So there’s some kind of wedding or something happening tomorrow. I think.
Actually a friend and I sat down the other week with the Daily Telegraph’s 50-question how well do you know William and Kate quiz the other weekend saying surely we don’t know that much. Somewhat to our horror, we scored approximately 80 per cent. You just can’t escape it, the coverage has been all-pervasive from the horses’ ages to the rogue uncle.
But one aspect of The Wedding coverage, particularly in Australian media, that I don’t agree with is the argument that if you’re interested in the event then you must be a monarchist. I just don’t see that as a corollary. And for me, it’s a personal affront — I consider myself a republican and would love to have an Australian head of state (since that’s basically the role the Governor-General fills anyway, apart from when the monarchy decides to take an interest in our public broadcaster) yet I’m interested in The Wedding and I’ve made plans with friends to watch it together. And I’ve got many friends who are in the same situation.
A wedding is a wedding, whether it’s for my best friend from primary school (whose wedding I went to the other week) or for a couple of lovebirds on a soap opera or for a prince and his beautiful girlfriend. Many people will always be interested in a wedding regardless of their political bent.
For instance, at the aforementioned primary school friend’s nuptials, on my table was a guy from the friend’s high school and his boyfriend. Now, I did not ask them about their thoughts on same sex marriage (I’m aware that not all LGBT people think it’s all fantastic) but consider this: In the marriage ceremony, conducted by a Catholic priest, it was stated as required by law that marriage is a bond between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. Does the gay couple’s attendance at the wedding mean they endorsed this sentiment and make them anti-same sex marriage? Probably not — they were just there to celebrate the wedding of a good friend and her chosen partner. So why should watching the wedding of an English man, who happens to be a member of royalty, and his chosen partner mean that I endorse the monarchy?
I will watch The Wedding tomorrow. I might even wear a tiara. And if the republic question ever manages to make it to a referendum again, I will consider the arguments of both sides, apply my own personal bias on the matter, and vote. And I’m certain that my having watched a transmission of a wedding on the other side of the world some time earlier will not have any sway in that process at all.