Is it just me or is this Kate Middleton/Prince William/Colin Firth edition of the British Royal Family really boring?
Whatever happened to the scandal-ridden good old days of Sarah Ferguson, the “Duchess of Pork,” Prince Andrew, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, oh my, not to mention Dodi Fayed and the tragic Princess Di?
That stuff was a thrill a minute. Remember when Charles was caught imagining himself as a tampon in Camilla’s “trousers?” A sublime combination of titillating and disgusting — those were the days.
Now, all of a sudden, Britain’s foremost dysfunctional family is getting a radical makeover. William and Kate are perfect, well-behaved and beautiful. Neither has been caught getting his or her toes sucked, having an affair with a dashing cavalry major or offering “access” to Prince Andrew for the equivalent of $720,000.
And adding insult to injury, the latest English stuffed-costume drama, The King’s Speech, turns George VI’s speech impediment into an adventure worthy of the quest for the Holy Grail, starring Firth. It manages to redeem the entire Royal Family by elevating the good son, Albert, over the bad son, Edward. And, of course, Albert — George VI — was Queen Elizabeth’s father. Good breeding and all that.
For years, good Queen Bess used to stomp around this or that royal pile with the corgis, grumbling about her wayward children. But now, in her dotage, the next generation has come off the bench and saved the day.
Hooray for England!
Still, we who thirst for royal scandals can “keep our peckers up,” as my English grandmother used to say to a chorus of stifled guffaws. Prince Charles and his Camilla horribilis refuse to go away. He still wants awfully to be king, even though the entire known universe prefers Wills and Kate.
And then there’s Harry, William’s kid brother, and a real scandal looking for a place to erupt. Even though he’s still younger than 30, he has managed to offend … everyone. Referring to a Pakistani commander as a “raghead,” smoking marijuana and getting into a fight with a photographer outside a nightclub — all good. But he displayed world-class bad taste when he turned up at a party in Nazi brown-shirt regalia, evoking memories of his great grand uncle Edward’s fondness for Hitler and his legendary capacity for making the trains run on time.
For now, though, someone has got Harry, Fergie, Andy, Charles and Camilla, etc., on a short leash, and Kate and Wills and honorary Windsor, Colin, are having their moment in the spotlight.
As they used to say in the tea commercials: Pity.