Monday, October 03, 2005

My Favourite Royal

Ever since Diana's death I've felt a void inside of me, which no other royal can fill. Unlike other royals, stories about her on the news, in magazines, or on the Internet, used to stop me dead in my tracks. If there were a new book on her I would shove the elderly or small children out of the way to get to it. I can't say that anymore and it's disappoints me.

The royals are no longer completely interesting to me, no longer glamorous. To get my Diana fix I've had to settle for revelations by James Hewitt, or the outright money grubbing by Paul Burrell. Has it come to this? Am I really so desperate? I laugh and scoff like the rest of you, but deep down inside I pay attention. Of course I have my standards, I don't buy tabloids; the headlines teased me for too long and it finally broke my heart when I realized none of them were true.

It would be an understatement to say I have an interest in royalty. I stayed up all night to watch the wedding of Andrew and Fergie, and I bought every newspaper and magazine I could find after Diana's death. When the Queen dies, I've warned my husband that no matter what time of day it is or where we are I will go out, once again, and buy every publication. I admit I didn't do this when the Queen Mother or Princess Margaret died, and I probably wouldn't go out of my way for Prince Charles, but I would do it for the Queen.

I guess if I were asked who my favourite royal is now, I would have to say its Camilla. Strange isn't it? The void filled by Diana's nemesis. Is there irony in that? Camilla is interesting in a way that Charles and William's bald spots, or the question of Harry's paternity isn't. Now that she's in the fold, I find myself longing to know more about her. Should a sanctioned book come out I would probably let the infirm pass by before I grabbed it. I might even wait until it comes out on paperback.

Now that Charles and Camilla are married there's no longer the promise of something interesting and I find myself looking to older books. Books which freeze frame the blossoming Princess Elizabeth as she came of age, her wedding to Prince Philip, and the Coronation which heralded a new Elizabethan age. Was there anyone more dashing than Prince Philip as a young man? Anyone lovelier than the 26-year-old Queen? 60 years on their devotion to one another is still going strong.

Princesses Mary of Denmark, Mette-Marit of Norway, Maxima of the Netherlands, Mathilde of Belgium, and Letizia of Spain assure me that glamour exists. But all hope is not lost with the British; there's Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton. I genuinely find myself pulling for her, hoping that she can tough out the publicity to become the next royal bride. She will never replace Diana but she’ll look good trying.

So should William and Kate become engaged, or the Queen dies get out of the way or I'll run over you.

© Marilyn Braun

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