding!!!
Why are Americans so fascinated with a Royal Family they so summarily rejected during the Revolutionary War in 1883?
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2011 at 1:21 am
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there lived a prince...
These words form the beginning transport from where we live to a land of enchantment. These familiar words initiate our hypnotic trance induction as if we encounter a glass carriage which gently beckons us to enter then pulls us quietly away from everyday life into a magical land. Royalty captures our imagination in places which can't be seen on our gps screen. The royal family offer a complimentary intoxicating elixor of imagination and reality. We can't quite tell what's in it but as we sip the bubbley blend, hard edges seem to soften, colors appear rosier and our vision becomes slightly blurred in an appealing way.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2011 at 1:49 am
"If Louis XV had not existed, it would have been necessary to invent him"." Voltaire
Regarding the spectacle of a royal wedding : The day of this royal wedding has been declared a national holiday in England. It is an interesting point that royal weddings are specifically designed to involve the public in the celebration. In America, weddings are considered very private affairs. Famous people often go to great pains to keep the date and location secret. Funerals of famous people however, are often arranged to give the public a way to pay their respects and participate. The time and location are usually announced so people can plan to be present, even if it's to line the processional route.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm
CNN now has a digital "Royal Wedding Countdown clock" on it's home page indicating the wedding will occur in 27 days, 11 hours and 3 minutes. I think this is in GMT. Several products with the wedding theme have been launched including royal wedding nail decals, royal wedding condoms which are called "Crown Jewels", "Kiss Me Kate"Beer, a refrigerator with the couple's likeness on the doors and an app for the Ipad which provides live feeds and news updates. The craziness is likely to increase exponentially.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm
I would really like to know if you plan to watch the wedding, are following the news stories and what the reasons are for your interest. This wedding is a party to which everyone in the world is invited. Thirty five per cent of the world are planning to attend. The world's interest defies rational explanation. Any of us can make a strong case for the absurdity of "royal wedding fever" and for abolishing the monarchy altogether, for that matter. Yet, here we are. We know there's no logic to it, which is what makes this so fascinating! Please tell me if you will watch or not and why and how this matters to you.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2011 at 9:29 am
Now to the important issues of the day... What psychological/ spiritual/social dimensions (some unconscious) does the monarchy tap into for us? Clearly, we can't account for the continued survival, interest, indeed fascination of the monarchy by logical, factual reasoning and analysis.
Monarchy embodies a potent myth which links us to ancient history; its presence connotes stability, continuity, predictability. At a time when life changes at a dizzying pace, monarchy offers us security, an anchor linking past to present and future, in a way few things can, perhaps religion provides this for some. Monarchy has stood the test of time, the protocols and ceremonies are just as they have been for centuries. The queen is an international reference point, occupying a place above the fray of daily life and it's many complexities and fears. We may find psychic comfort in familiar, long established rituals which transcend our ever changing, painful preoccupations. Monarchy connects people to each other around the world. When Diana died for example, anyone with any degree of interest became part of a community, united by whatever sentiments they may have felt. The world looked to the Queen for her acknowlegement. Her absence posed an enormous threat to the Monarchy because the Queen provides a focus for the nation and the world's emotions. When there is a tragedy, an earthquake, flood or disaster, when people are in shock and horror, the Queen expresses her nations'(and the worlds') collective grief, sorrow, compassion and caring. In this way, she offers a form of spiritual leadership, perhaps similarly to the Pope and she fosters a sense of connection and bonding for members of the human family around the globe who share the sentiments she expresses for all.
Future ramblings will speculate on the ironic appeal Americans have for the British monarchy and the upcoming wedding. I leave next Wednesday for London and will continue commenting from there.
Posted by a royal flush, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm
Not sure what the fascination Americans have with this group of inbred parasites called the royal family. Considering that they serve no really useful purpose and like to parade around in nazi uniforms, I would say that if we ever met, they would have to bow to me.
I do find it amusing that ALice compares the queen to the pope--given his history as a nazi soldier and his role in the child molestation scandals that are still going on in the vatican, I am not sure that is really a compliment.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm
Good point from Royal Flush! I don't mean to endorse or compliment the Pope or the Queen, rather am amused to note some similarities in the role they play in contemporary society.
If you think about it, the ancestors of monarchs and aristocrats were an early form of mobster and terrorist. The good deeds came later. First order of business for a would-be king has to be to get the position, second to hold onto it. Power was gained by seizing land by force and using horrific violence, intimidation, and aggression to maintain control. I gather the monarch had to have a lust for conquest and be dedicated to using any and all means to maintain power, including murdering and inprisioning rivals within your own family, raising armies, bestowing favors on supporters to buy loyalty, building coalitions and using all manner of cunning, manipulation, shrewdness and political skill. The best player became King. Then, began the ultimate reality chess game of opponents seeking to topple the king.
A most potent ingredient a monarch possesses is their subjects' belief that they are divine, that their right to rule comes directly from God. How artful is that? I gather their blood was thought to be "blue" and different from non-royal blood. Does anyone believe this today? Do you think this belief is a component of the mystique the royal family continues to hold today?
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:02 am
I certainly hope no one in Palo Alto has forgotten about this wedding. I have taken leave of our insular and snobbish meritocracy and am now in London. Remember Palo Altans, whatever sentiments you hold about the royal family, this is a histrionic, oops, I mean historic event.
A few days before I left, my daughter bought me these really inexpensive (ok cheap) fake stick-on nails from CVS. I wouldn't buy anything like this myself of course, but she insisted we get them, plus they were on sale. My regular nails are short and since I garden, you can just imagine how bad they are. So we glued these plastic nails on top of my nails and in literally two minutes I had the most beautiful french manicure you've ever seen. Amazingly, my mood, self image and experience of myself in the world were transformed! This must be how Cinderella felt, turning into a princess. I quickly became more refined, elegant in an understated way. I could tell people responded differently to me too.
A few days ago Buckingham Palace announced the Middleton family have been granted a royal crest for their family. Only the queen can bestow the honor, however an official family crest requires approval also by several levels of Lords/Dukes AND either the Lord Chamberlain or possibly the Arch Bishop of Canterbury. ( Please don't fact check me on this detail.) The main point is that the entire Middleton Family including, of course the pre-married princess and Queen to be (or Queen bee if you prefer) are now made quasi- royal. Thus the leap from commoner to royal is less arduous for Kate or Princess Catherine as she will be called, since the transition has been made more gradual by inserting a step. An additional advantage may be improved relationships at future gatherings of the in-laws, who reportedly have not yet met.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 3:47 am
I don't want you to think my objectivity as a participant/ observer/ reporter is being corrupted. My loyalty is to you, Palo Altans, to seek and convey an understanding of royal wedding fever in the context of our value system and culture. I come here as a working woman, no connections to any aristocracy and of no great wealth, esp within our enclave of success. I traveled here using FF miles. I'm counting my pennies of pounds as well but have been very lucky to have been given the opportunity to take advantage of some very favorable circumstances. So, in full disclosure, I must inform you that I am now lodged in an elegant suite at The Savoy which has come equipped with, get this.. my own butler! Has the English accent even.
Bear in mind, I'm still wearing my favorite pants from Target!
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:28 pm
Today I visited Westminster Abbey and had a good look around. There was indeed a certain, distinct buzz there; I tried to carefully eavesdrop to discern what people might be saying perhaps very privately, but unfortunately, I didn't hear anything revealing. Many people there seemed to have accents too, which does make eavesdropping more difficult.
I did learn that I wasn't the only one trying to find out what others were thinking. I myself was approached by two French people, one of whom had an out- stretched microphone in her hand, wanting to interview me. Imagine my surprise- I'm an undercover spy, seeking to be an ant on the wall, suddenly under a spotlight and treated as an object of curiosity. I was asked the very questions I want to ask. From California? How very interesting! What was it that led me to come here?
Oh dear, I'm afraid I panicked and just made up some inane answers, consoling myself with the knowledge that I don't really know anyone in France and these nice people seemed very pleased with my interesting and might I say, charming story. In truth, I don't really have an old aunt who loves cats and keeps a picture of the Queen next to the cupboard. Tomorrow I will return to my journalistic inquiries.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2011 at 2:32 am
Royal mania today: To tiara or not to tiara is the question. There are large bets placed on what Kate will wear in her hair. The odds have been placed at 12 to one. The tradition is a royal bride wears a tiara from her family's collection. In this case, that might well be cardboard since the bride's family runs an on-line party supply business. Er, umm, mustn't mention, wouldn't do. Perhaps freshness and modernism might be served by Kate wearing flowers. Or, the Queen could loan Kate one of her many tiaras... with this bling, I thee wed.
Troubling issues about the guest list! The concerns fall into two categories: 1) why certain people were NOT invited, such as President and Mrs. Obama, two former P.M's and their spouses, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (two other P.M.'s are invited) and some very close friends of the late Princess Diana. 2) why some quests ARE invited such as some very rogue leaders of the world's worst anti-democratic regimes and why Guy Richie without former wife Madonna?
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm
Talking with many Londoners seems to reveal a pattern of less interest in the royal wedding than for foreigners, esp Americans. I didn't speak with anyone in favor of ditching the royal family however. Many admitted they would be excited and pleased to meet the queen.
Posted by Alice L. Glass, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:03 am
There was a rehearsal of the wedding processional this morning at 4:30 a.m. Everyone knows the Brits are the best in the world at elaborate displays of pomp and ceremony with military precision. The clip, clap of horses hoofs, the trumpets, the colors! Many people of all ages I've talked with do take great pride in this! And why not?
This event is unifying people here.
I'm part of a twitter network of USA Today citizen reporters who are roving all around sending photos, video clips of interesting sights related to rwf. It's a fun group thing!