This weekend provided yet another prime opportunity for the family Windsor to indulge in that time honoured royal tradition of dressing up.
Getting decked out in whatever military uniform takes ones fancy for an appearance on the balcony, where an adoring public will clap like sheep at the choice of garment.
Okay let’s start with Edward, whose life has amounted to little more than throwing money at failed business ventures whilst collecting accolades from mummy. He found himself a suitably toothy Sloane ranger to marry as the perfect excuse to concentrate on royal duties, thus saving everyone the embarrassment of watching him try to hold down a job.
So he appears at the WW2 commemorations dressed as a cavalry officer, the nerve of it was quite extraordinary. This is little more than fancy dress; living out some sort of homoerotic fantasy that gets hornier in direct proportion to applause. Remember It’s a royal knockout? They like it camp.
Is this something we can all indulge in?
“Alan, what the hell have you got on?”
“What this? Oh yeah I thought I’d come to work today dressed as the Third Admiral of the Fleet, this sword is quite fetching don’t you think?”
Surely it is completely inappropriate to dress up in the manner of a war hero so as to align yourself with their victorious cause? Essentially hijacking their hard earned glory to your own ends. Not only does this make a complete mockery of having to earn the privilege of wearing a uniform, it trivializes the historical nature of military units that underpins their existence.
The idea of royalty wearing whatever regalia suits them is as openly cynical as that of George Bush landing on an aircraft carrier in a military flying suit. The thought of either him or prince Edward physically confronting anyone to support any cause that doesn’t centre on themselves is of course laughable.
Tapping into the heroism and respect of a uniform is of course nothing new, King George VI always appeared in an army officers outfit, however the reality then was the same as it is with the present royals. And that is that soldiering was beyond him.
There are other institutions that have a mutual interest in royal fancy dress. Like the royal family, the Daily Mail taps into the romance of the war rather than its filthy practicalities. The smart uniforms represent a sanitised version of victory with the men on the balcony as the brave leaders, gentlemen warriors rather than the reality of men stoving each another’s faces in. The Daily Mail recently argued against a statue commemorating the children who were murdered by their superiors after deserting in WW1, yet will go gooey at the sight of royalty dressing up like soldiers that will never have to face a decision of that magnitude.
Ultimately the military are not just there for a sense of occasion or to serve as a reason to look smart. It is for some people a 9-5 job. It’s about low pay, camaraderie, respect, laughter and hard work in often unbearable conditions. None of which could be applied to any member of the royal family at any point in their lives. Consider the proud image of Fusilier Kelan Turrington, facing the camera with purpose and pride standing as a direct comparison to the chaps larking around on the balcony.
A uniform gives a sense of purpose and thus justifying some sort of profession, it is that purpose and the use of its history that the royal family use to safeguard their position as commanders in chief.
By being attached to the uniform the royal family presume any criticism levelled at them is a direct condemnation of the brave that have gone before them.
This whole scenario is simply not acceptable