Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Set them free

This morning on NPR, I listened to some old plummy-accented fart who was once a lady-in-waiting to the Queen give instructions on how women should curtsy to any member of the Royal family. Apparently, the segment was due to the impending visit of the French President and same old fart was in a state of high anticipation as to whether the new President's wife would curtsy or not and, if she did, how it would be effected.

I stopped listening to the mechanics of the maneuver when she got to 'Ladies should place their legs apart...chin up...

Men, apparently, must bow in a way that the chin almost touches the chest.

The only thing she did say that made sense was her aside that the Americans no longer curtsy to members of the Royal family.


Why the hell should anyone, even the Brits, curtsy? Isn't it enough that they and the person being introduced shake hands.

I watched Barbara Walters' program on ABC the other night about the Royal family, a so-called reality type show of them at play and work, and the only mildly funny bit was a scene showing the Queen at Windsor Castle leaning over the stair banister in her evening gown to try and see how her husband was dealing with a crisis in getting the head of some African nation into the dining room before she made her appearance.

I have no dislike for any members of the Royal family.They were born into the institution of the Monarchy and they effect their duties no matter how irrelevant in a modern democracy with aplomb and dedication. But that does not mean one can despise the Monarchy and demand its abolishment. It really is time this family was relieved of its arcane duties. The Queen performs no purpose that can't be executed by elected representatives. That way Harry and William can also serve in the British Army in any position they so desire, and I'm convinced they'd be relieved because they are smart and I feel see how silly the whole warped and bloated institution has become. The very fact they speak with 'normal' accents--a deliberate decision on their part--and not with the contorted enunciation of The Queen or Prince Charles might support my conclusion here as they are trying to fit in as much as they're allowed..

Quaint just doesn't cut it anymore.

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