Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

What’s wrong with a royal knees up?

March 3, 2011

BRITAIN-WILLIAM/I’m looking forward to the April 29th wedding of Prince William to his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton as a chance to celebrate some of the good things about Britain.

People on my street and the street next to it are considering clubbing together for a street party on one or the other, my seven-year-old is learning a little bit about the political make-up of the country where he was born and a Friday off work in spring in a country that’s pretty miserly with the public holidays can’t be too bad of a thing.

There are a few other things I’m looking forward to in connection with the royal bash. One is that my wife is a wicked dessert maker. Victoria sponges, chocolate cakes, tiramisu, apple crumble with custard!! I can’t wait.

Another thing is the humour that will come out of it.

As a Canadian who has lived here for more than a dozen years and is now a dual citizen, I never tire of the unfailing efforts to “get a laugh” out of the triumphs and tragedies in this country on the radio, the telly, at work, in the papers and down the pub with your friends.

The British delight in poking fun at themselves is one of the great treasures that makes this crowded, tiny island so enjoyable to live on and is the sign of a nation secure in its cultural identity. This parrot is most definitely not pining for the fjords.

I will enjoy the pomp and circumstance a little bit because it is an amazing spectacle of history that connects us to a past that — whatever your views about imperial guilt — shaped the modern-day globe, made English the lingua franca of global commerce and provided the bureaucratic framework that governs much of the world.

Lastly, I will enjoy, what hopefully should be a happy day for Queen Elizabeth II.

I arrived in London shortly after her daugher-in-law Diana’s funeral, covered the funeral of her mother, edited her sister’s funeral and — not that she’d ever remember — met her once at a Commonwealth do.

She reminded me a lot of my own mother who had recently died — similar age, hair-do and the look of a woman you could always rely on. I wanted to hug her, but I duly introduced myself and referred to her as “ma’am” pronounced like jam as the protocol people told me.

But in case the royal wedding is not enough to put a smile on Your Majesty’s face, just remember there will be some nice cake and a lovely cup of tea (Marks and Sparks Ceylon) somewhere in the vicinity of my kitchen, though I can’t guarantee the seven-year won’t insist he get to eat off your plate or give you a hug.

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