Two Cheers for Wills and Kate
Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 22nd April, 2011
This evening I did my first live TV debate about next week’s Royal Wedding, on the Iranian channel PressTV, along with former foreign and royal affairs correspondent Yvonne Ridley, who was in a studio in Cairo. She rather took me aback by declaring that the almost military straight lines of Union flags currently hanging over Regent Street were reminiscent of swastika banners in Nazi Germany. Both she and the TV anchor in Tehran seemed to think the wedding preparations are a huge waste of money at a time when many Brits are having to tighten their belts. I don’t get any sense of public anger about that, however. But I don’t yet get any sense of great public enthusiasm either, despite the best efforts of the more populist media and Prime Minister David Cameron encouraging people to organise street parties. Rather, I sense a lot of indifference, which I confess I share. Nonetheless, providing everything goes well — especially if the unseasonably warm and fine weather keeps up — the wedding should generate a certain feel-good factor in the UK. Many people, I suspect, will simply be pleased at having an extra bank holiday. I don’t think Kate Middleton looks like becoming another Princess Diana, but she does seem admirably sensible and self-confident. Tourists, of course, have arrived in force in London, as have thousands of journalists and TV crews from around the world. I will probably be doing another interview on the Wedding for a Czech team this weekend. So billions of people will watch the pageant next Friday, perhaps half suspecting that this might be the last time we see anything quite like it. It will be interesting to see who among foreign royalty and Commnwealth leaders turn up. If either the Saudi or Bahraini King appears, he can expect some demonstrations and negative press coverage.