Thank you thank you to all the people who wished me congratulations and mazal tov this week. Many apologies for not understanding why I needed such felicitations. The fact that a fellow Brit had given birth to a baby (who may be King if the monarchy last that long) is OF COURSE reason to congratulate little old me. I had worked long and hard at matching Kate and Wills, the wedding was very hard work and the birth quite stressful. So thank you thank you, I am indeed proud to be British. I will be sure to remember to return the courtesy when your President’s grandchildren give birth (although I can’t imagine how I would know).
The British Royal family has this strange draw for so many, me included. I do follow Kate and Wills much like I hover over a story about Posh and Becks. It does rather point to the fact that my view of today’s Royals is more Celebrity than Royalty. I think I can put the blame for that firmly at the door of the glossy magazines and E! Entertainment. However, long before I was reading mags and watching car crash telly (sorry E!) I was a little obsessed with the Royals. Rewind to my Lady Di scrapbook that my grandmother and I lovingly put together, Charles and Di’s wedding which I was excited about for weeks before,even Fergie and Andrew’s big day is firmly etched in my memory. Talking of memories, the Silver Jubilee (age 4) is one of my first. In my world, being British goes hand in hand with memories of Royal events, whether you want to abolish the whole outdated notion of a sovereign or not.
I always had a particular soft spot for Diana, probably because I liked her clothes (I was 8). She was just a fairy tale princess to me, hardly human at all, but on August 31st 1997 in the Australian rainforest a group of backpackers told me that Princess Di had been in a car accident and thought to be dead and I was devastated. Whether it was real grief or just an attack of homesickness is debatable. A few hours later my mother told me down the phone from the UK that I probably had the start of blood poisoning and I needed to get to a hospital fast I was much more interested in telling her to turn the TV on and see what had happened.
A few days later my future husband re-appeared in my life and my early memories of our relationship are all wound up with pictures of the outpourings of grief, the flowers and the sorrow for her young sons that I saw in the newspaper. My husband still jokes about the amount of time I spent over articles and feeling sad I was away from home at such a time of national togetherness. Lets face it I was on a once in a lifetime trip and I wasn’t exactly mates with the Royals.
On the day of her funeral a group of Brits gathered around a portable TV in a hostel kitchen and watched the long and drawn out footage. Husband-to-be kept walking in and making jokes that we were still there (3 hours on), were we sure we were feeling sad enough? It wasn’t funny. In fact its a surprise he made it to a second date such was my outrage at someone dissing my beloved Diana.
I have a sneaky suspicion that Kate will also have my unadulterated adulation in much the same way as Diana did. She certainly has better dress sense than her mother-in-law (the 80’s wasn’t kind to many). I do draw the line at the nude tights though, you are 30 dear, not 60. After seeing her standing on the steps of the hospital, beaming through her under eye bags with her poor swollen feet tucked into some suspect grandma heels my love of her was ramped up just a little bit more. Good on you girl, you were fantastic. I hope the paps are kinder to you than to previous ‘commoner’ brides. She’s got one hell of a life ahead of her, not one that many would covet (not me anyway). I will of course accept any more salutations on her behalf from my disbelieving Israeli friends and neighbours who cannot get their heads around the fact that Briton’s taxes pay for this family and their opulent life (I do point out that most Brit’s don’t get it either). I tend not to dwell on the rights and wrongs of the monarchy too much and will instead follow Kate’s life with interest (no scrapbook I promise), mazal tov and congratulations to her and William, George is a perfect name for any little boy, King, Prince or otherwise.