If you are like me, as well as millions of American Anglophiles (also known as “people with no real life”), you are simply all goose bumpy over the coming nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. American media outlets of all stripes and types are running daily updates in the count-down to the April 29 event. (You can watch it live beginning at four a.m. that morning, earlier if you live west of the Eastern time zone. (For me, it’s a perfect Tivo opportunity.) I simply can’t get enough information, rumors, trivia and gossip.
As an ersatz journalist, I have been researching the major players in this gala event and I want to share some of the more interesting bits that the major media outlets have let slide.
First, there is the issue of Kate’s married name. Her current name is Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, which is perfectly serviceable. However, once she marries into the Royal Family, there comes confusion. Well. O.K., it is true that she will become Catherine, Princess of Wales, but Prince William’s mother, the unfortunate Princess Diana, was a Princess of Wales. I suggest, in order to avoid confusion, that Kate take one of William’s other names.
So, what are the options? Prince William’s full handle is–take a deep breath–His Royal Highness, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter Master of Arts. Picking through the various permutations and possibilities, my choice for Kate’s married name would be “Mrs. Billy Noble Companion Garter”. You may want to create your own favorite from the various choices and e-mail it to Windsor Castle. I’m sure that they will pass these suggestions along to Kate.
Also, once William says “I do”, his paternal grandmother, the Queen, can make him a Duke. The choices are: the Duke of Clarence, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex or the Duke of Windsor. Were I in Billy’s boots, I would hold out for the Duke of Earl. “Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl….”
Continuing on the name issue, William’s family and friends call him “Wills” but Kate, we are told, refers to him as “Big Willie”, a nickname that is shared by several actors working primarily in the porn industry. We, in the media, will certainly follow-up on this particular coincidence.
I was able to secure a telephone interview with an unnamed Royal household insider who agreed to share information, but only on the condition of anonymity. I’ll call him Hobbes to make it seem as if I spoke with a Royal manservant, which is not to be confused with a Royal man root, a.k.a. a Big Willie. Here are some fun facts according to Hobbes.
The groom’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, has spent the past several weeks trying to perfectly match one of several hundred “grandmother of the groom” outfits with one of several thousand “grandmother of the groom” purses. The number of permutations is daunting and exhausting and, with her Diamond Jubilee just around the corner, the Queen is getting on in years.
Both the groom’s father, Prince “Can I Be King Yet?” Charles, and his grandfather, Prince “I’m Almost the King” Philip, have had to struggle with the notion that the only person less useful in a wedding than the father of the groom is the grandfather of the groom. Neither have squat to do. However, since neither has had squat to do in their entire adult lives, they are well-trained. They will walk down to their assigned seats in Westminster Abbey with their hands clasped behind their backs in the “I never open a door for myself” posture.
The wedding party will include Prince William’s lovely step-mother, Camilla Parker Bowles (“Nappy”, as she is fondly known to her husband, Prince Charles). Prince William did ask his grandmother to coincidentally send Ms. Parker Bowles to Kenya in late April for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at a new halfway house for reformed ivory smugglers, thereby making Ms. Parker Bowles unavailable for the wedding. Ever the astute politician, the Queen demurred. Failing that, William asked if he could insist that Ms. Parker Bowles wear a burka to the ceremony. The decision is pending.
England, being a nation of shopkeepers, has gone whole and a half hog in the memorabilia department. Here are just a few of the items being hawked by street vendors, department stores and on-line sellers around the world: coffee mugs, bone china, tea towels, tea bag gift sets, Kate Middleton replica engagement rings, i-Phone cases,”Kiss Me Kate” beer, William and Kate Pez dispensers, celebrity masks and air-sickness bags (in case the whole shebang makes you ill), umbrellas, flags, t-shirts and, my personal favorite, “Crown Jewels” condoms from Heritage Condoms, Ltd.
My inside source tells me that, following the wedding, a Chinese toy manufacturer will issue anatomically correct William and Kate action figures. Then, children throughout the current and former British colonies can spend minutes recreating the Royal Wedding Night scene wherein Big Willie whispers, “Oh, God, dear Kate” and and in a husky voice she answers, “Oh. God , dear Your Royal Highness, William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter Master of Arts,” and then, hyperventilating, passes out.
Observoid of the Day: The British had to choose between lavish Royal Weddings or a better dental plan.