Can We All Stop Pretending to Care About the Royal Wedding, Please?
It is my strongly educated guess that you don’t give a stuff about the impending royal wedding. And that’s not because you’re a secret republican, or because you’ve harboured a deep-seated and objectively creepy thing for Meghan Markle since you first saw her playing a cagefighter in a failed Knight Rider reboot a decade ago.
No, you don’t care about the royal wedding because it's a wedding. And, as you will all be aware by now, all weddings are terrible. Let’s just quickly break this down into three parts.
IF IT IS SOMEONE ELSE’S WEDDING
Obviously it’s going to be terrible. For starters, it’s going to be expensive. Going to a wedding means buying a present. And, since you’ve let yourself go a little bit lately, it also means buying a new outfit that doesn’t gape open like a septic wound. And the couple have decided to get married in the literal middle of nowhere, so you have to pay for travel and accommodation too. You’ve already spent a ton of money. And for what? To sit slightly out of earshot during the ceremony? To make dismal, creaking smalltalk with an absolute stranger over a bowl of tomato soup that tastes like it came out of a hosepipe? To reluctantly dance to the 1998 Kung Fu Fighting remix? No. Other people’s weddings are the worst.
IF IT IS YOUR OWN WEDDING
Actually, no, I take that back. If you bristle at the expense of attending someone else’s wedding, then by god you’re going to hate your own. There is an entire industry dedicated to prising every last penny out of engaged couples, and it is terrible. It exists to make you feel bad about not wanting to spend £600 on seat covers for the reception. It exists to destroy your self-esteem because you can’t see the point of having a novelty photo booth next to the cloakroom. It exists to make you calculate exactly how much money each of your guests is costing you, which in turn makes you resent them. And then one of your wife’s friends will get drunk and accidentally injure one of your friends, and that’ll be all you ever bloody hear about for the rest of your life.
IF IT IS THE WEDDING OF TWO PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW, AND YOU HAVEN’T BEEN INVITED, BUT SOMEHOW YOU’RE STILL EXPECTED TO ROUSE SOME SORT OF EXCITEMENT ABOUT IT ANYWAY
Fine, I take it back. This is the worst sort of wedding.
Because when you physically go to a wedding, at least you get to catch up with friends. And when it’s your wedding, at least you end up married to someone you love. But when it’s a royal wedding—specifically a royal wedding in 2018—you get nothing out of it at all. Not a scrap. You get to helplessly stand by as all the shows you normally watch hungover on a Saturday morning are gracelessly swept aside in favour of hours and hours of grimly reverent television coverage. You get to hear about an utterly intangible boost to the public morale, which doesn’t count anyway because the only people who are pleased by any of this are ham-faced royalist Brexit voters. You get to watch young, fun actress Meghan Markle ossify in real time into a withered establishment figure sapped of all spontaneity and vivaciousness.
And you don’t even get a holiday out of it.
Yes, this is what has really annoyed me about the royal wedding. Nobody gets any time off work. Isn’t that the whole point? Isn’t that the deal we struck with the royal family a decade ago? You can have all your weddings and flotillas and punishing Radio One Roadshow pop concerts that all uniformly end with Paul McCartney singing an extended version of "Hey Jude" that doesn’t stop until he’s grown a full beard. But we have to get a day off for it. We’re happy to watch the Queen sit through an event pulling a face like she’s just been told a tin of paint has exploded in her car, but only if she goes out of her way to give us all a bank holiday first. But that hasn’t happened here, has it? No, we’ve all got to toil on as normal. This is the worst wedding ever. And I bet they haven’t even got a photo booth.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.