Tomorrow’s over-elaborate wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is, of course, a plot. Not the ceremonial fantasies but the wedding itself. Someone—we may never know precisely who—decided that the two of them should no longer live in sin—their common law marriage. Others around him—an historian might find out who in due course when memoirs are written—agreed with him (otherwise, a top civil servant). And so the plot was launched.
Why? Because, at any time, William and Kate might have produced a common law child. And that would never do, because the amount of constitutional jiggery-pokery that would have been required in order to legitimize that child as a future heir to the throne would have stretched even their bureaucratic imaginations. At all costs, a lawful, legitimate, government-approved child must be produced as soon as possible because, hale and hearty though the Queen still is at present, we don’t want Prince Charles becoming King do we?
(And, we may note, the bureaucrats are already ventilating the idea that if Kate produces a girl then she will inherit the throne directly.)
One must feel sorry for Prince Charles. He’ll put a brave face on it at the wedding tomorrow but he knows that, in 9-12 months’ time, he might have lost his last chance of becoming King. He’s regarded as a twit by many—what with his tree-hugging and talking to the flowers. And his awful upper-class accent. But even to your humble republican writer, he has one saving grace. And it’s a big one. What you see is what you get. As King, he would probably continue to say many ridiculous things but he’d also be refreshingly honest about other things. Sensible comments about architecture, for example, of which this writer heartily approves.
But the bureaucrats who’ve arranged tomorrow’s wedding spectacular had better be careful. They ought to remember the grumble of discontent that rose against the Queen at the time of Diana’s death. Essentially, this was concerning a girl who was adroitly pressured into an arranged marriage with Prince Charles. Well, they’ve done it again, even though, this time, Kate happened to be Prince William’s voluntary choice already and she’s passed all the vetting tests (genetically,as well, you may be sure).
Yes, the bureaucrats had better be careful. Even if they pull off the trick of circumventing Prince Charles’s accession to the throne then, if King William turns out to be different from the person that his present spin doctors and some of the sycophantic press have succeeded in projecting so far, then the mass hysteria in favour of him could turn against him in due course.
After all, when acclaim for royalty was at its height one hundred years ago, Queen Victoria paid income-tax. The present Queen doesn’t (by gracious permission of the bureaucrats) and has quietly become very rich. Paying no income-tax and himself becoming quietly rich, King William might not go down very well in our grandchildren’s time when they’ll still be paying off the past Labour government’s debt. It might be the last straw for this absurd Medieval institution.