PAUL LICENSE: A royal reason to pop out for a pint

Happy couple: Kate and Wills
Happy couple: Kate and Wills
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I’M popping out for a pint today.

With former colleague Keith Strong. Do you remember him?

The Strong Man of The Star?

There were photos of him on the sides of buses, wearing a leopard leotard and lifting a dumbell. Strongy, that is. Buses can’t lift dumbells to the best of my knowledge.

He was our entertainment writer for years until he made an escape bid for Tenerife.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

It’s the reason behind that visit to the pub.

Does it make me a republican because I’m slipping out just as William and Kate tie the knot?

Personally I don’t care one way or the other.

I have no strong royalist feelings nor any republican leanings. Take ’em or leave ’em, is my motto.

But I can’t do with all the fuss and palaver.

And, specifically, I can’t do with the instant experts who pop up to guide us through the proceedings, speaking with confident authority.

In the main these are newscasters or mini-celebrities from the world of daytime TV who have been given the lucrative job of covering the wedding for the telly.

However, for one glorious day they are royal correspondents, advising us of the finer details of etiquette which demands this posture or that salute.

Know-alls. That’s what they are. I never liked know-alls when I was young and I still don’t like them today.

And don’t they go on?

As I write this, with 24 hours to go before the big moment on the big day, I can already imagine them droning on and on about the complexities of the gown, the standard of the ceremonial, the way this or that part of the ceremonies hark back to a particular moment in the history of the British monarchy.

Do we really want to know that stuff?

And don’t they realise that we have seen through their ruse and know they are actually filling time because there isn’t all that much to talk about once you have covered the first burst of pomp and ceremony which go into a royal occasion?

And there is a lot of time to fill out when you come to a royal wedding.

Someone, somewhere has decided that the bride and groom are going to get their money’s worth.

From procession to the abbey to the ceremony itself and then back to where they started for a balcony wave and a now-obligatory kiss.

All of that takes an age and not a second of it can be allowed to pass without remark.

Whether this is a potentially fascinating historical fact or a trivial observation, you get it all.

And that’s why I’m off out today.

I reckon life is too short to be spending valuable time watching a wedding ceremony which is analysed and scrutinised by people who are no more expert on the subject than you or I.

They just have a good team behind them to feed them the facts that will not edify the nation. They’ll just bore them.