Hard News by Russell Brown


The Engagement

In one sense, yes, the overnight news is simply that of a wedding between two celebrity toffs: meh, you say. On the other hand, one party to the nuptials is in line to become New Zealand’s Head of State.

 This collision between celebrity and constitutionality – which may be rendered moot by a rush the republicanism on the passing of the present Monarch – is somewhat remarkable.

 I’m old enough to recall the wedding of Charles and Diana, nearly 30 years ago. Even in that more innocent media age, it dominated the news. Women admired the bride; men gazed upon her. As we all know, what happened subsequently did not live up the fairytale billing.

 But now? Now, when the cult of celebrity animates even the allegedly “serious” press? I dread to think.

 The British papers have already gone nuts (I do like The Sun pretending that Camilla actually said the wedding news was “wicked”), and one can barely imagine what the women’s mags will do, given that they’ve dined on the royal relationship every other week for the past five years.

 And of course – tell this to the kids today and they won’t believe you – there was no YouTube back in the old days. Will we see the nuptial mash-up? The auto-tuned vows? The republican remix?

 The question is: are you really ready for the coming frenzy? And if not, hadn’t you better be booking that desert island?

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