Just your run-of-the-mill royal couple

Could anyone have missed the big news this week? Prince William and Kate Middleton decided to have two different kinds of wedding cakes after their nuptials! It’s probably all they were talking about in Japan, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain and Yemen. Who wouldn’t be shocked to the core to hear that the young royal couple would flout tradition by having two, count ‘em, two wedding cakes; one traditional and one made just to please Prince William.

While it makes perfect sense that the first-born son of king or queen should become the ruler of a country – after all, what better system could there be – the idea that royals should just make up their own wedding rules willy-nilly is absolutely crazy. Once you start down that road, where will it stop?

What will they do next? Write their own vows? Decide to get married barefoot? Have a shaman officiate the ceremony? What is the point of having royalty if they’re going to go all modern on us and start doing things we commoners do? Why can’t Kate be happy just to know that from now until the end of her life, her slightest gesture, her every haircut, her private phone calls, every outfit she wears, every public and private statement she makes and every leaked email she sends for the rest of her life will be examined under the microscope of the world press like goat entrails at a Roman religious ceremony.



What woman wouldn’t want to live that way? Why, it must be a dream come true just to know that every single day her demeanor, her posture, her makeup and her skirt length will be discussed ad infinitum on national and international TV by highly paid “royal watchers.” It must bring a smile to her face just thinking about it. Imagine what a thrill it must be to hear the clicks of a hundred cameras as you go to fancy ball, as you meet foreign dignitaries, as you go to your gynecologist, as you open the door to the ladies’ room. It must be like living in a fairy tale!

Of course, being a royal watcher is pretty much a dream job, too. And unlike being a princess, you can be overweight and most days wear sweatpants while you do your job and no one will say a word about it, whereas Kate will be expected to be camera-ready from the time she steps out of her bedroom until the time she goes to sleep at night. They will know if she ever wears the same dress twice, and they will lambaste her for it. After a few months of wearing new and expensive outfits every day, they’ll accuse her of being the new Marie Antoinette. How much gosh-darn fun can a girl have? How lucky can you get?

I’m not quite clear on how you get to become a royal watcher. Is that a college course? Do you need to get a Ph.D in it, or will a Master’s do? Do you have to pass a test or get board-certified? I wonder what their typical day is like. Is it like bird watching? Would I need to buy binoculars?

Wait, what’s this? William has decided not to wear a wedding band? How will unsuspecting single women know that he’s already married? The English monarchy is sinking into the morass of modernity. Next we’ll find out that Kate only “plans” to have two children and that she wants to keep her own name and work until she’s eight and a half months pregnant. She’ll tell the royal kitchen that William is on a dairy-free diet and that from now on, she will pick his ties.

Of course, the royal couple weren’t the only news this week. There was something about radiation from Japan, a revolt in Libya and high unemployment here at home. Let’s hope it doesn’t spoil the royal wedding.

Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at jim_mullen@myway.com

Copyright 2011, United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

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