As you may have heard Prince William waited for the my arrival in London to announce his engagement to Kate Middleton. They had a nine year relationship, and when William called me for advice, I told him ‘Go for it. England needs a big tamasha.’ When I got to London I called to congratulate William on his decision, as we knew he was doing it for the flag, The Queen and the British economy. Kate, or the future Queen Kate as she is now known, is a beautiful woman and the media just can’t get enough of her. We’re told she is middle class, whatever that may mean in the British class system.
The whole media rejoiced when they heard the news and bells rang out across the length and breadth of this emerald Isle. The British PM interrupted a discussion on the ailing economy to let allow three cheers in the cabinet room. In print, television and the radio, every pundit who could be hauled out of the pub, discussed the engagement and the coming marriage today. They all agreed that the wedding, like the one between Prince Charles and Diana, will bring in millions of tourists to witness this splendid spectacle. And millions of tourists mean many more million pounds spent on hotels, hot dogs, flags, souvenir mugs and quaff beer. The sagging economy and the sagging spirits of the British empire, or what’s left of it, will be uplifted by the sight of the young handsome couple sitting in a golden carriage and accompanied by the horseguards with their golden helmets and breast plates. The last royal wedding also took place when the British spirits and the economy was on a low, and we all know what happened to tha marriage.
I have to admit the British are very good at mounting spectacles. They have that down to a fine art – colourful horsemen, soldiers with bearskin hats and marching bands. We learned from them on how to mount colourful spectacles but we only do that on Republic Day. I do believe we have the untapped potential to make better use of our splendid army uniforms, bands, camel corps, elephant parades and our natural love of a big tamasha.
Now, what we need to bring this together is a royal wedding. I know there was one recently when a Rajasthan royal married another royal and it was covered by the world media as Mick Jagger and Bono were in the guest list. I doubt those two spent the millions that the British hope their royal wedding will generate.
We do have a much more important royal family – an Indo-Italian one – and what we need is a grand wedding for the young, or not so young, prince who still remains single. Prince William found his Kate and I am praying that Rahul will find his mate soon. Once he does, we can then learn from the Brits how to stage a royal wedding. They have Westminister Abbey and BuckinghamPalace we have the Raj Bhavan and that awe inspiring sweep up to it. We too have carriages, now only used for the President to travel in, and it can be the wedding carriage. So the couple start their regal drive from there and end up in the Red Fort which now is wasted with boring speeches by a PM on Indpendence Day. They’ll wave from the rampants to the adoring masses. I am certain once the wedding is announced, our media, especially TV, will make it an event that will put President Obama’s visit in the shade. There will be hysteria and second by second updates of the happy couple.
And, ofcourse, millions of tourists will line the drive to wave Indian flags, spend millions of rupees, buy souvernirs of the happy couple on lotas, and drink as much Black Label as they can.