A Wedding Of State

Posted on Sat 04/30/2011 by

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Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

Here in Australia, the Wedding was shown live, and every TV Channel covered it. Because of the time difference, the proceedings were during Prime Time evening viewing, so there would have been huge numbers of viewers watching. There have always been rumblings here in Australia that we should make a break from England and become a Republic, and sever ties with the Monarchy. An occasion like this only cements opinion that there is nothing wrong with being associated with this Monarchy, and opinion has always come out in favour of keeping Australia’s ties with England. The ABC mentioned below is the Australian national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and bears no relationship with the U.S. ABC Network…..TonyfromOz

WE cry at a good wedding, and, boy, were there tears with this one.

There was the ABC, sobbing with fury at having the BBC veto its plan to have the Chaser comics host the ABC2 coverage of the wedding of William and Catherine.

Wah, wah, wah.
How could the nasty royal family object to having the TV rights to its big day given to a broadcaster who’d use the footage to spend three straight hours trashing this celebration and the royals hosting it ?

How dare those royals not help an ABC to tell “jokes” like this:

Queen Elizabeth II (watching a film of Adolf Hitler): What’s he saying?

Prince Philip: Oh, I’m not sure. But if it’s about Jews, I agree with all of it.

Laugh? We nearly cried, too.

Then there were the ABC talkback callers also in a crying rage that so many stupid Australians were actually loving the whole royal wedding vibe.

And how the republicans howled, too. Take Stephen Haseler from the anti-monarchy group, Republic, who stormed on ABC radio: “I think Britain is turning itself into a medieval theme park, really, with fairy kings and fairy queens and princesses…

“It is demeaning, slightly vulgar and Hollywood, basically.”

In the end, even I was in tears – but of laughter – at reading Geoffrey Robertson, the “human rights” barrister and celebrity republican, damn the monarchy as “absurd”, “primitive” and “medieval nonsense” in an Age article, at the bottom of which he pompously noted he was a “Queen’s counsel”. Despising that on which you feed, Geoffrey?

See, “Queen’s counsel” confers a dignity and authority to a barrister that helps him to extract thousands of dollars a day in fees from awed clients.

But just as the royal family’s imprimatur helps out a poor barrister like Robertson QC, adding the wig of borrowed wisdom to his blow-waved locks, so does it give a venerable varnish to much that is of far more import.

Take the royal wedding, and note especially how it did what no republican wedding could. Marvellous things. Useful things, and civilising.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

TonyfromOz adds…..

This carriage here that the newlyweds were in for the return ride after the ceremony was constructed in 1902, and has only recently been restored. The carriage used by HRH The Queen and Prince Phillip for their return ride, The Scottish Carriage as it is named, was constructed in 1830.

Of course, at its heart this was still “just” a wedding between two people in love, as intimate a ceremony as you could expect with two billion bug-eyed strangers watching on TV.

Most of the 1900 crammed into Westminster Abbey were in fact family and friends. The music was personally chosen by the couple and Prince Charles, who rather prides himself on his taste and was tactfully allowed by his son to help pick.

The address at the service was given by a friend of William’s family. The bridesmaids and page boys were all young relatives, along with two godchildren and the son of William’s private secretary.

All right, so the scale was lavish and the titles grand, but this ceremony was indeed William and Catherine’s. In that way it was intimate, and with heart.

True, all these elements, if not the proportions, you could find in any wedding, but then came the rest of the show. The bits that only a royal can do.

Also in the abbey were kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers and ambassadors from scores of countries – people who’d have sold their grandmothers for the buzz of being part of the most-watched and possibly grandest wedding in history.

Naturally, none would admit they were there for the squiz, the party and the boasting rights, for these are serious people. As Julia Gillard, a stern republican, said, it was their duty to go. Royalty called, as no republican can.

For Britain this is diplomatic gold. Yet even then, it was a fraction of the good done by this wedding.

Better still was the honour paid to Britain’s institutions and values—the holding up to the mob of virtues glittering with the magnificence of the setting and hallowed by the glad attention of countless millions.

The princes of the churches, more used to being lambasted in the media, were this time seen in full state glory, as were the military in the ceremonial uniforms that Britain does best.

William himself was in the splendidly red tunic of the Irish Guards, brother Harry in a Household Cavalry uniform, and their father in an admiral’s rig.

Here were the churches and the military, along with the statesmen and the dignitaries from an admiring world, gathered at the most brilliant celebration of a family which serves as the living symbol of a nation.

And all of them, in their historic uniforms and in the ancient building in which they stood, also reminded those watching they represented not just the whim of the giddy hour, but the sanction of the past. Of tradition.

But civil society was there, too. William had added to the guest list people from charities he wanted to have honoured. There were people who worked with dying children, with the homeless, with wounded soldiers, and with students from battling families.

No wedding in the Republic of Australia could so represent the marriage of all the institutions of the state, and make grand so many of the good and civic-minded.

Sure, we have our Anzac Day and our Australia Day, which do help unite us.

But where is the celebration that reminds us not just of the unity of the nation, but of the great institutions that keep it whole, safe and strong? Where is the celebration that impresses even the slack-jawed with what they’d otherwise resent or never know?

Last night’s wedding showed how triumphantly a monarchy can do these crucial things – presenting institutions in human form, more capable of exciting affection and loyalty.

No wonder republicans cried.

UPDATE

The man has style:

PRINCE William delighted crowds of stunned well-wishers in central London last night when he took his new bride Kate for a spin in an Aston Martin with the number plate JU5T WED on the back.

UPDATE 2

And the other side of this most impressive man – the prayer he and his bride wrote and which the Bishop of London read out during their wedding service:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

Read more excellent articles from Andrew Bolt’s Blog . http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/

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