Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Royal Family


For a country pretty much founded on the idea of the elimination of monarchical rule, the United States sure loves royalty.  While the American fascination with the royal family could be dismissed as just another symptom or our fixation on fame and wealth, I think it says something a little more complex about our collective psychology.  In American media royalty is always the basis for the fairy tale ending.  The ubiquitous happily ever after story is almost always cast from a royal heritage, making it just that much farther from the grasp of the average person.  I think also that in the states having a royal title represents a kind of transcendence, proof of ones ascendance past the nouveau riche class that has forever been the glass ceiling for the American upper class.  There is a sense of entitlement that we attach to royalty, but that we covet for ourselves, the idea that we could be placed outside of the grind, the expectations of success through hard work just by lucky birth or the right marriage.  Americans increasingly value the easy way, and the life of a modern royal seems to be a template for a beneficent and enviable life of leisure. So we watch, from the outside, and hang on their stories our own hopes and fantasies for ourselves, a better life, the easy way.

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