Friday, June 6, 2008

How to watch royal TV specials...

...turn the sound off. As is fairly typical with this sort of thing, E!'s "Forbes: Twenty Hottest Royals" had some nice footage, but the commentary was mostly worthless. I was particularly edified to learn that "in the old days, royals had to marry royals, but Princess Diana changed all that." Really? Amazing how Diana managed to convince that stuffy old King George V to encourage his children to marry British aristocrats instead of foreign royals, nearly forty years before she was born! Also rather...creative was the breathlessly authoritative declaration that Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark (so styled because her patrilineal great-great-grandfather King George I of Greece was originally Prince William of Denmark) is "only half a royal" (whatever that means) because Denmark still "recognizes the monarchy" and Greece does not. Or something.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed being introduced to some of the younger representatives of the royal families of Dubai, Swaziland, Thailand, Brunei, and Japan, none of whom I had previously heard of. I suppose one should give the mainstream American media a little credit whenever they deign to acknowledge that there are still reigning royal families other than those of Britain and Monaco.

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