Can you believe the hype worldwide for the recent royal wedding of William and Kate? Everyone wanted it seemed to be part of the fairy tale. In the early twentieth century, Bruce Barton wrote “Watching the Prince Earn His Pay” in which he marveled at our preoccupation in the U.S. with royal families and their every move even back in his day. How did he describe the loyal following of the royals in the United States? More importantly, what was his plausible explanation for that fascination? And, what positive paths could this information lead us to in the modern world?
Barton described in his twentieth century world a scene in which he participated. A Prince was riding up the avenue with hoards of cheering, hat bearing groupies on the sidewalk. Sound familiar from the recent coverage of the famous April 2011 televised wedding of Will and Kate? Barton marveled with a grin at how times had changed things. His first ancestor in this country, William, spent the best years of his life fighting the Prince’s ancestor, George. Forever it seemed, dislike and distrust of the English were “fed” to us through first readers. Emerson is quoted in terms of his judgment on people who sit on thrones:
God said? “ I am tired of Kings,
I suffer them no more.
Up to my ear the morning brings
The outrage of the poor.”
And still, there Barton was, a descendant of a Revolutionary fighter, taking time away from his work at the office to cheer for the son of a king, and an English King at that. Of course, at our recent April 2011 event it was not the son of but rather the grandson of the royal for whom we stopped everything and paid great attention. Barton explored our fascination and looked for reasoning.
Provided was a simple explanation. It is not we who have changed, but the kings, or in our case, the Queen. They, the royal family have, as the author pointed out, had at last found real jobs for themselves, and we respect any man who has work to do and does it well. What you ask would that job be? Well they are employed to be the travelling salesmen of their countries of course! Their firm to which the salesmen belong would be Great Britain and Company. The Queen knows well that our dealings with her House have not been altogether satisfactory in the past. Fifth grade U.S. textbooks tell the story of the revolutionary war. And then of course, even things of recent times haven’t made their House look so great. A string of failed marriages have strained our image of the great Company. But, with William and Kate, the Queen comes to us with the idea of straightening out all of the old complaints and convincing us that this year’s line is entirely unlike anything previously purchased. Barton asked if stodginess-lack of humor-prejudices come to mind in thinking of the royals. That was the brand of the past as the news media would remind us. This year, the House is headed to new management and putting out a very superior article in William and Kate. At the wedding, a sample of their “sincerely in love” demeanor was beamed across television screens worldwide. A patent bit of open-mindedness was also an exclusive of this year's model in invitees and wedding details.
On the day of our latest royal wedding, we seemed prepared to put past differences and prejudices aside and open a good line of credit with her majesty’s House. Think of public relations firms. They have curious jobs. They are paid to visit conventions and banquets of their company’s customers and tell funny stories. In fact, these purveyors of positive image can be the most valuable assets that a corporation owns. Now, that’s the proper kind of job for a royal. We who have no kings should choose a half a dozen good looking chaps with great smiles and funny stories to show our customers across the oceans what a great lot of folks we are. Congratulations, Will and Kate, on your new jobs in your corporation.