Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Coronation Day!

Today, sixty years ago, Queen Elizabeth II received her crown  as queen of England during coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

Most news outlets made brief mention of it.

People magazine, too, noted the occasion if only to remind readers that the ceremony brought Kate and William back to the site of their wedding. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge remain favorites of People and other celebrity magazines. The royal couple appear repeatedly on the covers of these magazines at grocery store checkout stands. A look online shows that People has a special link for the royals in its "news" category.

The attitude of celebrity magazines has peculiar ironies. It seems strange that in republic based upon equality so many magazines and broadcast media exhibit such fascination for hereditary monarchy. This stands in stark contrast with the founders of our country.

In contrast to the journalistic genuflection before royalty by  magazines like People, the Founders entertained different feelings:

Thomas Jefferson:

"I was much an enemy to monarchies before I came to Europe. I am ten thousand times more so, since I have seen what they are."

Thomas Paine:

"We have heard the Rights of Man called a leveling system; but the only system to which the word leveling is truly applicable, is the hereditary monarchical system. It is a system of mental leveling. It indiscriminately admits every species of character to the same authority. Vice and virtue, ignorance and wisdom, in short, every quality, good or bad, is put on the same level. Kings succeed each other, not as rationals, but as animals. It signifies not what their mental or moral characters are."

"One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind and ass for a lion."

James Wilson:

"In a monarchy there are strength and vigour. but there is a danger, that they will not be employed for the happiness and prosperity of the state."

A second irony is that company that the royals must keep in the celebrity publishing world. Their chief competitors for landing on the cover of People are those common celebrity whores--the Kardasians.


CW said...
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CW said...

I always found the whole royalty thing to be very disturbing too. I am always reminded of the Monty Python movies where the peasants scoff at King Arthur for being chosen as king by a "watery tart."

Your comparison between royalty and Hollywood celebrities is spot on. Peoople are fascinated by the chosen few who are awash in money and attention.