Jeremy Hardy thinks… about the royal wedding

We are all products of our environment, unless you believe everything is hereditary, which I suppose you do if you’re a prince

April 1, 2011 · 2 min read

What to give William and Kate is the dilemma facing so many at the moment. I hope they had the decency to print ‘We already have everything we need – to put it mildly’ at the bottom of the invitations. Perhaps guests were asked to do some something charitable, like buying a unicorn for the Kenyan village where William proposed.

I don’t want to sneer. I bear the happy couple no ill-will as individuals. We are all products of our environment, unless you believe everything is hereditary, which I suppose you do if you’re a prince. William’s father has resolved the environment v heredity argument, because in his mind the environment is something he inherited.

We should probably be grateful that he sees himself as its dutiful guardian. He might be no George Monbiot but, as the idiot spawn of incestuous German robber barons, he could be worse.

William himself had a difficult start in life, barely nurtured at all by dysfunctional parents who’d themselves been completely neglected by dysfunctional parents of their own.

The monarchy and the aristocracy don’t do parenting as such. Diana, God rest her, was a terrible mother. I doubt she ever met those boys from school, and they only needed picking up three times a year. What kind of environment is life in a boarding school? Kennelling for the children of the privileged.

At the time of writing, I can’t say whether I shall be lured to the television on the big day or whether I shall wait until 6pm to see what Al-Jazeera makes of it. As I’m self-employed, David Cameron’s gift of a day off means little to me – and little to many, I imagine, since he’s giving thousands of people a lot of days off from now on. Still, I suppose redundancy is something to share with the royals.


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