Between The Lines: The Princess & The Door

I’ve never much understood our fascination with the monarchy. Perhaps it’s a generational or gender thing, though I’m as sure as I sit here clickity-clacking that there are men and millenials that gobble down the comings and goings of the royal haves and have nots like left-over pizza post hangover. 

Make no mistake, it’s a fascination that is as red hot today as any decade in recent memory. Diana’s young sons are all grown, wedded and in fine form as husbands and fathers. 

Instead of lurking the dark corners of the web eager for dirt on Wild Harry’s escapades with ‘insert name here’ model or socialite, royal watchers feed on the good stuff, photos of the Duke and Dutches of Cambridge with their beautiful brood of children, and melt over the blossomed, game-changing love of Harry and Meghan, the new royals.

Dissect & inspect 

As we await the imminent (as of press time) birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bundle of joy, the collective masses turn blue in the face with anticipation, no doubt eager to dissect and inspect every syllable of text from ‘royal experts’ and analyze to the point of mania the paparazzi photos that have been the bedrock of tabloids since the dawn of the press. 

Yes, it’s all a bit much, to the point I think we forget that, stripped away of the pomp and pageantry, these are indeed real people. Flesh and blood. Air breathers the lot of them, less the Queen has found a way to have some poor sod do it for her. And it IS a bit much. The etiquette and expected conduct and candor of the bloodline and anyone draped with their banners has led to exposees and scrutinies that make nitpicking seem like the new normal. 

A recently recirculated article from the BBC takes the cake on my list of trash-that-is-someone-else’s-treasure journalism. The headline? ‘Meghan closes a car door.’ Digest that for a moment if yee are brave enough to continue.

The eight month old click-bait teased that “It’s something millions of us do every single day, but when the Duchess of Sussex closed her car door on Tuesday, the Internet was watching and had something to say.”

Defying royal customs

You’re no doubt on the edge of whatever seat you call yours in breathless anticipation to hear the end of this thrilling tale of glass-ceiling shattering heroism.

“Arriving at the Royal Academy of Arts to attend her first solo event since becoming a royal, Meghan stepped out of her car – having had the door opened. She then shut it behind her.”

Shock and awe. Won’t somebody think of the children. She was praised as ‘down to earth’ and ‘humble’, while others turned up their noses at the gall of a foreigner stepping outside of tried and true customs and practices of the monarchy.

In all seriousness, good on the progressive American for stripping away some of the archaic trappings that have made the royals as ostracized and alienated to a portion of the population as they are alluring to the other. 

It’s those little things that bring me pause, cutting through my disinterest, bordering on dislike for the royal structure, giving way to an empathy for the major players involved. 

We go through our day-to-day, most of us, in utter disregard for how we are perceived by those around us. Short on leaving the house naked or covered in bees and honey, most of us will never have to worry about tabloids snapping up your messy sandwich stain or afternoon nose pick. 

But a princess is never safe from the shutter of a camera, or of the burning pen of a reporter lurking in the weeds. 

Dillon Collins, The Herald’s Staff Writer, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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