Question asked by @kariebookish.
History One of my favourite enclaves on-line, at least the most unusual, is the British Monarchy’s flickr feed. You may have seen examples posted on the blog, of princes and princesses pointing at food, of the Queen meeting actors. It’s a constantly updated visual record of the royal family at charity events, film premieres, factory visits and opening supermarkets. I look on with a sense of bemusement as what amounts the living embodiment of British history out in the world, greeting their subjects in 2011 like anachronistic time travellers, as contextually post-modern as seeing Wren’s churches overshadowed by the contemporary architecture that surrounds them.
If I’m a monarchist, it’s because of that. It’s because maintaining our royal family as is, with all its pomp and ceremony, its trials and tribulations, even its foibles, is as important as preserving and repairing the palaces they live in, the churches in which worship and the castles their ancestors once utilised to defend our land (with the help of several thousand commoners). Which is why I’m so excited about royal weddings and spend the day in front of the television absorbing every moment, the dress, the vows, the kiss, the honeymoon drive. Like every other hatch, match and dispatch at some point in the future, even after we’re gone, assuming the sun’s not burnt us to a crisp, books will be written, films made about their legacy.
The wedding in April was a near perfect expression of that. A couple so clearly in love and so nervous they didn’t know what to do with their hands during the ceremony. Their brother and sister openly flirting with one another suggesting another marriage might be in the offering soon (though it looks like Pippa has other plans). The rest of the family calcified in that way that royals tend to be, just now and allowing the poignancy of the proceedings to break through in a grin or glint in the eye. Westminster Abbey, itself a storage device for so much of our history, data accessible by William and Kate should they need it, about failed marriages, poor reigns and the emotional wreckage of the past.
They’ve appeared in the flickr feed now too, but don’t yet have the curiosity factor when seen with members of the public and private sector, partly because they themselves are attempting to have something of a life outside the normal run of royalty, shopping in supermarkets and saving swimmers from certain death. They’re new builds, but as the world moves on, they too will need sustaining, but not yet, there’s plenty more charity events, film premieres, factory visits and supermarkets openings to come. And hopefully, even if the commonwealth crumbles, we’ll still have the will as a people to want them to continue in their present form so that our children can watch their children marry too.