The plot of half of Disney’s movies has been made manifest. Party prince meets nice all-American girl, and settles down with her—all we can do now is wait for the lucky ones to ride off into the sunset, so the credits can roll.
Sadly, this is real life and the news value of the announcement is only valid because said prince is actually a part of the real life institution of the monarchy, a far more complex matter than the one-dimensional portrait we get through films. With money safely invested in tax paradises and overly expensive renovations, it’s time for some happy news about the royal family: cue engagement announcement. As Lorde sings in ‘Royals’: “That kind of lux just ain’t for us”, so maybe that’s the allure?
Of course, we are all delighted by the news that a prince seems to get the luxury of marrying someone he actually loves — something that seemed unheard of just decades ago. So, you can really have it all then. Prime Minister Theresa May sends her “very warmest congratulations”, and Labour party favourite Jeremy Corbyn said: “I wish them well – I hope they have a great life together.”
It’s all in the positive spirit, but it really is all a bit blasé when thinking about the place of the monarchy in this day and age. Though Disney doesn’t have to consider the social context of their fairy tale, their go-to portrayal of complicated family manners falls pretty close to the reality. Looking at the British royal family, there is definitely enough drama to fill out the requirement of a plot line.
But, here’s a question. Do we really care? Okay, weddings on the telly will always be a hit, but in the era of Netflix and easy access, can a real life wedding compare to the magic of a carefully-crafted Disney script and proper set lighting? Is the romantic cliché enough?
Whatever the allure is, it seems like superficial, happy news to make us feel slightly better about an institution majorly framing outdated values and weird quirks. Good luck, Meghan.