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.


We stand with Jeremy Corbyn

Letter: We stand with Jeremy Corbyn – just as he always stood with us

Organisations and individuals including Kehinde Andrews, Hanif Kureishi, Ahdaf Soueif, Gillian Slovo, Robert Del Naja and Anish Kapoor urge BAME and migrant communities to vote for Labour

Election 2019: Battle lines drawn in Sheffield Hallam

Sam Gregory of Now Then magazine reports on the candidates vying for votes in a key Lib Dem-Labour marginal

Another World is Possible

Election 2019: The end of neoliberalism in sight?

If elected, the next Labour government can finally depart from the neoliberal consensus and deliver a major shift in wealth and power, argues Adam Peggs


Scottish Independence and the England problem

The Scottish struggle for independence is one of several issues at the centre of debates over where power in the United Kingdom should be located, writes Isobel Lindsey

Election 2019: Transatlantic socialism rising

As Sanders and Corbyn head to the polls, Peter Gowan describes a new spirit of international collaboration on the left

Jeremy Corbyn and front bench holding copies of the 2019 manifesto

Election 2019: An ambitious, agenda-setting and credible manifesto

The 2017 Labour election manifesto was good but the 2019 version is the document we’ve really been waiting for, argues Mike Phipps