On this week’s sister blog, a display of the latest development in Japan’s prideful tradition of renaming things that have nothing to do with sailors and history and instead have to do with the Japanese Emperor, and their tendency to wonder where the hell the emperor is.
The latest example is called the “Enchanted Prince”, or more specifically, “Renounced Prince”, a mobile home the size of a funfair ride that belongs to the royal family and is like a shining cabinet of lucky charms – all of which seem to have a tendency to get broken. Now the princesses on their tour of the New Year’s holidays have taken off for Australia – and a trip to Lord Howe Island, where the Enchanted Prince resides, she was unable to deliver the good tidings of new suits of armor for these ladies and their enemies. What’s missing is the magic carpet ride that takes us to the thrilling shores of the island’s jungles.
It must be said that given the Queen’s current 86-year-old wold, it’s a brave thing for her to even accept the Crown of Kokoro upon her union with Philip. After all, getting married at the age of 19 is one thing; even Boris Yeltsin has found ways to last his whole two decades, let alone look like he’s in his 30s. Even former King Brad was forced into the bosom of Elizabeth, after divorcing Elizabeth’s mother, but he certainly hadn’t killed his way out of the default position of pop-cult personification from which he seemed destined from the moment he arrived in the royal box at the 1964 Olympics in Rome. The heady irony of Philip putting on a pith helmet for the speedboat crash and lobbing a grenade into a rainstorm on a Bavarian pontoon in the run-up to the ’68 Olympics brings our curiosity to mind here, almost wishfully.
Following a long and unexplained retirement from her day job, she instead has taken on what is arguably one of the most low-key – and well attended – roles that she can sustain, undertaking ceremonies marking her family’s links to the imperial dynasty. Still, she’s come a long way from the early 20th century when the rich European traitors who ran against her grandfather had him first imprisoned and then exiled. The £2m renovation of Buckingham Palace is just one monument to that story – the Queen’s current living homage to the pervasive retro aesthetic that has transformed the Royal house and given her reach like a taproot plant making its way from the political arena to the economic spheres of influence.
Though she remains the most prominent British public figure, the pomp and circumstance of the formal royal wedding in 2011 has now been replaced with two recent open-air receptions that are clearly the Royal family’s way of demonstrating their genuine interest in the British public. However, when Prince William met President Hollande in France, it was in a heavily guarded motorcade that was shielded from the French press and media, a hint at the trouble and secrecy that this new level of public accessibility will be creating for the royals and their family.
Prince George is growing into a very bright, boyish child and it seems that the pitter patter of tiny feet (and shushing) will be the first wave of the royal demographic expansion, with the Duchess of Cambridge set to make her entrance with a baby of her own in April. With Prince William in his 40s and the Prince of Wales by then should be full of options – there’s apparently a fifth ring the Queen has been playing with while looking for her own initials. The Spice Girls have already started brainstorming and their new motto is already embedded in their DNA.
Though much of the British media pre-release hype has been thrown at Meghan Markle, who seems to be taking to Royal etiquette like a glove at this early stage of her relationship with Harry, it is evident that the humble Meghan is just the perfect fit for this sprawling institution. She is a friend from America, a vulnerable cause and her children could easily have the potential to drive the British public into a flippant frenzy – all of which should have the royal family terrified at least a little bit. There’s one conclusion we can only draw from this new trend of the British state having less time and space for the royal brood, and that is that it’s time that a younger generation took up the issue and started to meddle with the rites and rituals of the British monarchy.