One out of every 14 Americans (myself included) watched the British Royal Wedding in 2011, which drove the other 13 completely bonkers. Didn’t our ancestors give their lives so the American people wouldn’t have to pay attention to the mating rituals of tyrants like Queen Elizabeth II and her brood?
Yet, now more than ever, C.S. Lewis’s words ring true: ‘Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters.’ President Trump is at least two of those things. Meanwhile, at Easter, my 91-year-old grandfather asked me who Stormy Daniels was. I opted for ‘feminist hero’.
Even those royalists who voted for Trump (again, myself included) are repulsed by the whole grotesque spectacle of his Administration. But while the diehard anti-royalists are divided over the President’s merits, both camps are enthralled by his family’s shenanigans. That’s why our media has become a 24-hour TrumpWatch, interrupted only by the occasional natural disaster or mass shooting.
Still, our elites aren’t content simply to hate the House of Trump. They need a personalist regime to call their own. Enter Mohammad bin Salman, or MbS, as his friends in the West know him. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has now officially emerged as the smart man’s Kate Middleton.
At 32 years young, bin Salman is quick with a warm smile. He’s quite good-looking, at least when his keffiyeh covers his balding pate. And a girl could lose herself forever in those deep brown eyes.
The Prince’s brand of opulence is also pleasantly familiar. It’s rumoured that he booked out the entire Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills for his entourage. While staying in California, he’ll be dining with Rupert Murdoch, Disney’s Bob Iger, and Warner Bros’ Kevin Tsujihara. Meanwhile, Trump is holed up in Mar-A-Lago with Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin.
Best of all, the pundits can maintain their veneer of anti-royalism by passing all of this off as an exercise in foreign affairs. In his first year as Crown Prince, the ‘great young reformer’ has already brought Saudi automotive laws into the 19th century by allowing women to drive. He’s the architect of Vision 2030, which aims to ween the Saudi economy off its dependence on oil exports. The think-tankers really lapped that up. And now it seems bin Salman will graciously allow Israel the right to exist.
Who knows? Maybe this wonkish fairy-tale of the crusading moderniser will come true. Maybe MbS will wake the Kingdom from its barbarous slumber with a single tender kiss. Truth be told, I’m not holding my breath.
I will, however, be getting up early to watch Harry and Meghan tie the knot. Granted, it’s not the Cinderella story of Wills and Kate. I share Her Majesty’s reservations about Prince Harry marrying a divorcee, and Lewis would no doubt object to Hollywood’s invasion of Nottingham Cottage. But there don’t appear to be any prostitutes or gangsters on the guest list, which is more than we can say for the American and Saudi royal families.