I watched a British documentary on Kate Middleton and Prince William. It showed, quite humorously at times, the massive difference in family cultures. A middle-class young woman with values which seemed more geared to the right to have your own life and the importance of respecting one’s fellow human, marrying into a Royal family with values which seem centered on rigid manners, inflexible rules, maintaining the appearance of respect – and the individual being utterly sacrificed it all.
The Royal family has such a mystique about it, they barely seem human. They definitely seem above the normal man in the street. They aren’t really, though. They have to brush their teeth and go to the toilet, wear deodorant just like the rest of us. If they don’t [respectively] their breath will smell and their teeth will rot; they’ll have an accident; and they won’t be able to lift up their arms. When they die whatever happens to the rest of us will happen to them as well.
You’d never think it while they’re alive, though, such is the attractiveness of the fairytale dream and power of PR – which in this case has been building for hundreds of years. The British Royal family has more media attention than any person or organization in the world. If I think of meeting Queen Elizabeth II, much as I’d like to imagine myself being poised and charming, I don’t at all doubt that in reality I’d be intimidated.
Have to work on that. The more I look at earthly success, in any field, not just royalty, the more convinced I am that it’s about a kind of general need amongst all of us to create gods and goddesses who we can believe are above the banal, the mediocre, the gritty challenges of day to day life that are time and energy consuming. We want to believe that people whose dreams have come true in some way have escaped what it is to be mortal. So if ours come true we’ll escape it too.
Watching Kate Middleton, I loved her air of determination, the way she carries herself, the resources at her disposal now. The grandeur, the costumes, the history and the general aura of mystique is paradise for my imagination. It does sound like a fairytale, a dream come true. If I was in her shoes I’d also do everything in my power to hold onto it.
By contrast, my life is horribly pedestrian. I rent a room in somebody else’s house, my mattress is propped up on old books and miscellaneous bricks, I have few clothes and seriously, my shoes have holes in them. My achievements so far are utterly non-material, I have very little to show the world. I’m dead serious about my dreams though, and they’re a combination of creating something worthwhile that people can relate to and I can be proud of, and let’s face it, developing that PR, getting material reward. I want beautiful clothes, gorgeous shoes, Armani Mania perfume. A car. All those superficial material things. I want them.
Fortunately for me marrying into the British Royal family isn’t one of my dreams. I’ll leave that to Kate. I wonder what the fairy tale life is like when you’re in it. Do you stare out from what are actually prison walls at the simpler life of people like me and wish you could have my personal freedom, my anonymity? Well, I’m willing to give it shot. I’d prefer to achieve my dreams and then realize they don’t bring me as much fulfillment as I thought they would, than to try and convince myself that I wouldn’t really be losing out on anything if they didn’t come true. Whatever the price, I’m willing to take the risk.