SOMEONE ELSE’S WINDOWS: Pardon, Your Highness

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/27 Apr) – Everyone the world over seems to be agog over the wedding on Friday of Britain’s Prince William and would-be princess Kate Middleton. Except perhaps for the people in Libya and other troubled Middle East and North African countries. Except perhaps for the tsunami victims in Japan. And except for this skeptic. No “perhaps” there, by the way.

Indeed, despite the hype given to the event as the “wedding of the century” one needs to pause and ponder if it’s really worth spending much time to digest the intimate details of the couple’s fairy tale romance [kuno] churned out by various media outlets, chiefly TV networks. If the lavish media attention given to the royal wedding proves anything, it is that Prince Charles’ failed marriage with the late Princess Diana has been swept under the rug of public memory.

Spicks and specks, the Bee Gees sang decades ago. Lady Di and her silent suffering are now but a speck in the history of Britain’s royal family, although her active involvement in the campaign against the use of landmines, especially the kind that explode upon contact whether you’re a combatant or not, will always be remembered. And while her marriage had failed, at least, the honorific she obtained by virtue of that union gave a face to the anti-mines advocacy.

The Britons, however, may be an exception to my observation that people have [almost] forgotten Princess Diana’s misfortune as wife to the Prince of Wales. Call it cynicism or an expression of advanced sympathy for the lady, but this early, there are already bets the William-Kate marriage will only last 10 years at most.

In addition, one TV network, as if to forewarn Kate, dug into history and narrated the misfortune that befell several Catherines of the British royalty. Catherine is Kate’s real name. I’d like to think though that it was done simply to spice up Friday’s big event at Westminster Abbey.

Still, as a certified skeptic, I find no big reason why the world should stop just because a member of an outdated institution like the British royalty is going to marry. I’m more eager to know the outcome of the National Basketball Association playoffs. Go, Celtics, go. Oh, is it just a coincidence that the Celtics were among the oldest inhabitants of Britain?

Taxpayer’s burden

How much do Queen Elizabeth II and her family cost each British taxpayer? In 2005, each Briton shelled out $1.26 for the royal family, according to June 28, 2006 report of CBC News quoting Buckingham Palace.

The royal budget totaled £36.7 million ($76.77 million) in 2005, or 4.2 percent higher than the 2004 figure, the same report said. God save the Queen. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at [email protected])

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