…over at The Catholic Weekly.
Americans are supposed to not care about Royal Weddings because, you know, American. We actually have it in our Constitution that you cannot have titles of royalty and nobility. If you come here and become a citizen you have to legally drop “Sir” from Sir Anthony Hopkins or Sir Patrick Stewart.
So it’s pretty bred in the bone to have something ranging from indifference to hostility to the whole Royals thing—at least officially and in public.
But truth to tell, Americans have a soft spot for English royalty anyway (Saudi royalty not so much). So bazillions of us watched the Royal Wedding and oohed and ahhed over the beautiful spectacle. Sometimes, to preserve the fiction of democratic equality, we spoke of it sort of like the drooling Soviet Party official sent to accompany Robin Williams’ character to Macy’s in Moscow on the Hudson: “Look! More decadence!”
And that brings up something curious for me; something that, as an American, I’m not supposed to think. It is this: something in human nature requires royalty and when we get rid of the political expression of that need we don’t get rid of royalty, we just find new ways to create it.
As C.S. Lewis, unhampered by American political commitments, said:
“Monarchy can easily be debunked, but watch the faces, mark well the debunkers. These are the men whose taproot in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach – men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire mere equality they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison. “