Wrecking Ball: American Obsession with the Royal Family

Lyle Griggs

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On July 4th, 1776, a courageous contingent of American revolutionaries formally declared their independence from the tyranny of the English throne. Over the years, residents of the American colonies had developed a distaste for royals, so they resolved to do away with them. To do so, they fought a bloody war, involving a lot of Nathan Hale-esque self-sacrifice and noble hullabaloo. After their ultimate success, the infant United States of America replaced the hated monarch with a more temporary figurehead (known as the “president”) who had limited power and could be removed from office without the unpleasantries associated with beheading.

But sometime in the past century or two, despite all that death and revolution, some Americans developed a cloying obsession with British royalty. They obsess over their toddlers, scrutinize their outfits, watch their weddings on American television and admire their glitzy palaces. They have all the earnest devotion of a baseball zealot who flies to spring training to watch batting practice. Unlike the baseball zealot, however, their obsession is un-American.

But why do Americans care so much about the British royal family? Is it merely because of the hats, the chandeliers, the exalted toddlers, the cute feudal titles and the weddings? Do people just appreciate any opportunity to gawk at opulence? Is it because they enjoy watching a once-powerful nation waste taxpayers’ money on its fancy human pets? Or, as it seems, do they harbor a secret nostalgia for the tyranny and injustice experienced by our forefathers? Whatever the reason, this strange fixation is foolish. American citizens ought to devote their precious time and attention to the problems facing their own country, not to the obsolete royals tottering around on the other side of the Atlantic.