The Royal Whatsit: Much ado about nothing

Chances are you are at least dimly aware that William the Nearly Bald, future King of England and (sigh) Canada, successfully knocked up his wife, the comely Kate Middleton. The Royal Baby, as it is invariably referred to as, is due any day now, perhaps even today. Buckingham Palace, perhaps having a little fun with the slavering British media hordes, never released an official due date. The speculation about when the bun will pop from the oven comes from Kate’s statement that it is due in “mid-July”, which resulted in full-fledged media frenzy. Dozens of news outlets have camped out outside St. Mary’s Hospital, waiting to (major royal cliché coming up) “catch a glimpse” of … well, I’m not sure. Perhaps Kate will waddle up to the door with William, wave to the crowd, and go in. And that’s about it. Dozens of “journalists” from around the world are waiting for perhaps a 15-second clip, at best, of a couple going into a hospital. And that might not even happen. She might actually go to a different hospital, or sneak in a back door (if there is a back door; you never know about Britain), or pull up to the front in an old Vauxhall to throw the media off the track.

Let’s assume that St. Mary’s is the hospital, and the couple does walk through the front door and wave. From that we get one picture, or one 15-second news clip. Dozens of news organizations will have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for ONE picture or ONE news clip. Then, they will wait (One hour? Eight hours?  24-hours? Who knows, right, fellow parents?) for Kate to labour and bring forth the future heir. Then, there will be another picture of the happy couple holding a little bundle of royal joy, which will look indistinguishable from any other baby born that day. Millions of pounds will immediately change hands as gambling-mad Brits settle bets on the baby’s hair colour/weight/name/hour of birth/inny or outty. Newspapers will print special editions (the Globe and Mail is already touting its Royal Baby special edition), magazines will spew millions of pointless words, TV commentators will gush and coo and try to kill time, and then … nothing.

Millions of words written or said, millions of dollars spent, all for an “event” that will have no more impact on your or my life than the birth of that baby spawned by Kanye West and that celebrity whore Kim Kardasian.

But wait, you say: this is a future king or queen of England! This is an important world figure, right?

Wrong.

Yes, it is a future king or queen. But let’s examine this statement.

The monarchy, I’m sure you’ll agree, has no relevance to today’s Canada, and even very little to today’s UK (other than being great for the tourist trade). The British monarchy has no impact on anything, not world affairs, not your life, not my life. Nothing.

Ah, but you say, what about the future? At some point, this little poop machine will sit on the throne. What about then, eh?

OK, let’s look ahead. Way ahead. The Queen is 87, and as well preserved as a museum piece. She apparently has no plans to abdicate, and considering that her mother lived to be 101, thanks in part to being partially pickled, genetics indicate Elizabeth could live for many more years yet. Once the queen goes to the royal throne in the sky (I suspect heaven will be a bit of a letdown), then it’s Prince Charles who will inherit the throne. He’ll last for a few decades, no doubt, and when he goes, then it’s Prince William, who in turn should last for several decades. And THEN comes the baby we are all so supposedly eagerly awaiting. So, bare minimum 25 years, but much more likely 40 or 50 years until Prince/Princess Whatever inherits the throne. And that’s only IF there is a throne to inherit; remember, monarchies do fall.

So, what’s the point of all this media attention? You got me. I haven’t heard one person talk about the impending blessed event. Nobody, except the perpetually star struck types who read People and Us and Hello!, really cares about this. Sure, it’s a minor news story. Royal toffs have a baby. Take a picture or two, run it inside somewhere, and go return to the real world. Anything more than that is just a colossal waste of time and effort. Not unlike the royal family itself.

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