The royal wedding spoofed

Kunal Dutta
Monday 02 May 2011 00:00

If Clarence House thought that a broadcasting ban on satirical wedding footage would keep the family photo album clean, the digital community had different ideas. Fuelled by countercultural rampant royalists across America, cyberspace was rife with its own take on the wedding.

By yesterday afternoon Grace Van Cutsem, the three-year-old bridesmaid who stood on the balcony covering her ears to shut out the roar of the crowd, was an internet phenomenon. Her image had been exported to appear in photos alongside Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump and Hugo Chavez.

In a satirical throwback to the 1980s, Brooklyn comedian Richie Noodle scaled the day down to a 90-second stop-motion animation video, remixed to the soundtrack of Benny Hill.

Other efforts included the wedding kiss remixed to Spanish football commentary. The cartwheeling clergyman whose enthusiastic red-carpet gymnastics were captured on CCTV was also being primed as a digital star. The already satirical T-Mobile commercial could not escape the hand of the spoofers, with versions of its dance-ceremony remixed to a Bollywood soundtrack.

The headwear of certain guests also courted plenty of online attention. Princess Beatrice's extraordinary hat appeared on numerous celebrities including Justin Bieber, Vladimir Putin and Bono. Meanwhile the "Princess Beatrice's ridiculous Royal Wedding hat" Facebook page already had 84,000 fans. Experts say the nuptials were fertile ground for satire. "Digital memes are like newspaper versions of caricature. In the 21st century, such a significant cultural event is simply not open to control," said Johnny Vulcan, the founder of the ad agency Anomaly."But unlike traditional media it is difficult to legislate against."

That point was proven by the fact that, with more than 30,000 photographs taken, it was inevitable that someone would capture the split-second in which the Duchess of Cambridge crouched down on the balcony beside her standing husband, for a story that could forever be digitally retold.

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