A royal wedding gift? I’ll be sitting this one out
The big day is approaching, and Iím so thrilled for the royal couple that Iíve decided to offer them the ultimate wedding present: my sincerest and most respectful neglect.
Iíve been a journalist long enough to know that ó well, letís just say that weíre not the most popular profession out there. And God knows that Prince Harry has more reason than other people to despise us, which, by all accounts, he does, wholeheartedly. I wish I could dissociate myself completely from those bottom-feeding paparazzi who hounded his poor mother to her death, but Iím afraid that the general public donít usually make such distinctions. And really, why should we expect them to?
Meghan Markle seems like a lovely woman ó but of course she, too, is now getting the 21st-century royal treatment, as the press descends on her unsuspecting family, who are obviously ill-equipped to deal with the maelstrom of public attention. (What normal American middle-class family wouldnít be?)
And look, I know the happy couple donít care one way or the other, so whatever I do is going to have an entirely symbolic impact. But itís the thought that counts, right?
So here we go. Meghan, Harry: I couldnít care less. There. Youíre welcome.
We already live in the most media-drenched era in human history. Even schlubs can go from obscurity to trending news story in a matter of seconds. So just imagine what itís like to be a British royal ó and royal-to-be. The wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981 was the most covered event of its day, but it will pale in comparison with this one. Weíre about to experience megatons of Markle Sparkle. Meghan is the face that launched a billion tweets. (Actually, when all is said and done, ďbillionĒ wonít even cover it.)
Meghan and Harry have convinced me ó thanks to what Iíve read in the papers and seen on TV ó that theyíre both fine, upright people, and that they deserve every happiness together. What more could I, as a low-ranking reporter, possibly add to that?
The last thing this couple need is more exposure. What they really could use is a bit of judicious peace and quiet ó benign neglect, if you will. So I would like to offer them the ultimate gift: this is the first and last time I will ever write about them. After that, the balm of silence. I shall abstain.
Iím sure thereís going to be a lot to be thrilled about: the carriage, the guests, the dress, the economic impact. I donít begrudge anyone any of it ó least of all the little girls in southeast London who will watch Meghan at the altar and see someone who looks like them. God bless them all.
Iím sure it will be great fun for those who are into it. So let everyone else make their gigantic, global fuss. Let the blue-haired ladies from my home town in Texas crowd the barriers along the parade route. Let the artistophiles in Borneo and Bolivia swoon before their TV screens. Let the souvenir hunters stock up on the commemorative plates and the bobbleheads and the special editions.
I will not be in the audience, physical or virtually. Iím going to spend Saturday morning hiking with my kids, and then Iím going to come home and fire up the grill. Maybe, if Iím feeling up to it, Iíll mow the lawn. And at some point, sitting out on the deck, I might even pick up the paper for a bit. If I do, Iíll be sure to stick to my vow and conscientiously skip over any coverage of the nuptials.
Itís the least I can do.
ē Christian Caryl is an editor with The Washington Postís Opinions section
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