Another reason to love America

charles_topi.jpgThe 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?) 

5 thoughts on “Another reason to love America”

  1. Someone should tell HRH the PoW to remember Rule 1 for public figures — especially males — undergoing the ordeal by paparazzi camera: never allow anyone to make you wear a funny hat. (The one in your illustration above is a prize example, especially when accompanied by some sort of shroud.) It applies to an only slightly lesser extent to females, too, as someone might usefully remind Cherie Booth QC (aka Mrs. Tony Blair). (In her case, though, she seems to choose the funny hats herself.)

    But I do have a soft spot for Camilla, whom I’ve never met, but who seems quite a nice lady, given her huntin’-and-fishin’ background, and I hope she gets through the current ghastly visit without falling flat on her face. I think she’ll make quite a pleasant Queen (assuming that P. Charles defeats the sainted Diana’s gloomy prognosis and eventually makes it to the throne).

    It’s all a much better soap than East Enders.


  2. You are to hard by far on poor Chuck. He and his lady hit New York first and she was immediately set upon by the fashionistas as been middle aged and not sufficiently fashionable — and generally not Diana. The latter being the unforgiveable sin in their eyes.

    The opinions of the Manhattan nattering classes cut little ice in the rest of the country. Look to the reception of the couple in Washington and the rest of their tour. Middle-aged slightly out of fashion couples are more the norm out here in the sticks.

  3. I’m not a fan of the monarchy or of Charles, but it is good to hear a British public figure criticise the US administration over their shocking attitude towards climate change.

    It is a shame that Tony Blair doesn’t have either the policies or the guts to do the same.

  4. Yes, I agree that the monarchy has no democratic legitimacy to speak for us (although a constitutional monarchy for all its faults isn’t a terrible option for organising some of the apolitical roles that a democracy needs, but I wish the style was more Scandinavian). Oops, digression.

    My point was more that Tony Blair has failed in his representative role by failing to disagree with George Bush on anything. Christopher Meyer has highlighted exactly this problem with Blair’s leadership in his Guardian interview today.

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