Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Catherine Cambridge: Saving the monarchy one pretty dress at a time

During previous royal tours I've tried to be more active when it comes to blogging. With William and Catherine's New Zealand and Australian tour, I'm having a hard time rousing myself to write anything about it. What is there really to say other than to write about Catherine's wardrobe and Prince George's cuteness? To be quite honest, it's boring.

Not to say that I haven't been paying attention. Like anyone else, I'm curious about Prince George, how big he has grown. My initial interest in royalty started with the birth of his father, Prince William, so I would be rather remiss to ignore George now, wouldn't I?

So, why am I writing about this tour now?

Media coverage of the royal tour has bordered on the ridiculous. Royal Commentators falling all over themselves to make it sound like William, Catherine and George walk on water. Claims by smug monarchists about how they have reduced the Republican movement to ashes by their very presence. To be quite honest it makes me angry.

A lot of the success of the tour has been attributed to Catherine, how she has charmed people and what she wears. There is no denying that Catherine has done a great job. William, normalcy craving royal is comfortable in his supporting role. Then there's George. Adorable? Yes and you would have to have ice-water in your veins to criticize him. To see the family actually at work is wonderful and long overdue. Judging by how much they enjoyed their speedboat races, wine tasting and trips to the zoo, they seem to be enjoying this grueling tour immensely. So many great photo-opportunities, it's enough to blind anyone on the fence.

Having said all of that, I'm tired of reading the cavity inducing coverage. Watching how the media can bend over backwards to make the most mundane moments sound remarkable. I'm tired of reading about how much Catherine and George's clothes cost and how fast they sell out.  Crowd turnout is obviously great but how many crowd members are ardent monarchists or are just showing up out of curiosity to get selfies? Clothes selling out and crowd size seems to be rather flimsy evidence that the republican movement has been set back. If anything it I see it as evidence of how weak the pro-monarchy arguments are when it is so dependent on Catherine's clothes and how cute George is at the moment.

The real argument about the future of the monarchy can be found in what happens when the family returns to the UK. Will they maintain the momentum and dive into supporting the monarchy? Or will they disappear on their third vacation of the year, wearing a new dress at the occasional engagement to muffle the noise of the critics?

Old habits die hard and that doesn't bode well for the future of the monarchy.

© Marilyn Braun 2014

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