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29 April 2011

Royal soap opera

Royal families, especially the British, are fore-runners of reality TV and the longest running soap operas anywhere.

Royal families, especially the British, are fore-runners of reality TV and the longest running soap operas anywhere. Where once they shunned publicity, now they seek it and try to control it, recognising that their continuing existence depends on maintaining a tricky balance between being lofty and mysterious, and being nearly accessible and feeling like distant relatives of us all.

In this century the royals have been quite keen to encourage public interest in their weddings. Up to 1947, a royal couple would only accept gifts from friends and others they actually knew personally. This rule was then changed, and there were cheery stories about old ladies knitting tea cosies, and 2500 gifts poured in including nighties and other intimate items. This helped to make people feel the wedding was somehow in the family.

 
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