Last weekend: Kyria kept pestering me all Friday morning to switch on the TV so she could watch the royal wedding. Eventually, a couple of hours before it was due to start, I did; she and Natasha sat rapt in front of the screen.
Come 2.00, I decided to watch too. It’s a mystery to me why the Windsors have such a grip on at least certain sectors of Britain, but it was clearly a big national event, and thirty years since the last one. That time I had just spent 96 hours straight awake in New York City, except for a four-hour nap on the floor of some loft in the Bowery; then I had flown back from JFK to Heathrow, with a short nap on the plane, arriving after dark and hitch-hiking through the night to Yorkshire; stayed awake the whole of the wedding eve, and gone to a bonfire party on Otley Chevin in the evening; then crashed out seriously, and slept through the whole thing. It could easily be another thirty till the next, and I might not even be around then! So this time, I figured the experience of watching a royal wedding, for whatever reason, was probably worth an hour out of a life.
Ian, who had been up since the middle of the night with his computer games, fell asleep. Allison and I sat wisecracking, which vexed Kyria a great deal; she kept telling us in an irate tone to be quiet. I guess we were breaking her spell. When you are a princess-in-training, these things are terribly serious…
So, it was a curiosity: the spectacle of two young people grimacing nervously through an intimate ritual played out on TV for 2 billion people. In the face of that, such details as whether they love each other etc. seemed totally irrelevant; it’s crowd satisfaction that counts. I should think they scored pretty highly on that – it was a well-put together circus – but I have to say I preferred this version, which was apparently an ad for some mobile phone company: