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Did you know that the UK is one of the most unequal societies in the industrialised world with 4million children living in conditions of relative poverty? It doesn’t matter though because ‘Kate’ looked like a fairytale princess in her McQueen dress. Oh, and also, did you know that everyday 22,000 people globally die from preventable diseases? It doesn’t matter though because ‘Wills’ looked spiffingly grand in his military costume. So grand, in fact, that we all but forgot that this ceremony cost £80million.

Many people choose not to make the connection between the two; instead allowing themselves to be taken in by the spectacle and magic of our state-sponsored celebrities. But this wedding was literally a reverse ‘Robin Hood’- taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich – and all hidden very well by a far from impartial BBC coverage that seemed to suggest the entire nation were in support of this event: waving their union flags like good little subjects.

The truth is the British are suckers for a show (17.2 million viewers tuned in for the X Factor final!) So would it be so far from the truth to suggest that the crowds we saw the MET ‘kettle’ towards Buckingham Palace weren’t there because they were royalists, but more because they were drunk on a bank holiday and just wanted to see the celebrity event of the decade?

The Royal Family is an extremely outdated and unfair institution in what is supposedly a meritocratic society. William didn’t earn enough money to give his beloved a fantastic wedding like everyone else: he was born into it. Something the rest of us miss out on because we are in the wrong gene pool.

However, even our ‘representatives’ don’t help. Instead of spending tax-money on education, health, social housing and other public sector aid; they give it to those already in the elite class. Whether its banker bonuses or royal weddings, the point needs to be made that public funds are being spent on the private elite rather than the public and that this is obviously not just.

Is this really the ‘land of hope of glory’ when the ‘land’ is privatised; the ‘hope’ is genetic; and the ‘glory’ is for the elite few given the right opportunities? Perhaps that is why these words are set to ‘Pomp and Circumstance’: bringing new meaning to Elgar’s original message that it is naïve to believe that splendid shows of military have no connection to the drabness and terror they cause – it’s all a spectacle.

We should congratulate Kate and Will on their marriage as we would any newly-weds: it’s not entirely their fault that they are part of such a corrupt system (although you don’t see them complaining.) But we should also recognise the blatant unfairness and inequality that a monarchy represents: this was figured out by our French neighbours over 200 years ago – isn’t it about time we modernised too?

This article was published in ‘Nouse’ (University of York) 10th May 2011

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