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Yvonne Abraham

Wedding is a royal pain

By Yvonne Abraham
Globe Columnist / April 24, 2011

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God save me from the Queen.

And from her progeny. And especially from their Wedding of the Century.

I didn’t embrace citizenship of a country defined by its violent rejection of monarchy to turn around and be surrounded by all things royal.

But here I am, and Will and Kate are everywhere.

Legions of reporters are in London covering every jot and tittle of Friday’s nuptials at Westminster Abbey.

There are all kinds of souvenirs for sale, including a $19.90 replica of the engagement ring offered by the ritzily-named “Sterlington Collections’’ (a.k.a. Jersey-based Telebrands) which is sure to delight romantics and postmodernists alike with its “simulated ‘Ceylon’ sapphire,’’ which “represents the original quality of the centerpiece,’’ and comes with a certificate to prove it is in fact an authentic imitation.

The future king and his bride are crowding real celebrities out of our magazines. Will had a wild bachelor party, complete with “a toupee and chest wig,’’ according to Star magazine, whose cover proclaims Kate a “Pregnant Bride!’’ Woman’s World slaps the happy couple on a cover boasting “Royal Wedding Slimming Secrets! Eat like Kate to lose 8lbs in 3 days!’’

Didn’t our people reject monarchs, who did nothing to earn our fealty but be born into the right family, so that we could be free — free to follow G-strung reality stars who did nothing to earn our fealty but climb into Jersey Shore hot tubs?

I don’t appreciate having to dig for my Snooki news.

Come Friday, the birthplace of the revolution will be lousy with cucumber sandwiches, Pimm’s Cups, and jelly donuts shaped like hearts (Et tu Dunkin’ D?).

It’s positively un-American.

One expects this kind of thing in my homeland. Australia is, after all, a member of the British Commonwealth. It’s easier to understand people who are still officially royal subjects going Windsor-wild.

The royal wedding of last century — the fractured, ultimately tragic fairy tale for which the wedding of this century is the do-over, complete with the same accursed engagement ring — was a major event in our household in 1981. We, and everyone we knew, gathered around the TV to watch Charles and Diana get hitched. We sobbed as that elongated meringue of a dress inched down the aisle.

In my adopted country, it seemed natural to find a culture where, when people thought of them at all, they viewed the royals as I came to: As overpaid bread-and-circus performers.

So what gives?

For the answer, I consulted that oracle of the zeitgeist: The Franklin Mint. It’s offering a limited edition $195 Kate Middleton doll, which it is marketing thusly:

“Kate Middleton is living the dream every little girl holds dear . . . and every woman remembers with a smile . . . becoming a Princess. For the first time in over 350 years, a non-royal like one of us is beginning that journey for real.’’

One of us? Maybe, if we happen to have been born to millionaire parents and attended fancy private schools and run around with the toffiest of toffs all our lives.

Still, as a huge segment of the toy industry shows, the princess racket has pull. People fork over millions for tiaras and Cinderella lunchboxes. And by the time it’s over, they’ll fork over millions for a piece of this royal wedding racket, too, for everything from tea towels to trips to England.

William and Kate sit atop a giant marketing operation. I guess there’s nothing more American than that.

As the great Sex Pistols put it: “God save the queen, Cause tourists are money.’’

Look for me on Friday. I’ll be the one not buying.

Yvonne Abraham is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at abraham@globe.com