I didn’t attend a street party yesterday (there wasn’t one where I lived). I didn’t even watch the wedding of live on TV (my daughter had a trampolining lesson to attend at 11.30am), although I caught plenty of it afterwards. But it wouldn’t be right for me to blog about anything else other than the marriage of Will and Kate this morning. Here are the three of the key things I picked up from yesterday’s media marathon.
1. Big Society beat talk of party pooper councils: There were warnings beforehand (including from the Government) that faceless local bureaucrats would stand in the way of people having a party (which I had blogged about when the engagement was announced). But seemingly, and thankfully, parties sprang up all over the place (usually with a journalist on hand with some commentary about how this signified the entire country was in a park or at a street party somewhere). And so the media in Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Swindon and other areas duly obliged with such coverage. There was still some talk about whether cash strapped councils got into the spirit of things. But with most people willing to chip in and sort out the parties themselves, this was a good example of the Big Society at work.
2. Journalese is far from dead: The journalistic cliché is dead? Not if yesterday was anything to go by. From the endless comparisons of Kate to Diana to the near blanket insistence from anyone who was speaking on TV that William is ‘down to Earth, one of the lads’, the capacity for hackneyed coverage was substantial yesterday. But it was the consistent use of certain words – fit only for such occasions – that amused also. Take your pick from the following to assemble your own royal wedding story: pomp, pageantry, festooned, bunting, trestle tables (why not ‘tables?’) and the highly dubious ‘commoner’ to describe the Middleton family.
3. The 1980s must have been madness: The Guardian made a point in a typical leader on the subject yesterday (which basically said ‘we wish them well, but…’) that the national mood and the media coverage was more restrained and grounded than that which followed the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981. I agree with them on the first point. If the second point is true, I am glad I was only five at the time.
Congratulations to the happy couple. I hope the rest of you enjoy remainder of the bank holiday weekend.