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|Volume 10 |Issue 17 | May 06, 2011 ||
A Fairy Tale Distraction
AASHA MEHREEN AMIN
Now that the latest wedding of Royals is over we can all go back to our mundane existence and focus on the significance of Osama bin Laden's demise upon the world. Will it be a safer planet now that the world's most wanted terrorist has been killed? Or will it spawn thousands of Osama wannabes 'dying' to avenge his death and continue his cause?
But just keeping the deadweight topic of Osama aside, lets go back to the royal wedding, which is far more pleasant a subject. Why, for instance, one may ponder, is it that the British, historically known for their stoicism, stiff upper lip and penchant for understatement (I think he's a bit, well, dead), go practically bonkers over a prince's wedding? One may be reminded, furthermore, that this hoopla of a wedding cost millions of pounds and was funded by ordinary taxpayers' hard-earned money. It is quite intriguing how ordinary subjects of an ornamental monarchy are so willing to indulge the indulgences of kings and queens. That too, at this day and age, one may self-righteously add.
The plausible explanation for such public exuberance over a royal affair, one that has infected pretty much the whole world, is that we want to believe in fairy tales. We like to think that kings, queens, princes and princesses do really exist and have perfect, happily ever afters.
Yes, yes we know it doesn't always work that way, we are only too aware of the tragic end of another beautiful princess once upon a time. But who can deny the magic she created when she stepped out of the carriage in her 15,000 pound gown with the 26 ft trail? She was every bit the princess of our childhood fairy tales being wooed by a debonair Prince Charles Charming.
The truth is we are all escapists, dying to flee from the reality of war, poverty, bad relationships, taxes, bills, dysfunctional families and a hundred other things to remind us what a nasty, short, brutish life this is as Thomas Hobbes once pointed out. A beautiful young commoner falling in love with a handsome prince (albeit with thinning hair) as the Kate and William story goes, fits perfectly into the Cinderella theme.
And who better to feed this escapism than the media that decides who will be turned into celebrities overnight, whose dirty laundry should be made public and who will be called the world's most beautiful bride. The media feeds and the public guzzles it down with relish. How else would we have known that the official cake of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding was made from 17 individual fruitcakes and that thankfully a second cake was made from chocolate biscuits as requested by Prince William?
So before we slink back into our ordinary lives and face the aftershocks of Bin Laden's death, here's another bit of trivia from UK's The Telegraph for the Monarchy aficionados:
The Yaohannen tribe on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in Vanuatu have taken this enthusiasm over the royal wedding a notch higher. Being completely enamoured by the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) they have been ready to celebrate his grandson's wedding for weeks. But without any kind of media -no radio, TV, phones or internet - they didn't even know that the wedding had already taken place. By now however, the director of Vanuatu's Cultural Centre will have visited them and given the good news. Celebrations will have taken place with roast pig for everyone. These people may be a good 10,000 miles away from Britain but in their hearts the Duke of Edinburgh is a deity and part of their extended family; his grandson's wedding is certainly an occasion to make merry. The Yaohannen people believe that their spirit ancestor, the Duke of Edinburgh that is, will one day return to them (as he had promised a mere thirty years ago), live with them in a hut and hunt wild pigs, happily ever after.
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