Our questionable obsession with royalty
You may have seen it on Twitter — the #UnpopularOpinion meme.
“The bassoon is underrated,” for example. Or “Foo Fighters – Everlong is better than any Nirvana song ever recorded.” Or “Tony Stark is overrated.” Or “People overuse and abuse coffee and when they don't have it, they use it as an excuse to be unnecessarily rude.” Or, most abhorrently, “Flat sheets are an unnecessary step that should not exist when it comes to making a bed.”
Well, you get the point.
Earlier this week, the nation let out a collective squeal of delight at the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their first child next spring. Kensington Palace announced Monday on Royal Twitter, “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.”
Now, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I couldn’t be less interested. It would be difficult for me to muster less interest about the Quidditch World Cup — yes, that’s a real thing, apparently — or the Greater Montpelier Tiddlywinks Convention, which I believe I just made up.
I don’t know if there is a culture shift occurring or not. But over the weekend, there was apparently another royal wedding. Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, who is ninth in line to the British throne, married a guy named Jack Brooksbank. And, in stark contrast to last May’s wedding between Harry and Meghan, at least 84 percent of Britons told the BBC they would “probably” or “definitely” not be tuning in.
I mean, to some degree, I get it. Occasionally — royalty aside — once every generation or two, a captivating figure comes along who just happens to be royalty. With Princess Diana, I got it. She was a compelling figure on the world stage, almost despite of being a royal. (And her ultimate separation from the royal family did nothing to lessen her intrigue, in my opinion.)
I can see why Meghan Markle is similarly captivating. As noted by The New York Times, “she brought elements to the royal family that would have been unthinkable not so long ago: She is American, a former actress, biracial, divorced and a self-described feminist.” Those things certainly set her apart from what we generally associate with Buckingham Palace. And, assuming she will at some point delve into philanthropic endeavors, there is a wealth of untapped potential to become an even more compelling figure. (As for Harry, I remain unconvinced.)
But, the typical giggles and blushing that we see around royal weddings and which we witnessed when William and Kate welcomed their first child, Prince George — I just don’t get it. Perhaps it’s as simple as the childhood allure of fairytales, Disney princesses and Prince Charming. Or maybe it’s more deeply rooted in our psyche.
Whatever the case may be, I’m not buying into it — even if that’s an #UnpopularOpinion.
— Originally Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News, 10/18/18