17 November 2010
The blanket coverage of Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton has, almost forcibly, prompted memories of his parents' wedding in 1981. The decision to give that iconic engagement ring to the future Queen Kate has, of course, jogged the memory even more.
I was eight years old when Charles and Diana got married. I remember, weirdly, more about the courtship (that teeth-chatteringly awkward interview, the commemorative crap we tried to make at school, a song that featured the line "Diana's gonna marry our Charlie boy") than I do the actual wedding - probably because come the day itself it was a sunny afternoon in East Yorkshire and the inhabitants of Lambert Park Road aged 13 and under were all on the street, playing.
When William started nursery school, some tossy hack wrote a piece for a tabloid offering opinions on who this four year old (that's *four* year old) should marry. Top of the list was Fifi Trixibelle Geldof. That worked out well, then.
The announcement yesterday has, as usual, brought out the mixture of soppy gag-tellers and whining cynics. Someone I know well used the word "parasite" when describing the princess-in-waiting - charming - while others have, not unreasonably, expressed concern about the cost of the wedding to the taxpayer during times of cuts.
The answer, for me, is simple. Get her dad to follow tradition and pay for it. He is a self-made millionaire and so he can afford it; he will regard it as his duty, irrespective of the groom's stock; and, most notably, he has the chance to be seen as a national hero for doing so. If he offered I'm almost certain the state would decline, so instead of offering he should insist - and he should get his daughter and future son-in-law to back him up.