A Princely Sum


Humans are a funny lot. You know where you are with equations, mathematics and money – obviously apart from taxes, which don’t generally follow any logical rule except ‘hand it over’.

But human emotions and behaviours can be perplexing, delightful and frightening – as changeable as the British weather. I am not a monarchist but neither am I against them. I have a particular soft spot for Prince Philip who has proved a real antidote to political correctness and actually gets away with it.

About now, thousands will be lining up outside the Abbey and along the Mall to watch the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Some have been camping out for days, harassed by endless journalistic intrusions (there are reportedly 10,000 journalists there, housed in a temporary communications village – actually it looks like a green shack, but I must have missed something).

I’m sure there have been wonderfully intricate problems to solve like the availability of toilets, the likely quantity of discarded rubbish, crowd control, logistics and security. That’s just the sort of thing that these Whitehall chaps are good at, rather than bringing in a national identity card scheme.

There’s something about a shared positive experience that does you good. William and Kate are well-liked, approachable and obviously excited (they haven’t been around long enough to upset too many people and haven’t suffered anywhere near the privacy intrusion inflicted on Charles and Diana). Granted they cannot claim ‘we’re all in this together’ in the current financial climate – they’ll never want for anything. The royal wedding is undoubtedly costing a great deal, but the huge surge of positivity seems to be well worth it – though I could do without the endless similar TV programmes and speculation on dress design (is it only me that isn’t remotely interested in whether it’s a tiara or a flower garland?).

Positivity, optimism, delight, being upbeat – call it what you will – it’s essential for seeing opportunities rather than everything as a threat. It’s infectious and has far-reaching benefits. The cost of the wedding is worth it just for that. I hope the positivity and good will lasts and I wish the happy couple, well, happiness.