Royal wedding 2

By John Leung Chung-Yin

After a 35-year affair which resulted in two broken marriages, Prince Charles and Mrs. Camilla Parker-Bowles have finally tied the knot, leaving a legacy of broken promises and hearts on their path together to the altar. Mrs. Parker-Bowles has entered the House of Windsor, but she has yet to win any new admirers amongst her new “subjects,” the British (and to a lesser degree, the Commonwealth) people, and perhaps, never will.

The wedding itself has been fraught with obstacles both legal and logistical, and has been received with a rather ambivalent mood from around the world. Perhaps many world leaders did not choose to attend the wedding due to Pope John Paul II’s funeral in Rome but it is the marked difference in reception between Charles’ first wedding to Diana Spencer that is the point: gifts were showered upon the Prince and Princess of Wales by all. But what is Canada’s gift to the couple this time around? A measly park bench.

It is not only the world that has been irresolute to this wedding: the British people themselves are also rather ambivalent. At a newsstand in London the day after the marriage, a reporter from Global Sunday was able to find piles amongst piles of unsold commemorative issues, and even the vendor herself had not bothered to even glance at the paper. The notoriously nosey British media seemed more subdued, merely dishing out a few snipes about the best- and worst-dressed, and even the expected gate-crashers were strangely absent. It is perhaps a testament to the dubiety the world has showed this wedding.

But why do people not care? Perhaps it is the way that Mrs. Parker Bowles has made it to the altar with the Prince of Wales. As Princess Diana once said in an interview, “there were three of us in the marriage.” It is clear that Mrs. Parker Bowles was not welcome, yet she made herself right at home. While some conspiracy theorists may attribute Diana’s death to Camilla’s muscling into her marriage, it has definitely contributed to the new Duchess of Cornwall’s immense unpopularity: she has replaced a princess deeply loved by her subjects and the world abroad, and yet she seems aloof and proud that she is unpopular, and has made no attempts to breach this disconnection.

So do not feel alone if you did not realize that there was a royal wedding last weekend. For all purposes, it was only a blip on the world’s social radar–another glam wedding for a couple who finally have each other and no one else. Successor to the British throne or not, it does not matter. The faster those two disappear, and William takes the British throne, the better. At least a potential controversy would be avoided. But then again, with Charles and Camilla finally together, that next big scandal is probably not far off.


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