Royale with Cheese

So, we have just enjoyed (or endured) a three-day-weekend-ful of Royale with Cheese.  One overly-enthusiastic BBC World Service reporter exclaimed last night that the world (yes, the world) has been “captivated” by the Royal Wedding.  If by captivated she meant held hostage then I would agree.  Nothing like a Royal Wedding to turn news reporting organizations into fawning spinoffs of Entertainment Tonight.

That said, over our morning coffee we partook in an hour or so of the televised festivities.  My favorite moments were the performance of “Stand By Me” by a London gospel choir and the beautiful cello pieces by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, although I felt the song selections were a bit somber for the occasion.

So much had to come together to put on this spectacle.  So many talented people, from florists to choir directors to horse handlers to the printers of the large-print programs, gave their best to make this event a superlative one, worthy of a possibly-future king.

And then, like all wedding celebrations, it ended the day it started.

You know what other famous Brit inspired a lot of talented people to get together for an event featuring outstanding musical performances?  Hint: the year was 1971 and the Brit was a former Beatle, who would be snubbed for knighthood by this same Royal Family.  The Concert for Bangladesh organized and headlined by George Harrison is credited for raising $12 million for Bangladesh relief.  (That would be $45 million in 2018 dollars.)

By contrast, the Royal Wedding was estimated to cost $43 million, most of which was paid for security.  So George Harrison and his generous musical friends outspent the Royals on something that really mattered, and there was no carriage ride for them afterwards, only the satisfaction of having done something important.


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14 Responses to Royale with Cheese

  1. Joanne Wetzl says:

    All that may be so, but it was so refreshing to turn on the tv and not have to watch our inarticulate 45th prez posturing and insulting everyone for the day.

  2. Joanne Wetzl says:

    And now, with a little sleep behind me, I’d like to finish my thoughts.
    I spent some time wondering what it is about royal weddings that captures the imagination and interest of so many people. (Did I hear correctly yesterday that 10 billion people world-wide were watching???)
    In any case, I think the answer is, cheesy or not, “Love and Hope”. The desire and need for love is universal. To see the peak of romanticized love played out on the large screen, in a story-book setting, is uplifting. It gives people hope that at some point, they too will be loved…perhaps not with all the accompanying grandiose fanfare….but with the same intensity of feeling. How refreshing to watch (even for an hour or so) an event that focuses on a heartwarming topic, something that apparently unites so many people worldwide.
    I think much of the fascination this time around is that Harry and Meghan (excuse me, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) are viewed as cool, modern, somewhat relatable royals, with a decidedly humanitarian bent, and an already established agenda of doing good works. Although they will likely remain apolitical, as tradition and good sense dictates, they are advocates for positive change in various arenas of human rights. (I suspect they are walking in the footsteps of Diana, and ironically enough, George Harrison. More on that later.)
    It occurs to me that this $43 million investment, if you will, in high-profile PR, will pay off big-time for so many of the charities they support, including the 7 they publicized for people to donate to in lieu of sending gifts to the royal couple. Not to mention the immediate boost to U.K’s economy in terms of profits for the businesses that peddle in royal knick-knacks (worth billions already), and tourism with all it’s ancillary offshoots. Judging from the world-wide numbers of folks holding “British wedding tea parties”, even being a “Brit-wanna-be” for the day will likely result in some kind of future pay-off.
    Frankly, I think this royal wedding was a brilliant way to kick-start their future life-time together. It focused on their personalities, yes, but also on their good works and personal agendas for change. The PR serves to put a spotlight on issues that many people have up to now ignored.
    And perhaps, like me, the wedding brings an element of hope to a viewing public weary of intimidation, scandal, corruptness, hatefulness, and bigotry, unfortunately dominated by an infantile bully with no vision except for the bottom line of his ledger.

    • Rick Rogovin says:

      Nice point on George Harrison. Why did you disappear from Facebook? I miss interacting with you.

  3. Joanne Wetzl says:

    Having read your “Regrets Only” post last night as well, I was musing that perhaps the royal family ‘regrets’ not having recognized George Harrison for his altruistic achievements. After all, the year, as you pointed out, was 1971. The Beatles at that time were still viewed with suspicion by mainstream institutions, associated with drug use and rebelliousness. Perhaps it would have hurt the crown’s credibility to acknowledge Harrison’s efforts at that time.
    As you pointed out in your “Regrets Only” piece, we are all in the process of growing, our thoughts and understanding (hopefully) continue to evolve. Even as a culture, we morph and react in response to stimuli.
    I can’t help but feel that with the changing of times, if Harrison’s Bangladesh concert had been held now, the snub may not have occurred. But Harrison and his musicians friends were pioneers, and people who break ground are generally not celebrated until later, when their accomplishments can be viewed with more clarity.
    As you also pointed out so beautifully in your “Regrets Only” piece, we really are NOT the same people we were 40 years ago. And therefore, neither are the royal family members the same people they were 4 decades ago. Can the Queen go back and award Harrison post humously if she wanted to? Or would it, like the mistakes we all inadvertently visited on other people, just bring more hurt to all parties now….especially with George gone?
    (Why am I thinking that all the Beatles were eventually knighted? Didn’t they all receive some MP award?)

    • Craig says:

      Thank you for generously providing an alternate point-of-view Joanne. To answer your question about royal honors for The Beatles, Paul McCartney was knighted in March 1997 and Ringo Starr in March of this year (2018), for their services to music. All four Beatles were awarded “MBEs” (Members of the British Empire) medals back in 1965 in a ceremony with over 180 other recipients, so getting an MBE was several steps below of knighthood. John returned his MBE in 1969.

      • Rick Rogovin says:

        And they are back on YouTube without ant copy-write infringements taking them down.

  4. Joanne Wetzl says:

    Thank you for the clarification, Craig.

  5. Joanne Wetzl says:

    This just in…flowers from the royal wedding have been made into large bouquets and delivered to hospice patients. Beautiful gesture!

    • Craig says:

      Joanne, you have some nerve forcing me to reconsider and possibly retract (some of) my cynicism about the Royals!

  6. Joanne Wetzl says:

    Can’t put all of them into the same pot, but maybe these two will do some good? Let’s hope. The world sure needs it.

  7. Gil Gaudia says:

    I’m sorry to disagree with you Craig. I found the wedding to be a consummate human interest story of two typical young lovers, surrounded by caring, intimate friends to be heartwarming and all-consuming. For several nights preceding the modest celebration I could not sleep, wondering if Meghan Markle’s father would (or would not) walk her down the aisle. I enjoyed many hours of esthetic delight scrutinizing TV still shots of the couples’ strikingly similar “ski-slope” noses—wondering, was it coincidental or was their some mysterious and yet to be discovered (that cynics like you will try to call scandalous) genetic explanation?
    How could you be so critical of trivial expenses like a sixteen-foot-long bridal veil (I heard it described as a train) or a short drive in an old beat-up convertible that jealous commentators called a “vintage Jaguar”?
    Those of us who are fed up with media nonsense about “constitutional crises,” school shootings, eco-catastrophes, illegal immigration, children suffering in Syria, and other “Fake News” welcome the reporting about down-to-earth lovers and the little things in life that cynics like you try to deprive us of.
    You’d be amazed at how many poor kids, starting out with nothing and hoping to achieve success, are being inspired by this heart-warming display of “rags-to-riches,” “pull yourself up by your bootstraps,” “anyone can reach the top” story about hard work, clean living and determination in the face of overwhelming odds.
    Yes, and regular church attendance (or even a Gothic cathedral if there happens to be one in your neighborhood).

    • Craig says:

      Gil, yours was a better post than mine, by far! Do you bite a lemon slice as you write — or is it a lime? Please do comment freely here, I need readers like you to keep me in line.

  8. Gil Gaudia says:

    The last thing I would want to do is offend someone who is Joanne’s friend. But alas, Craig, I find it necessary to do so. Now, for the second time in one day, I not only must disagree with you, but this time I have to strip you of one of your most coveted distinctions—it is my sad duty to inform you that you are not the 100 billionth person to be born on this planet—I am.

    You see, Craig, when I was born in 1929, the world’s population was 2,000,000,000, which means there had been 98,000,000,000 born and died before then. Since it is indisputable that I was the 100,000,000,000th person to be born on his planet, at best, you are the 100,000,000,001st human to grace this planet, (assuming you were born seconds after I was) and, depending on how many years after me you were born, you could be as un-distinguished and insignificant as the 105,910,566,295th (assuming you are at least 21) which is based on the fact that in 1997 the world’s population was 5,910,566,295.

    However, since in an earlier blog in 2014 (which I have read and enjoyed) , you state that you have been married for 40 years—now 44 years—it is likely that you actually are in your sixties, so estimating your year of birth as around 1954 (the year my daughter was born) and not correcting for Leap Years, Daylight Saving Time and the Coriolis Effect of the Earth’s rotation, I have no doubt that you are as unspecial as the 102,724,302,468th person to be born on The Earth

    By the way, I flunked arithmetic in grade school and a logic course in college, so there could be some minor errors in my calculations and reasoning.

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