Stop the presses. Drop what you’re doing. Roll out the red carpets and get out your gladrags.
Pippa Middleton, younger sister to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, just married hedge fund manager James Matthews.
The media, both here as well as in the UK, has gone wild with over-excitement:
Who designed Pippa’s dress? How did she wear her hair? How did Prince Harry’s new girlfriend, Hollywood actress Meghan Markle behave at the reception and why didn’t she go to the church ? How much did the wedding cost? What time did Roger Federer arrive?
Amidst the infinite quagmire of futile speculation, frankly who cares about any of this? Why does any of it matter?
A relatively photogenic couple is bursting into the merry realms of holy matrimony – and I’m sure we all agree that we hope it’s a long and happy union, as much as any marriage ever can be. Why don’t we leave them to just get on with it?
The hysteria has reached such dizzying heights that the marriage itself has been rendered totally irrelevant, the press instead focussing on ridiculously obscure rumor and guestimations. (The wedding is reported to be costing $430,000, with $52,000 of this entirely fabricated figure allocated to the caviar alone. Apparently.)
‘Princess Charlotte is going to be one of the flower girls’ a source ‘exclusively’ told US Weekly (ignoring the inconvenient fact that British weddings do not include flower girls.)
The UK’s Daily Mail was claiming that ‘the big day is going to have a Scottish theme,’ apparently based on the evidence that Pippa graduated from Edinburgh University in Scotland, and that this will involve ‘haggis canapes and lamb, all washed down with local whisky.’
My particular favorite, however, was a report on people.com, claiming ‘guests at Pippa Middleton’s wedding reception will be treated to nothing but the best – including a throne room!… talk about a royal flush!’ Indeed.
Now, if Princess Charlotte were to toddle up the aisle behind her aunt, dressed as a native American with a basket brimming with petals, and guests were to sluice down gallons of whisky (before, inevitably, succumbing to the rage that the liquor induces), and Meghan Markle imperiously command the throne in the throne room, I grant that the occasion might just be raucous enough to justify colonizing a gossip column or two.
But all that seems most unlikely at best .What we do know is that Pippa’s husband is rich and bears an uncanny resemblance to aging rocker Mike Rutherford of Genesis and Mike and the Mechanics.
What happened today was that two people walked up an aisle, the woman in a pretty white dress, both beaming with pride and glowing with hope, a couple of patriotic songs were played on the organ, ‘I dos’ were pronounced, and then they invited the guests back for dinner and dancing. So what?
I’m far from the only Brit to not unduly care about any of this. London socialite Matthew Steeples observed on Facebook:” I hope Pippa Middleton has a nice day becoming Pippa Matthews. At least she keeps her initials Beyond that, I could not give a toss. Not news. “
Pippa has dominated headlines since she acted as her sister’s maid of honor at Kate’s marriage to Prince William in 2011. She was said to ‘steal the show’ due to her figure-hugging bridesmaid’s dress and the rest – as they say – is history.
Bookies began taking bets on the Pippa marrying Prince Harry, magazine columns obsessed over Pippa’s workout regime, the Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society was born.
What all of this shows is not just how easy it is for the press to wind up the public, but also how desperate we all are for a happy ending.
So good luck to everyone marrying this weekend. In equal measure.