As Prince William prepares to take Kate Middleton as his first wife (insert sarcasm here), the English people, as well as their cousins across the pond, are going gaga over the impending nuptials. American news outlets are flooded with stories about the marriage, covering everything from bachelor party rumors to details about Kate’s secret wedding gown.
Choking on the torrential barrage of media coverage surrounding these spoiled rich kids I struggle to understand how the people of Great Britain could go along with paying for this nonsense. In a country as engulfed by recession as America has been over the last few years, the English citizens should be enraged that their tax money is going to pay for such a lavish waste, particularly at a time when unemployment in that nation hovers just below an all-time high.
At the end of March 2011, the jobless rate in the United Kingdom stood at 7.9-percent, up only a small margin from record numbers recorded last September. Though there is a tight lid on exactly how much the royal wedding will cost the taxpayers, latest estimates put the figure at 50 million pounds, or around 81 million dollars. Other estimates report the cost to be much higher, closer to 100 million pounds.
Americans are frequently infuriated by congressional overspending, or the expenses of the White House for state dinners and the like. Imagine, however, if each of us were required to help pay for Sasha Obama’s prom dress or Malia’s Ivy League education? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d make sure they heard about it at the voting booth – to say nothing about this column.
Money is hard to come by these days both here and abroad, a problem to which the royal family is oblivious. How could they possibly understand the plight of what they call commoners? They have never had to work or earn a penny of what they get.
Each member of this over-privileged family is given an extravagant lifestyle on the backs of their subjects, for no other reason than that they were born into it. Even sending the young princes off to military service is little more than a pointless publicity stunt to quell the naysayers.
Monarchies had their day once but it’s time they were left in storybooks. My ancestors here in the Colonies took great losses to kick them out of this country some two and a half centuries ago. No longer can the world’s citizens afford to hold on high some useless individual who has the nerve to think that half-millennia of inbreeding makes them better than those over whom they rule.
The very idea of royalty is utter nonsense in the first place. Royal families came to power by war, murder and force. Their pure, blue blood is tainted with death and pain. And, while the centuries have left the British monarchy pretty much impotent, one of their few remaining powers is the ability to hoard and squander the money of the people.
Strip away their excessive and ornate exteriors and they are just ordinary human beings, frail and useless if dropped into the daily lives of the working person. Skilled at nothing but the etiquette of shameless artificial humility and inflated pomp and circumstance, the royal family should be required to live by a more modest standard. The same could be said of the self-appointed elite of this country as well.
As was apparent with Princess Diana through her tireless charitable efforts, much good can be done from such a seat of influence and power. We can only hope that her offspring will have as good a heart and as perceptive an understanding of the struggles of those who looked up to her.
If the monarchy’s staggering fiscal waste is not scaled back over the years, the citizens will be the ones who will have to take action. Change starts with just a few, determined citizens. Perhaps it is time for Robin Hood to make an appearance once more – in both nations. Something has to be done for the British people, as here in America , because in this day and age, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting left behind.
Columnist Gery L. Deer is a freelance business writer based in Jamestown , Ohio . More at www.gerydeer.com