COMMENTARY: Kate Middleton: future princess or public doll?

Life has a funny habit of throwing around ironic parallels and it should just so happen that 30 years down the line, I’m listening to The Smiths, we are in a Conservative-led government, still suffering from aftershocks of a recession, and we are looking at another royal wedding.

I may not know much, but I know that pretty much from now until April on every slow news day we are going to be paraded with images and tales of how ‘Kate met Will’. And as we enter these austere times of shaky uncertainty, it’s going to become a convenient focal point used to gloss over real issues such as the slow progress after the floods in Pakistan, Philip Green’s alleged billion pound tax avoidance or the barbaric police aggression that the government seems to be ignoring in light of the student demonstrations.

Much like in the `80s, this wedding is a government PR’s dream boat as they try to spoon-feed us these fluff stories in some kind a vain attempt to appease our dismay over ruthless government cuts. It seems as though they hope that somehow we’ll forget the times we’re living in as the government stresses the revenue this wedding will generate for the economy and wheels out gimmicks such as extra bank holidays and free places to be won for the royal wedding. Despite this annoying situation, there stands a more worrying parallel; in amongst all the stories about Kate’s ‘lowly background’ and THE ‘engagement dress’ lies the potential for the makings of the same kind of overbearing relationship Diana had with the media. Although this craze is symptomatic of the celebrity-obsessed culture that dominates our society, as the media dissects and debates ‘key’ issues like the way Kate should wear her hair and which designer should make her dresses, I can’t help but think that she’s just being paraded out like that same public doll Diana was, subject to everyone’s judgement and speculation.

On the whole, it would seem like we’ve shifted (at least in mind) from the staunch royalist society of the past but one glimpse of Diana’s wedding ring (doesn’t anyone else feel uncomfortable with this?) and we’ve been somehow hit with this collective amnesia and we’re back to ordering Will and Kate tea towels.

Are we that easy to please?

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