In This Royal Union, Jack, Hype Springs Eternal

By now, like most Americans, you're probably plenty sick of the fawning coverage we in the media have given to the upcoming English royal wedding. Not that we're going to stop, mind you. Since when have we ever let a public lack of interest keep us from endlessly flogging a substance-free non-story? (See: "Trump, Donald: presidential candidacy of.")

So, do Prince William and Kate Middleton (or "Piddleton," as some wags have dubbed them -- well, OK, just me) deserve the level of coverage afforded to major news events like, say, the first moon landing? Of course not. They deserve more. I mean, sure, the moon landing was a giant leap for mankind, but was there any suspense over which fashion icon designed Neil Armstrong's outfit? Or whispered speculation about whether, after traveling through space together in such close quarters, Armstrong and co-pilot Buzz Aldrin remained, um, pure?

For anyone who remembers the last big fat royal English wedding, it's easy to understand all the fanfare this time around. Back then, the young Diana embodied the storybook fantasy of every little girl who dreamed of marrying a real-live prince nearly twice her age who's already in love with another woman and is being pressured into the marriage by his domineering mother. Plus, Prince Charles furthered this fairy tale image by looking like someone who, until recently, might well have been a frog.

There are a number of significant differences this time around, however. For one, as a cost-cutting measure, Kate will ride to the ceremony in a car rather than a horse-drawn carriage. Also, the couple has requested that in lieu of gifts, well-wishers make donations to charity. And, in a real break with custom, following the ceremony, the cannons atop Buckingham Palace will fire only a quarter of the traditional number of peasants into the Thames.

Finish this sentence: I pay attention to the Royals whenever they...

...are in the news. I love everything about them! - 0%
...put on a big wedding, coronation or some other big spectacle - 40% something wrong, or get caught in some sort of scandal - 30% the Yankees - 30%

Total votes: 10
The voting for this poll has ended on: 05 May 2012 - 17:38

But what's particularly driven the English press into a tizzy is the notion that William, the future heir to the British throne, will be marrying -- I admit I get a little nauseated just typing this -- a commoner. Kate's parents are former flight attendants, for god's sake, while her mother's forebears were -- OK, now I'm actually throwing up in my mouth a little -- working class. Until relatively recently, such an arrangement would have been tantamount to Prince William announcing that he was planning to marry a troll. Maybe worse, if it could be shown that his fiancée came from noble troll stock.

But this is the 21st century, and the queen and company's standards have changed with the times. A mere glance around the room during royal family gatherings demonstrates the dangers of inbreeding within a limited gene pool. Plus, having lost the reins of power, today's young nobles act a lot more like typical celebrities -- walking the red carpet, hounded by the paparazzi, kidnapping porn stars and locking them in hotel bathrooms, etc. Frankly, Queen Elizabeth should consider herself lucky that Prince William is marrying a smart, capable young English woman instead of releasing a sex tape with Snooki.

With all the attention paid to the British royals' generosity in accepting Kate into the family, however, few have acknowledged her family's sacrifices. Remember, traditionally, it's the bride's parents who foot the bill for the wedding, and this shindig is expected to cost around $40 million. Sure, the British taxpayers are paying for security, but that still leaves plenty for the Middletons to cover:

Kate's Dad: "Did you see what one day's rental of Westminster Abbey costs? I know it's late, but can we see if the airport Sheraton is still available?"

William and Kate have reportedly also broadened the ranks of wedding invitees to include entertainers and athletes such as Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and John Travolta. But there's little concern that these other celebrities will stealing the spotlight from the wedding couple. Because, heaven knows, when you think about decorum during high-profile, televised events, and the kind of person who is always glad to let others shine, the one name that automatically comes to mind is (another rumored invitee): Kanye West.

Assuming Kanye doesn't jump onto the altar to explain that Charles and Diana's ceremony was better, or to complain that Queen Elizabeth doesn't care about Welsh people, what should we all focus on during Kate and William's special day? The dress, of course. Experts suggest that the wedding dress Kate selects will have an incalculable impact on fashion, commerce and possibly the ongoing Middle East crisis. So as the ceremony begins, look closely at Kate's hemline. Evidence of any scalloped edges, beading or hand embroidery will be a clear indication that you've become obsessed and desperately need to find something worthwhile to do with your time.

Or that you're a member of the media.

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