Reflections of an Israeli monarchist on the eve of the royal wedding
Wedding day advice for brand Will and Kate; a guide to being more Borgias than Brady Bunch, even if you are still in love.
I consider myself qualified to meddle in the affairs of the British royal family, about which I began to hear as a mere child, and especially about Prince Charles. This happened courtesy of my mother who frequently informed me about the prince's habits and way of life in order to drum into me the fact that I am not Prince Charles and I never will be. Charles, according her, had servants who folded his clothes, tidied his room and brushed his teeth at bedtime, whereas I, being a non-Charles, had to perform these tasks under my own steam.
Unlike lucky Charles who could refuse to eat whatever was on his plate at lunchtime because a whole kitchen staff was ready to prepare alternative dishes for him until something was to his liking, I had to chew my mother's horrible cooking and then swallow it because Fate - as she would observe with tart realism - had been cruel to me and had not made me Prince Charles.
In his formative years a person cannot be subjected to the oft-repeated question: Who do you think you are, Prince Charles? without becoming curious as to this personage only an historical caprice prevented him from becoming.
The beginning of the relationship was to a large extent soaked - let me admit this straight off - in envy and jealously on my part. However, over the years Prince Charles sunk into dismal corners, became a figure verging on the ridiculous and had his sanity questioned, not to mention his taste in women. Thus, my approach became more and more one of commiseration.
Sometimes it even occurred to me that the worst might still be awaiting him and one day he would be summoned to his mother the queen, who from high on her throne would admonish him coldly: "You cannot continue to behave like this. Who do you think you are? Amnon Dankner?"
I have extended my pitying affection for the battered and tattered prince to his sons as well and as someone who defines himself as a friend of the family, I feel it is expected of me to contribute some advice about life to the young couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton.
I had intended to deliver this advice as a kind of congratulatory speech from an old, half-stewed uncle at their wedding reception, but apparently due to a bureaucratic error the invitation did not arrive in time and therefore I am availing myself of this respected venue in order to have my say:
Dear William and Kate,
On this special day not an eye can remain dry at the sight of your glowing love filling hearts to the brim with true excitement and minds with the question of when this marriage will run aground. As I see you walking arm in arm, smiling and chatting in loving gaiety, I am forced to ask myself whether you really know to what future you are heading.
If you were asked, you would most certainly answer me that you are convinced you are heading toward a rosy horizon of eternal love. To this I will reply with a bitter smile that you, apparently, are quite right and therein, precisely, lies the problem.
Indeed, for some time now and with growing concern I have been harboring the suspicion based on the reports and the photos I have feverishly consumed that your relationship is of the rare sort, as has been evident from the outset, that is strong, durable and extremely long-lasting. This is precisely what is liable to cast an ominous and ugly shadow over your future.
True, there is nothing bad about love. Sometimes it even provides experiences that are not at all unpleasant. However, can love really serve as the main and even the only element in this very important brand known as "William and Kate"? Just like the Beatles or Manchester United, this very British product of a princely and future regal couple has long since become international and global.
The world is waiting for its portion of entertainment from this product and this portion won't come in the form of eternal love. Absolutely not. Let us set aside emotions and think marketing for a moment.
We received our dose of excitement from the long, tragic, stormy and intimately detailed story of Charles and Diana and the Fergie sideshow has also been deeply satisfying. A world that has grown accustomed to transcripts of frank sex talk between Charles and Camilla, Fergie's bouts of drunkenness and photos of Diana doing it with a tawny-skinned lover will not accept equably the sweet picture of you, my dear Kate and William, all chummy-gummy together like two sunny-side-up eggs in a frying pan.
In a world of reality shows and Paris Hilton there is no room for the soft romanticism you are wishing to display in public. Readers of tabloids and outspoken surfers of Internet sites will yawn and cry out disappointedly: Boring!
The world will turn its back on you for lack of interest and the British public will start to ask itself whether the taxpayer's money isn't clearly getting wasted on a royal family that has been behaving of late like pious and provincial villagers. Is it now possible to see on television bloodthirsty princes and princesses with extreme lusts on "The Tudors" and on "The Borgias," but have the Brady Bunch living in Buckingham Palace?
The Briton will ask himself this question and find that the thought is provoking republican sentiments in him. I know, my very dear William and Kate, I am raining on your parade by uttering these trenchant words but you can be quite certain a person like myself would never present a problem without bothering to offer a solution to it.
I foresee many years of happiness, popularity and great public affection for you only if you are wise enough to pretend properly. Right in the first year you must create a dark flood of rumors about cracks in your married life. A loyal retainer will turn traitor and leak to a selected tabloid a sensational item about stormy quarrels verging on violence.
An American Internet site specializing in scandals will claim to have proof of a love affair between William and a member of the German women's soccer team, to which the palace will react with an angry denial.
Then a letter will come out in which William assures the soccer player he has tattooed her kicking image on his right buttock. In revenge there will be a large photo in Paris Match of a British commando unit that has returned from Afghanistan and in it two officers with their tongues hanging out of their mouths will be seen fondling Kate's bosom.
All this, of course, will be nothing but a total forgery. The truth is that you will live a sweet and happy married life and your glorious love will never end, but a cruel reality is what will force you to work on a production line of romantic sensations and sex scandals.
These will grant you such huge popularity that the entire world will heave a sigh when Kate is interviewed on a Norwegian television network and nobly tells how William has cheated on her right before her very eyes with his male personal secretary and when she opened the door and found them in flagrante delicto, he only stood up and said lightly: On second thought, James, I prefer mint. The public will have no inkling that after the interview you, Kate, will go into William's study and the two of you will enjoy a hearty laugh together about the whole thing.
To the children born to you during the course of the years (six or seven of them, if the passionate looks you exchange are any indication) you will explain that Mummy and Daddy work in the international entertainment industry and they fake scandals for a living. You will explain to them they must never, ever, reveal to their schoolmates that Mummy and Daddy interlace their fingers as they sit on the lawn and croon sweet love songs.
You will teach them how to pretend to be children from dysfunctional families and quite possibly you will see to it that there are hints of sexual abuse your daughter has suffered at the hands of her father.
It can't be helped. The public is never satisfied. When the children grow up they will be well prepared for a life of deception and fakery and they will be able to follow in your footsteps and give the public what it loves. If you do this I promise you will succeed and ensure the continued existence of the House of Windsor as a super-brand.
Someone once said it is impossible to fool all of the people all of the time, but he lived in a republic. In a place like England it is hard to believe there will be even one person who will stoop so low as to think you are putting on a big con. After all, your motto over there is still Honi soit qui mal y pense, shame on he who thinks it.