I don’t even know what a crumpet is. Some sort of scone-type thing? Who knows. It sounds like crump, as in crump dancing, which is cool but probably doesn’t go too well with tea. In fact, I don’t think I know anyone who eats crumpets. It’s a British thing — along with the accent, the red double-decker buses and that sport named after an insect.
That’s why I am completely gobsmacked and off my trolley whenever I hear Americans obsess over and adore perhaps the most British thing of all: the royal family. I just want all the headlines, news coverage and fascination to bugger off and be left to those American oppressors — does the Revolutionary War mean anything to you people?
Just look at the media mania surrounding the marriage of Kate and William and the birth of their little royal nugget. Seriously, people in freaking Nebraska stayed up all night to watch that parade of who could wear the goofiest hat — otherwise known as the royal wedding. I’m sorry, but I am already very susceptible to getting bags under my eyes from a lack of sleep. I can’t afford to be off my handsome A-game (A for American) the next day due to a televised wedding of people I have never met.
Whenever I’m waiting in line at the grocery store to pay for my 10 boxes of macaroni and cheese and I see some blown-up headline and picture on the front of a magazine that has to do with some dumb rumor about the royal family, I get the insane urge to grasp the magazine, jump on a table and scream “Don’t give me Kate or give me death” as I rip it page by page. Honestly, who cares what these rich people thousands of miles away are doing?
First off, the royal family legitimately hasn’t done anything to become the royal family. They were suddenly conscious one day and realized they had to never work in their lives and are able to take rides on ponies whenever they want. They’re nothing special. It’s not like they were magically instilled with superhuman qualities while in the womb — although Harry Potter is indeed British, so I guess we can’t completely eliminate this possibility.
Americans obsessing over the British royal family is like Brits obsessing over some American dude who suddenly became rich because it turns out he’s the great-great-great-grand-nephew of James Madison and has been left a huge inheritance, allowing him to quit his job at Kellogg’s and become a public figure. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s completely unwarranted and completely inconsequential.
Not only did these people receive their positions based on zero merit, but they also have zero power. Beyonce probably holds more power than the royal family. Actually, Beyonce most definitely has more power. She and Jay Z could smash Kate and William into bite-sized pieces and eat them like a crumpet, if they wanted to. The royal family is full of mere figureheads who are not the rulers of the United Kingdom but are the designated faces of the country, balding and all. Their decisions aren’t important — no matter how important the media tries to make the fact that Kate decided to take a bus one day and went with a dashing red dress. Although some would argue that Elizabeth has significant influence, the royal family can’t directly implement critical political policies in the world. They’re normal people who have mass wealth and luxury showered all over them just for shits and giggles.
Most importantly, as we are Americans, they have absolutely nothing to do with us. At all. No connection, no relationship. Again, it’s not like they are important, influential figures who have the power to dramatically affect our country through politics, economics or warfare. The only power they have in America is whatever power the media and public imagination try to bestow upon them.
I understand why British people would care about them. They are part of their tradition and are the people who represent their country in the public eye. They’re a source of pride, a source of intrigue and a subject of adoration. And I do see how they can send a flutter through the hearts of romantics and wishful thinkers, as they seemingly give concreteness to fairy-tale idealism.
But the royal family should be left to the British. If you need your princess fix, just turn on “Princess Diaries,” a truly quality flick, and let Anne Hathaway whisk you away.
We Americans don’t need any more people to idolize or to be the objects of our daydreams about what it would be like to have their lives. We’re a culture that loves looking at incredibly wealthy and popular people with a yearning wonderment. But this serves no purpose except for making us “commoners” — so Queen Elizabeth scowls at the noisy couple eating dinner in her vicinity — feel even less satisfied with our lives.
By all means, the British royal family can do their thing in England, but I apologize: I don’t think I will ever be able to quite restrain myself from yelling an emphatic “Who cares!” whenever they surface in mainstream American media.
Image courtesy of InSapphoWeTrust.