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Royal anger over Hello! photos from Peter Philips and Autumn Kelly’s wedding

Posted Oct 17 2008 6:10pm

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for the English royals.  So, while it’s not getting much press on this side of the Atlantic, I’ve been carefully following the story causing English newspapers to wet themselves: the backlash caused by photos from last weekend’s wedding of Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly.  Here’s the scoop: Hello! magazine paid 500,000 pounds (about a million dollars) to Peter and Autumn, who are both commoners without titles.  Peter, however, is the Queen’s grandson, not to mention the first English royal of his generation to marry, and so the public interest in his private wedding was high (although, let’s be real, people probably just wanted to see more pictures of Kate Middleton ).  Royalists feel that the deal was tacky, and are angered by photos printed of the Queen and the wedding guests. 

I think the hullabaloo is incredibly dumb.  With public support for the Monarchy perennially precarious, it should be a no brainer: photos will only drum up positive publicity for The Firm, not to mention allow Peter and Autumn to pay for the incredibly elaborate ceremony they were all but required to throw, but couldn’t possibly have afforded otherwise.  (The wedding was neither paid for with taxpayer pounds, nor by the Queen.  Were they supposed to fete themselves with the Prince of Wales, the Queen and other senior royals in attendance on their own “normal person” salaries?  What kind of backlash and sniffs about “respect” and “propriety” would that have drawn?)  We’re living in modern times (duh), not the Victorian era; yeah, selling photos is tacky, but I think the royal nose-upturning (I’m sorry, but did the Queen not just do a huge spread in Vanity Fair with Annie Leibovitz?) is even tackier.  If the Queen, Prince Charles et al. desire things like this to remain private, then they should become private citizens and not take any taxpayer money.  Otherwise…sorry, but in our modern society where the English Monarchy is really a tourist-and-charity draw and little more, events like a “royal” wedding are not only fair game, but the very reason a dwindling minority of us even care in the first place.

hello_cover_peter_phillips_autumn_kelly_wedding.jpg

Photo from Hello!

kate_middleton_chelsy_davy_prince_harry_hello.jpg

Photo from DailyMail

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