I read so many crappy columns written by women about why they wanted to watch the royal wedding, despite being feminists in favour of a republic. I read things like “All girls secretly love weddings!” “All girls secretly love romance!” “All girls secretly want to be princesses!”. Well, it turns out I must be a big ol’ man – one of those unfortunate ones born with their junk on the inside – because I don’t secretly love any of that.
Sure, I look at a lot of wedding photos, but that’s only because it’s so satisfying to see what my high school enemies are up to. Quite often their weddings involve XXXX Gold, a cavalcade of Holden Commodores and a child who does not have the same skin colour as its father. I don’t particularly enjoy romance. Look up the phrase “dead inside” in the dictionary and you’ll find a picture of me. Frowning. And I could never be a princess because I think they gave the title Duchess of Potato Bake to Fergie.
So here’s where it gets real. Some people love heroin, others like to binge drink, but my dangerous and unpopular vice is a love of all things royal family. And, as I’m sure Prince Harry would say, if you don’t like it you can suck it.
To change gears here a little, I think my fascination comes from my beloved paternal grandmother, Corelly. I cannot describe how cool my grandparents’ house was to visit as a little kid. There was an orchard to run around in; a silver bowl filled with sugar cubes to suck on while hiding from adults behind a couch; tins of home-cooked treats; honey on toast cut into soliders every morning; a freezer full of choc-coated ice creams; rooms with spacemen and soldier wallpaper; a cupboard full of old, weird books and a vintage telephone; a ride-on lawnmower; a ping pong table; a sheepskin rug to tiptoe on; a dresser full of beads and costume jewellery; a cappuccino maker used to make cups of froth; a giant organ to learn Beatles songs on; a long hallway to run up and down and a scary staircase to lock your siblings/cousins in. When I was old enough to read, I started spending a lot of time flipping through my grandmother’s stash of Woman’s Day, New Idea and Women’s Weekly. Nan totally loved the royal family and it was something I felt I could bond with her over as a primary school girl. Princess Diana died on the day of my confirmation and I remember hearing the news on the radio as I drove home with Dad, feeling strongly for the first time like I was living in a historic day. On the day of her funeral, I was sleeping over at a friends’ house and her mum made us sit and watch while she cried on the couch. Around the same time, Mum and I would spend Sundays watching a dramatic series about Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson as we snacked on salty chick peas. As I got older, my interest in the royal family was also an easy way to learn about different periods of history. My fascination with King George III and his mysterious purple wee informed my knowledge of the Georgian era (and wee!). Edward and dirty old Mrs Simpson helped me get interested in learning about the lead-up to World War II. One of my favourite books is The Royal Book of Lists, which is a collection of trivia about which kings died of syphilis (King Henry VIII and King Edward VI) and which royals were related (all of them).
So it was only natural that I wanted to watch the royal wedding, despite being a bit of a femmo and a republican (as in, the go-away-royal-family kind). There was little to no cooing over the dress, the kiss or the fact that she was becoming a princess. No indeed, I was dressed as King Edward VIII, got totally sloshed on Pimm’s and made a lot of royal dick jokes. And as Prince Charles would say: “Oh God, I’ll just live inside your trousers or something”.