The harsh light of reality

Share

According to those who take an interest in these matters, a royal wedding ought to be good news for the monarchy.

According to those who take an interest in these matters, a royal wedding ought to be good news for the monarchy. The lavish spectacle is designed to evoke warm feelings of patriotic pride and affection for Britain's oldest institution. That, at least, is the theory. Next week's marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles was never likely to achieve all that. The fact that both of them have been married before somewhat sullies the romance of the occasion. As does the fact that a significant proportion of the population regards the relationship as a betrayal of the memory of the late Princess Diana.

If that did not make the whole affair fraught enough, a succession of public relations disasters has befallen the preparations. First, it emerged that they would have to get married in a public register office. Then we learnt that the Queen would not be attending. Then came a tedious debate about whether Ms Parker Bowles would be granted the title of Queen when the Prince of Wales becomes King. And finally, Prince Charles opened his mouth and made everything worse.

Posing at a photo call in Klosters with his sons, he was overheard referring to reporters as "bloody people" and professing his particular dislike for one unfortunate BBC royal correspondent. It was the latest in a long line of howlers involving members of the Royal Family and modern communications. And, as always, it revealed so much more than any number of staged press calls.

Our view is that Britain's constitutional monarchy is useful on a purely pragmatic basis. If it did not draw a degree of affection from the public, it would be entirely redundant. But a series of tawdry scandals has undermined public affection for the House of Windsor - and they have occurred over a period in which it has been actively managing its own publicity, trying to retain the upper hand in its curiously symbiotic relationship with the media. With notable exceptions - such as the Queen herself - the royals have emerged rather badly.

The Royal Family, particularly the Prince of Wales, needs to learn some lessons if it is to retain any semblance of legitimacy in a fast-moving world. The most basic one is that if you play with fire, you can get burnt. But even if this wedding does, in the end, win a few favourable headlines, the fact remains that the Royal Family is still stumbling down the path to obsolescence.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sewing Technician

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in Medical Devices is...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior IT Support / Projects Engineer

£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Bench Joiner & Wood Machinist

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This busy local Joinery company...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Lily-Rose Depp is not 'all grown up' - she is a 15 year old girl who should not be modelling for an adult fashion magazine

Harriet Williamson
 

If I were Prime Mininster: I would legislate for abortion on demand and abolish VAT on sanitary products

Caroline Criado-Perez
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence