There are very few things that will get me out of bed in the middle of the night and royal watching isn’t one of them so I missed the coronation of King Charles on May 6. But I hear it was a big deal. The people who plan such things code-named it Operation Golden Orb which sounds like a James Bond movie. But one article I read beforehand said it was more like a royal wedding, only ten times more intense.
That would make it a couple thousand times more intense than my wedding since my husband and I eloped. The guest list was limited to 2,000—at the coronation, not our wedding. There were six people at our wedding and that included us.
There was a time when I thought a big event in my honor sounded fun—maybe when I was seven. But long ago I realized that I’m not cut out to be royalty. Queen of my house? Absolutely. Queen of England? No way. And not just because I don’t live there.
For one thing, being a member of the royal family is like living in a fishbowl, a really glamorous fishbowl where the fish dress in expensive clothing and other fish wait on them hand and fin, but a fishbowl none-the-less. Everywhere they swim paparazzi take pictures of them and other fish gawk at them like gorillas in a zoo.
And yes, I realize I’m mixing my metaphors. If I were royalty, I’d probably be criticized for that. Every other mistake they make goes public. You might be thinking I should be used to that since I admit my dumbest mistakes in this column to literally tens of readers. That’s where you’re wrong. While it is true I once admitted to pulling away from the gas tank with the nozzle still in the tank, that was not my dumbest mistake. By far.
One of the hardest things for me about being a female member of the royal family would be having to wear a hat all the time. Protocol dictates that royal women wear hats to formal occasions, an etiquette rule that dates back to the 1950s when it was considered improper for them to show their hair in public. Their hair shows under every hat they wear so they’re obviously flouting the rule a bit. I probably would too. I wouldn’t like being required to wear a hat. I do have one, a sunhat. It goes with anything—except the kind of outfit you’d wear to a coronation or any other public event. But it makes my head hot, gives me a bad case of hat hair and blows off every time a breeze comes up.
Also many of the royal hats I’ve seen can only be called hats because they sit on top of heads. If you do an internet search of hats worn by royalty you’ll see a lot of attractive ones. But you’ll also see what look like elaborate centerpieces, cake toppers, overturned flowerpots and mini satellite dishes. I have no idea how you’d keep them on in a high wind.
I wouldn’t like having to dress up all the time either. If you were royalty, you could never run to the grocery store in jeans and a sweatshirt that said, “My other shirt is in the laundry.” Of course, I doubt the royal family has to run to the grocery store—or that they wear sweatshirts. But I bet sometimes they wish they could sneak away and shop for their favorite foods so their staff wouldn’t leak to the press that they’re fond of Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles. It could happen. Their likes and dislikes, errors in judgment and photos of them wearing strange objects on their heads all make it into the tabloids. That alone would make being royal a royal pain.
Dorothy Rosby is the author of I Didn’t Know You Could Make Birthday Cake from Scratch: Parenting Blunders from Cradle to Empty Nest and other books. Contact her at www.dorothyrosby.com/contact.