The Royals Should Not Be Flying Economy
I'm shaking as I write this: This morning, on the 23rd of August, in the year 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were caught taking a commercial flight to Scotland.
As I watched the video of this shameful display, I felt my stomach turn. It turned and turned, faster and faster, like a washing machine -- one of those eco ones that takes 72 hours to wash and dry a t-shirt.
What were these people doing? I shouted to myself. Don’t they realise they’re royalty?
I can’t believe I have to say this in 2019, but royals should not be flying on commercial planes. They shouldn’t be sitting in economy. And they most certainly should not be carrying their own bags.
By my count, the second in line to the throne of the United Kingdom was carrying three bags. Three!
I can’t imagine a circumstance under which a prince should be made to carry bags, much less three of them. (Maybe if the bags are full of gold and he’s trying to escape some sort of populist revolt. Otherwise, no bags!)
Now, it’s not all bad news -- they did reportedly have a nanny with them, showing that they’re not completely relatable.
But if I wanted to experience a regular family lumbering off a commercial flight, I’d just remember my last trip. That is not what I want from my royals. I want pomp. I want circumstance. Jewels and jesters and jousts.
As Elizabeth I once said, “To be a king and wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it.”
Well, for that to be true, we actually need to see the crown. Show it to us! If not literally, then at least metaphorically. Give me the aura of the crown. Its emanation.
Don’t give us a bunch of regular people dragging themselves to spend the weekend at grandma’s. I can see that at any bus station.
What is the point of having royals in our lives if they’re not going to act like they’re demonstrably better than us? Isn’t that why we’re paying so much attention to them in the first place?
Now, some have suggested that Prince William and Princess Kate made the more modest travel arrangements in order to offset the outrage his brother Prince Harry’s audacious taking of four private flights in 11 days last week.
Sorry, but that’s the way they’re supposed to travel, especially when meeting a knight like Sir Elton John.
In fact, if you’re a prince or a princess (and you’re not), I don’t want to catch you travelling in anything but a private jet, horse-drawn carriage or triple decker sovereign flagship with a name like HMS Imperialist or, for a more casual journey, The Sea Witch.
You definitely shouldn’t be on a discount airline called Flybe.
“Dreams,” Queen Latifah once said, “become reality when we put our minds to it.” Well, I’m sorry but this feels more like a nightmare.
Right now, you may be tempted to toss out the old chestnut about how taxpayers fund the royals’ lifestyle. We pay for their flights, their weddings and their tennis tickets.
Well, as far as I’m concerned, we’re not paying enough.
Did you see what Prince William was wearing? Did he look like a prince to you? Where’s the finery? The doublet? The jerkin? The breeches? He doesn’t even have a pouch! Do you want to live in a world where a king doesn’t have some sort of pouch and a gilded eating knife? I don’t.
These people are royalty, chosen by God to lead us. It’s time they started acting like it.
I am reminded of the words of another great queen. A dragon queen. She was caught in a game. A brutal game involving thrones. When her back was against the wall, how did she react?
“I will do what queens do,” she said. “I will rule.”