November 25, 2010

Royal wedding disaster

GOOD GRIEF, what was he thinking? Prince William has chosen to get married on April 29 — the day of the Boat Show.

Those poor British yachtsmen now have to choose between what’s going on at Westminster Abbey and what’s going on where they’d really like to be — at the inaugural Liverpool Boat Show. What a terrible choice to have to make.

And what an extraordinary reflection on Prince William. Has he forgotten his Royal Navy heritage? Sailors all. What must his dad and granddad be thinking? Would either of them have even so much as dreamed of getting married on the day of the Boat Show? Of course not.

If you HAD to get married on the day of the Boat Show for some reason of international diplomacy or internal family peace, then you’d obviously get married AT the Boat Show, where the Royal Yacht would be waiting to waft you off for your Royal Nuptials immediately afterward.

I can only imagine how forlorn and disappointed those sailing Brits must be, how they must be wondering about the relationship between their future king and his bride as regards attendance at future Boat Shows. In the old days, a monarch would put his foot down with a firm hand and insist on getting married on a day that didn’t interfere with the yacht club prizegiving. And his bride, recognizing the coziness of her situation, would naturally fall in with his wishes lest she be cast into a dungeon or be sent to the Tower for beheading.

But times have obviously changed quite drastically, even for princes. The Pankhurst era is over. Women don’t chain themselves to railings any more. They actually have the vote. (And perhaps one should note here that no male member of the Royal Family ever stepped in to prevent that while it was still possible.) So it’s the old story. Give them an inch and they’ll take an ell. And having taken an ell, it’s hello Westminster and to ell with the Boat Show. Sob. Only time will soften this blow.

Today’s Thought
Kings are not born; they are made by universal hallucination.
— Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #125
Survival in a liferaft. You’re far more likely to survive in a liferaft or lifeboat that can be sailed and steered. Dr. Michael Stadler, a German professor of psychology, says that waiting passively to be rescued in a helplessly drifting lifeboat is a prime cause of despair and hopelessness.
“Even the most desperate situation is bearable . . . provided they have some sense of having their position and environment under control.”

“Oi was niver drunk, Yer Honor, and Oi tried to tell the officer so.”
“And wouldn’t he listen?”
“Oh, he was listenin’ all roight, Yer Honor; ’twas moiself that couldn’t say it.”

(Drop by every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for a new Mainly about Boats column.)

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