The royal wedding has been a royal pain to avoid this week.
Some have dubbed this Saturday’s oh-so-glamorous nuptials between Prince Henry of Wales, aka Prince Harry, and American actress Meghan Markle the “Royal Wedding 2.0,” as if it were the natural sequel to the 2011 wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. That’s actually kind of since it’s being endlessly hyped like a Star Wars movie. the rote Harrison Ford-less movie Solo is struggling to compete for our collective attention this weekend.
The media is, of course, breathlessly reporting every minor detail of the wedding as major news stories. How much does the dress cost? What kind of cake will be served? Who’s invited and who isn’t? (The answers: $135,000, lemon elderflower; George Clooney is in, Lady Amelia Windsor—hailed as “Britain’s Most Beautiful Royal”—is out.) Flip on CNN and you’ll find a royal wedding promo graphic all but permanently displayed during programming, which is pretty jarring next to footage of violence in the Middle East. People magazine—of course—is going crazy for the event, featuring a special royal-wedding section on its website that includes important stories such as “Megyn Kelly Says ‘Budding Feminist’ Daughter Doesn’t Want to Marry a Prince.” Burger King even launched its own royal wedding-themed chicken burger that comes with two onion rings—because, well, get it?
The Chicago area has particularly abuzz about the ceremony because we’ve always been suckers for any remotely famous person that once took a shit in the city. And hey, did you know that the duchess-to-be is a White Sox fan? That she went to Northwestern 15 years ago? And that she once was a “party animal” at her sorority in Evanston? Bonus: Bishop Michael Bruce Curry of Chicago will deliver an address at the wedding.
That means there will be plenty of Chicagoans waking up extremely early for a Saturday morning to watch it on TV (live coverage on nearly every major American network and cable news channel will begin as early as 3:30 AM). Some local hotels and theaters are taking advantage by holding special viewing parties and themed events. For $100, you can attend the Drake Hotel’s Royal Wedding Reception Gala; alternatively, you can pay 11 bucks to see it on the silver screen at AMC River East 21.
Or you could simply choose to ignore it all. Most Britons are choosing to do so. A YouGov poll shows that 66 percent of UK residents aren’t interested in the royal wedding, and 60 percent plan to have a regular weekend. And they actually live in England. What excuse do we have?
Founding father Thomas Paine once said he couldn’t conceive of a more ridiculous figure of government than the king of England, adding that “a hereditary monarch is as absurd a position as a hereditary doctor or mathematician.” Then good ‘ Tom backed it up by helping us start a war to rid ourselves of this primitive system of government. Sure, the don’t hold much actual power anymore—but here we are, long-liberated democrats who just can’t quit our former island overlords. It’s like a case of postcolonial Stockholm syndrome that’s lingered for centuries.
But no one is forcing us. Instead of watching a wealthy prince marry an actress in a fucking castle, maybe sleep in this Saturday. Go outside on a pleasant Chicago spring day. If you really need to watch something from a British leader—watch Jeremy Corbyn’s inspirational speech at Glastonbury last year. Or revisit this clip from Monty Python’s Holy Grail—the funniest-ever takedown of the British crown.