The TV commentators here in the US are distinctly underwhelmed by the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales; they are not just bored, they are mocking the British. Maybe, as Christine Odone claims (via Tim) it is because a second marriage to your long-time mistress is less romantic than marrying a glamorous airhead. But what I’ve heard suggests a more fundamental distaste for the idea and practice of monarchy. The criticisms I’ve heard on the box in the last 24 hours include:
- "why should we block the traffic for an un-elected official?"
- "he isn’t very intelligent – he just likes anything spiritual"
- "what gives him the right to come and wag his finger at us about Kyoto? Who elected him?"
- "hereditary power is just .. unAmerican"
- "why don’t the British just get over this stuff already?"
All of which, it seems to me, are fair points; and they demonstrate that America’s deep-rooted commitment to democracy is alive and kicking.
(As an aside: when we have to carry identity cards, will Camilla’s include her real legal title – Princess of Wales – or the pseudonym she uses – Duchess of Cornwall? Are we allowed to put fake names on our id card?)