Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Right Royal Fuss

Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel. ~Benjamin Disraeli

I must begin by confessing that the fact that another member of the British Royal Family is getting married is of no particular import to me. In fact, if I had been asked, I wouldn't be able to tell you a) which royal was getting married, and b)whom he/she was marrying. However, my attention has been captured by one Rt Rev Pete Broadbent, the Bishop of Willesden. As reported in The Register, Rev. Broadbent has no use whatsoever for royal marriages or, for that matter, royals in general.

He refers to the whole affair as "nauseating tosh", which doesn't sound good. He criticizes the entire royalty concept, announcing that he is a "Repbulican." This is not a declaration of which political party he belongs to; he favors a republican form of government, not a monarchy.

He offers various other comments, but the one that probably got him into more trouble than any other was a beaut. Quoth the Rt Rev Broadbent: "I managed to avoid the last disaster in slow motion between Big Ears and the Porcelain Doll, and I hope to avoid this one, too."

Is Rush Limbaugh looking for writers?: I think this gentleman has possibilities.

Of course, the Right Reverend made this pronouncement on his Facebook page, ironically only a day or two after it was announced that the Royal Family now had a Facebook page. Presumably, the Windsors and Rev. Broadbent aren't friending one another (or whatever it is Facebook people do; I don't go there, so I wouldn't know for sure).

Well, needless to say, there was consternation galore, particularly in the Church of England. Rev. Broadbent's superior, the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres was especially annoyed. By the way, are there any Left Reverends?

Sorry about that. Anyway, Rev. Broadbent prostrated himself before the press, apologizing profusely. Rev Chartres was not sufficiently mollified and suspended Rev. Broadbent immediately. Perhaps the Bishop of London's morification was somewhat intensified by the fact that he is in line to preside over the nuptials.

The irony is that the Royals have the target of the British tabloid press for years. Old Big Ears has been targeted on many occasions thanks to the fiasco that was his first marriage and his subsequent second marriage, which I presume is the Porcelain Doll reference. I should note the Porcelain Doll is probably his first wife, since, as I recall, Charles' second wedding was a low key affair. Also, I would assume that his current wife would have earned a sobriquet of Horse Face.

Okay, that was nasty, but the whole thing is ridiculous.

The Royal Family is the most blatant example of rich people welfare left in the world. They cost the taxpayers a pile of money and tend to be an embarrassment to the country as a whole. Sure, the Queen has managed to retain a certain dignity despite her family's behavior, and I'm sure she is still well-regarded. She does, after all, harken back to a more elegant time, when the sun never set on the Empire.

Well, the sun has set, and it's time to move on.

On one score, Rev. Broadbent should be very glad it's the twenty-first century and the Windsor family in charge and not, say, the Tudors. Had he published statements like these during the reign of Elizabeth I, he wouldn't have had time to apologize. He'd be in the Tower of London. The only "suspension" he'd get would be to be dangling from chains in a very cold cell.

Then there's that whole chopping block thing that would be waiting for him. Doing in members of the clergy was not an unusual act back then.

On the other hand, without Facebook, perhaps he'd have been smart enough to keep his opinions to himself.

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