Friday, April 22, 2011

Yes, it's Royal Wedding fever! Doesn't it make you wish WE had a monarchy to make fun of?


Axl and Mike are less than respectful of Frankie's precious collectible Royal Wedding souvenir cup. (We saw the companion collectible Royal Wedding souvenir plate last night.)

(DAD) MIKE HECK: Frankie, I got some bad news for you. We're not British.
AXL (OLDEST HECK OFFSPRING): Yeah, we won the Civil War, so we don't have to care.
MIKE: Look, I barely cared about our wedding. Tell me why this is such a big deal. What'd this girl ever do?
(MOM) FRANKIE HECK [dumbfounded]: Hello! She landed a prince! That means she's the fairest in the land. [MIKE scoffs.] She's arriving in a car as a commoner, but she leaves in a carriage as a princess!
AXL: Princess of what? Seriously, is she even allowed to behead people?
-- Frankie encountering Heck family resistance to her
preparations for the Royal Wedding, on The Middle

by Ken

Oops! I seem to have jumped the gun last night. As I wrote in an update, this may reflect just how close attention I've been paying to the whole thing. Somehow I didn't seem to know when the damned thing is happening, and caring ever so slightly less, I persuaded myself that the big night is tonight, when in fact it's next Friday. It did seem kind of sooner than I was expecting, but certainly no sooner than I was hoping.

By way of corrective, I think we will all want to harken unto his grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury. (I'm just guessing about "his grace" for the archbishop. I could look it up, if I cared more. By the bye, am I the only one who finds the music used for this clip a bit, shall we say, unexpected for a British royal wedding?)

Anyway, here I was thinking how brilliantly ABC had planned this, running its "Royal Wedding" episode of The Middle (a show for which I have repeated declared my affection -- here, for example), depicting the week's run-up to the great event from the vantage point of Orson, Indiana, in the very week it's happening. Talk about reality TV!

Well, no. Actually, a measure of ABC's interest in the Royal Wedding may be that of the two clips from the episode that are posted on the show's webpage, a total of zero have any connection to the main plot. You know, Frankie's obsession with the Royal Wedding. (There's the clips I've pllunked below, and one that involves Sue's preparation, with Brick's unwilling, er, help for her audition for the school's TV club, the Shuckers.)

Yes, Mike, Frankie knows the family isn't British, but apparently she hasn't registered the part about winning the Civil War, Axl. Wishing she were British is kind of the point. As she says when she discovers that Mike has eaten the scones she bought for the great event, and he claims to have done her a favor because they were stale and dry: "They're supposed to be stale and dry. They're British." Eventually even Frankie admits that the Royal Wedding is of no historical significance, but it is, she says, "a pretty thing."


Is that it, the appeal of British royalty to some non-Brits on this side of the pond? A pretty thing?

Maybe I should have been braver about asking my mother what the deal was with her passion for royalty, and the British royals in particular. In her later years, when I was dealing with her financial matters, one of my obligations was keeping up her subscription to Royalty magazine. Yes, there really is such a thing, or at least there was The poor dears were going through some rough times in the time I was watching over my mother's subscription.

And let me say, she was shrewd about taking advantage of the magazine, of which she took to passing issues she was finished with on to the British-expat social director of the senior residence she moved into, piling up the kind of brownie points mere money couldn't buy. (Well, I suppose a lot of money could have. But even then there would have been the taint of commerce.)

And her royalmania wouldn't have passed muster -- in fact, didn't -- with the authentic native version. I'm sure I've told this story before, but it's a family favorite. A long, long time age, probably several decades now, my mother and stepfather were visiting the English cousins, something they loved to do, because the cousins are truly splendid people. In fact, it was one of her bitter disappointments when she had to go to England alone for the wedding of a daughter they had watched grow up, into a lawyer like her father. They were supposed to go together, of course, and had been eagerly planning the trip. But by then my stepfather's Alzheimer's was too advanced. He wanted her to go, though, and with great difficulty she asked me to come to Florida to stay with him.

Anyway, on the earlier and happier visit in question, as my mother reported the event to me afterward, they were gathered around the TV when some sort of report on Prince Charles came on. He was much younger then, of course (but then, who wasn't?), but he was still . . . well, what he was, only a younger version. And my mother spoke up: "You'd think with all their money they could do something about his ears." Now these are sensible, well-educated people, the cousins, and according to my mother's telling, which I had and have no reason to doubt, they were struck mute with shock and horror.


Isn't it obvious? Is there anything better to make fun of than a royal family? And you can make fun of them to your heart's content, and that's totally separate from the government. And then you can make fun of the government separately! It's win-win!

Now you may think it's too late, that ever since old George Washington turned down all those entreaties to crown himself king, so we would have our very own King George to replace that other one we'd fought so hard to get rid of, there's no way we can get ourselves a royal family of our own.

I believe I've got that solved too. Remember Prince Charles? You now, we were just talking about him. The Prince of Wales, next in line for the throne if his mum ever gets off it? (Aside: I keep forgetting that Prince William isn't going to be Prince of Wales, at least not until his dear old dad gets out of the way by becoming king or dying or just, well, getting out of the way. I'm sure they've rigged up one hellacious title for Prince Will and his new princess. If there's one thing the Brits know how to do, it's rig up hellacious titles.)

We keep hearing that fewer and fewer Brits expect that poor Charles will ever be king, that especially since he married what's-her-name, the one Graham Norton always says looks like a horse, Camilla, that ever since he married her, he's no longer suitable king material, and he should be discreetly removed from the line of succession for whenever there is a succession. And we know that with all their money there still will be a succession.

So here's the deal: We bring Charles over to be our new king. (And I guess the horsewoman with her to be our queen?) And then let the merriment begin! We'll be rolllicking from morn till midnight! Oh happy day!

Now I wouldn't expect the Brits to surrender their heir apparent without a fight, or at least due compensation. For starters we can send them some routine compensation in the form of maybe 50 or 100 of our most cracked-brain Teabaggers and assorted other far-right-wingers. Plus, and here's the part I'm really proud of, We send them Trump!!!

That's right, The Donald becomes the replacement Prince of Wales. He can't ever become king, of course, unless Parliament goes completely nuts, so the designated king-groomers can go on grooming William for all those onerous duties, and Kate's every move will be watched in anticipation of her eventual queenification. But as hilarious as Charles has been all these years in the Prince of Wales job, they ain't seen nothin' yet!

Who knows? Maybe he'll try to fire that no-account prime minister. Or even the queen herself!

You wouldn't know it, but this clip really is from the "Royal Wedding" episode of The Middle.

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At 5:18 PM, Anonymous frances said...

I still did not find out the LAST NAME of prince Charles. His fathers last name. I find Queen of this and prince of that and princess of whatever but no one will say the fathers real last name. Why not and how can one find out!


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