It’s not that I didn’t care about the royal visit. I had really strong feelings. It’s just that they were so contradictory, they averaged out somewhere near ‘Meh’.
So it was a good thing mostly. I was irritated by commentators who gushed like it was the second coming of Elizabeth Christ, beginning of the end of all our troubles. (Slightly disorientating that this coincided with America’s latest rapture attack.) I’m sure that it will be good for our image abroad and for tourism especially, will demonstrate that the Irish still know how to entertain even – perhaps especially – when times are tough. If everything goes well with the Obama visit too, I think this whole summer will be remembered as one brilliant PR coup.
But like all true democrats, I’m a republican (try explaining that in the US), and find the idea of ‘constitutional monarchy‘ bizarre. Genuine monarchy at least has the excuse that it’s what happens when someone wins a fight. But for a self-proclaimed democracy to maintain the post of hereditary pretend-ruler… Well basically it’s just silly, a sort of national charade. This may look like a nice little old lady, but we’re all pretending she’s magic. I resent being required to play along.