The event promising all class instead gave us all arse. It was meant to be the wedding of the century, the day commoner Kate Middleton finally married her prince, but it turned into the biggest upstaging of the century.
While millions of girls cried as they watched their chances of marrying Prince William sink to the bottom of the ocean, the boys were crying about a different kind of bottom. The eyes of the world weren’t on the bride, but on her sister as she serenely squatted to adjust the royal wedding dress.
What happened next
A Facebook page, Twitter account and numerous websites dedicated to Pippa’s behind popped up around the world. Men asked for a “Pippa’s Bum Appreciation Day” and women asked their plastic surgeons for “The Pip Package” on the promise of a perfect posterior. Journalists searched every crack and crevice for the most original butt puns of the rear, sorry, year. Many were left behind. Sorry again.
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Well may we say a wedding saved the monarchy, but would another one save the Prime Minister?
The recent post-Budget polls are dismal. A weekend Newspoll found Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s standing is worse than Kevin Rudd’s was before he got axed, and a Galaxy Poll suggests that it doesn’t matter what Labor does, people still hate them.
So is there anything that could turn this inexorable tide around? Australians have shown they have a soft and gooey spot for a ‘fairytale’ wedding, turning off a republic and back on to the monarchy with the marriage of Wills and Kate. And then First Bloke Tim Mathieson has hinted that he’d quite like to pop the question. What do you think? Could a garter belt be a lifesaver for Ms Gillard?
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The fetishisation of the female backside reached royal heights this week with the global worship of Pippa Middleton’s bum.
The frenzied prostration before the bottom of HRH Catherine Middleton’s younger sister and bridesmaid highlights anew the objectification of women deeply entrenched in our culture.
This was in the Daily Mail: Many women admired her dress, but an army of male fans were happily distracted by her shapely rear as the procession went up the aisle.
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It wasn’t hard to get into the pageantry and fun of the royal nuptials. We even made cupcakes with crowns for our token wedding celebration. Our westie mates turned up, resplendent in top hats, medals, even a wedding dress.
Food was anything English: Yorkshire pudding, trifle, cucumber sandwiches and a steak and kidney pie.
My husband rejoiced in his English connections, while I quoted our Constitution which grants the monarch certain governing powers, even above other governing levels.
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It was the night that Australia turned back the pages of history and showed its love affair with royalty is far from dead.
Featuring a handsome prince and a beautiful bride, Friday’s fairytale wedding between William and Catherine captured the hearts of millions of true blue Aussies as they tuned in to televisions in living rooms, pubs and party venues around the nation to watch the regal celebrations unfold in London.
The pomp, ceremony and celebrity of the occasion were enough to give hardened republican supporters a bad case of indigestion, but for once their complaints were swamped by the royal euphoria.
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Hysteria. Queues. Outragious fashion. Prince Charming. We had it all on Friday night - in Homebush.
An hour before Kate swept gracefully into Westminster Abbey, I made my own dramatic entrance, swept off my feet by some moss and down my friend’s front steps in Balmain, taking out a large pot plant and fracturing my toe (now purple).
Sprawled across the damp pavers - a potted azalea in my lap, bits of me hurting but I wasn’t sure which yet - I took one look at my 12-year-old and saw that she had crowned me, in that moment, the Most Embarrassing Mum Ever.
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By now many of you will be royally sick of marriage talk - and it hasn’t even been consummated yet (ahem). But it’s still going to dominate the whole day… and the next, and the next, so we thought we’d give you this space to indulge or vent, as you see fit. Are you excited or nauseated? Bored? Pissed off at the Chaser ban?
Here’s a thought for all you Royal Wedding pundits out there; the only surprising thing about today’s big event is just how much the world collectively knows about it. Without even trying it’s possible to evaluate Prince Harry’s post-wedding-party breakfast menu and tell you why the bride’s sister, Pippa, has strung disco balls around the throne room.
Or how much the plonk they’re serving at the reception goes for in the aisles at British supermarket Tescos and why Kate’s honeymoon clothes are more than just a bit ordinary for a future Queen.
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The Palace is not amused. A royal edict, delivered not by chariot with unfurled parchment, but via grey-suits and sneaky lawyer speak, has decreed there shall be no Chaser royal wedding coverage. Oh, well. No big loss.
Let’s face it, you were either going to salivate over every second of the straight Royal Wedding coverage, or you were going to act like someone with a life and ignore it completely. The Chaser’s coverage, despite this week’s massive publicity blitz, was always going to be of minimal interest to the masses.
That’s not to say The Chaser’s take wouldn’t have been a laugh. Without doubt, it would have been an amusing enough diversion from the obsessive fussing over the length of the bride’s train, Beckham’s wedding hairdo and other minutiae. But there’s no way it would’ve been must-see TV, and there’s a very simple reason why.
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Every time there’s a party, there is someone who misses out.
As the attending list on the cruelly public Facebook event grows, so too does their rage.
The host, they decide, is either jealous, rude, or trying to sleep with their partner/sister/all of the above. The truth, however, is that quite often the poor, uninvited soul simply doesn’t bring anything to the table. They’re boring, lame, and have a tendency to break furniture and cry after two beers and a packet of Pringles.
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Love makes a marriage, even a Royal one. This is the simple and powerful message of the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, one that’s relevant to Australia’s same-sex marriage debate.
Once royal weddings were about dynastic alliances. That began to change in the twentieth century, but still there were limits on who a royal married, famously illustrated by the abdication of Edward VIII to marry a divorcee.
As recently as the marriage of William’s father, Charles, to Lady Di, it was inconceivable that an heir to the throne would marry outside the aristocracy or have a relationship with his fiancé prior to the wedding.
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As the Royal Wedding approaches, details are starting to emerge about the rules and regulations that surround an event of this magnitude.
In the past week information has been trickling through about exactly what is required of guests, beyond the traditional RSVP, and you have to wonder if it’s all actually worth it.
Recipients of an invite were greeted with more than just the time, date and dress code thanks to an accompanying 22 page guide detailing exactly how they should behave at a Royal function. What a buzz kill.
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Britain’s Royal Family is now officially a very old, very profitable freak show.
The proof lies in the sheer scale of outrageous memorabilia being flogged by even the most respectable of merchants and the simply silly stories making news in the lead-up to the royal nuptials.
They’re certainly a cute couple, and through a long tawdry process of elimination William and Kate actually seem fairly functional for royal folk. But is anyone taking this circus seriously – other than an opportunity to seriously cash in?
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The outpouring of saccharine dross about the upcoming Royal Marriage has thrown into sharp relief the spectacularly low expectations we have of Royals.
William and Kate are being feted as the saviours of the monarchy largely because they are not foolish, badly behaved muppets and are not an embarrassment to the institution and the country.
Indeed they seem like reasonably likeable, down-to-earth people considering their situation - keeping in mind that I am making a totally uninformed judgment here.
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The headless Anne Boleyn would struggle to get her point across, but any one of Henry VIII’s other five wives could sympathise with Kate Middleton in these last, frantic, nerve-inducing weeks before their “big day”.
The 16th century princesses would be right at home with all the fanfare and ever-expanding array of royal memorabilia, albeit with a few medieval modifications.
Lego-sized replicas of the royal couple would more likely have been in bronze or bashed copper, decorated with a bit of horsehair. And the royal Pez or Union Jack-embossed shortbread replaced by a boiled sweet. But not everything’s changed for the better.
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When Prince Charles visited Australia in March, 2004, he boarded a large military helicopter in Canberra and flew to Gunning, a small town near Goulburn, NSW, where he spent the morning visiting some kind of organic farm. It made for a great story on ABC Radio’s Country Hour, but didn’t exactly resonate with the wider community.
Compare that to Prince William, whose tour de disaster zone this week has been an absolute tour de force. When necessary, Will has overstepped the bounds of protocol, hugging the commoners as the mood struck him. He was also professionally standoffish as required, most notably when he wisely declined to answer a bystander’s question about recalcitrant insurers.
It’s a gift, this business of playing the people’s royal. Will’s mother Diana had it. His father Charles doesn’t. And given that pretty much the only reason the royal family still exists is to pep up the public spirit, there’s only one conclusion – and that’s that William should be the next British Monarch.
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It’s been a long time since I heard anyone bag Queensland the way they used to.
Wayne Goss (Queensland Premier 1989 to 1996) introduced a number of reforms to bring Queensland into line socially with the rest of the country and combined with a sudden growth spurt, largely from the interstate migration of people from New South Wales and Victoria over the past 10 years, the sophistication gap between north and south is disappearing.
We may not have a Mardi Gras, but froth isn’t spooned onto cappuccinos anymore and salads have moved on from crinkle cut carrots and snowpeas.
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Has all this royal wedding talk made you think about Princess Diana? I know she was much-derided when she was alive – what with the nutty psychics, playing the paparazzi and preying on other women’s partners. But, come April 29, there’s going to be an empty seat at Westminster Abbey and, sappy as it sounds, I know that will make me sad.
Diana would have been 50 this year – a fabulous age to watch your first-born son marry the woman he loves. You can speculate all you like on how she might have stolen the show, but she was nothing if not an instinctive and affectionate mother.
What was fascinating about Diana was that both her life and death provoked a visceral response – not an intellectual one. Occasionally her actions made us think (her charity work for AIDS/landmines) but, more often, she made us feel. Struggling with the same problems as the rest of us – men, parenting, body image – she was like Julia Roberts’ character in Notting Hill: “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”
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People are doing it under the Golden Arches, underwater, in the nude and in Nazi uniforms.
They get hitched in all manner of ways and the water-cooler conversations this week have been dominated by nuptials of all sorts.
There’s the couple renewing their vows at McDonalds. Would you like a Happily Ever After meal with that?
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Anyone seeking linguistic confirmation of the weirdness that comes from associating with royalty should look no further than our very own dinki-di princess Mary Norgen-Vaaz, or whatever her surname became after she got hitched to that rich norseman.
Almost overnight, Mary went from being just another foxy bogan chick dancing around her handbag at Sydney’s Slip Inn, punching in the Bacardi Breezers and wooo-hoooing when Blur’s Song #2 came on, to sounding like some la-di-dah Queen Elizabeth impersonator. Not only did her perfectly normal Australian intonations make way for the plummy accent which the BBC defines as “received English”, she even adopted the tortured sentence structures of QEII. On the occasion that one becomes a member of the Danish Royal Family one is struck not only by one’s sense of duty but also one’s place in a long and proud tradition, one is.
Princess Mary is of course a perfectly nice person and her relationship with Prince Frederik could be described unimaginatively as a fairy tale. The same can be said of Prince William and Kate Middleton who are now doing their bit for magazine circulation and the sale of Franklin Mint commemorative plates by tying the knot.
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It’s that time of the year again – April has become the crazy royal month in the media and this year is no exception.
Early the other morning, Kerri- Anne Kennelly’s producer called me to say the London media was buzzing with two stories; one was the ongoing speculation about William and Kate, the other about Andrew’s and Fergie’s daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie.
So I rushed into Channel Nine’s studio and shared my thoughts on both matters with Kerri-Anne’s huge audience.
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