What will the new baby Windsor be called? And why do we care?
(If you DO want to know, read HERE. - Ed.)
I'm not sure I do, because if royalty is a new religion, I think I'm an atheist...
Massed hysterical crowds standing with trembling lips and crazy eyes. Occasionally breaking into song and crying.
As the world waits trembling with excitement to find out the name of the latest royal, am I the only one who thought that the crowds outside the hospital where HRH Catherine was giving birth, looked a TINY bit religious? Am I the only one who thought they looked more than a little bit like the crowds that gather outside the Vatican when a new pontiff is about to be appointed? Or the only one who thought there was a touch revival tent mania going on there?
In fact, if one starts to scratch the surface of the whole thing, the parallels between royalism and religion seem glaringly apparent.
Is royalism a religion?
Articles like this one traditionally start with a dictionary quote. So here we go:
Worship - the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity: the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.
Can anyone deny that there were reverence and adoration all over those faces that huddled outside the hospital as their Messiah was born in the not-quite-a-stable in front of them? Given the dire economic conditions of the U.K., very few of them had brought along any gold, frankincense or even a little myrhh – it's so expensive these days...
It should be no surprise that last time the Windsors delivered a child the financially desperate British population apparently decided to give the Windsor's a five million pound pay increase.
Financial sacrifice is any hallmark of religion. Generally, it's pretty low-key, but we are all familiar with the frenzied giving encouraged by religious authorities over the centuries.
Poverty-stricken peasants paid their local church "indulgences" to atone for their sins and boost their chances of an eternal bliss that contrasted deeply with their miserable lives spent living in the mud, sleeping in the mud and eating it most days.
This unproud tradition of payment/tithing has continued to the modern day with cult-followers giving huge slices of their income to shady religious leaders who live lavish lifestyles that contrast so profoundly with their flock.
So it should be no surprise that last time the Windsors delivered a child the financially desperate British population apparently decided to give the Windsor's a 5-million pound pay increase.
Despite the fact that the members of the Windsor's congregation are in desperate financial straits, that subsidies to pensioners are being cut, the NHS has had to cut back on basic health care for... er... everyone and unnecessary luxuries like the Child Protection Unit have been slashed so that the High Priests of the Windsor church can live in the manner to which they are accustomed.
All religion requires a "personal" relationship with the deity in question, even though one has never actually met the aforementioned deity in the flesh. And the royalist devotees have this box ticked in abundance. They have a firm imagined relationship with the particular royals they have chosen to worship. They confidently assert that William is the "sensible one" while Harry is the "fun" one, etc.
How do we know this? We don't. It's an entirely imaginary "relationship" that people have created.
Another hallmark of religion is its power to unite large groups of people who have little else in common. Here the analogy between the monarchy and religion is striking. Just like Catholicism, Buddhism or the weird sex cult down the road unite people from all classes and backgrounds, so does the sweaty-eyed love of the Windsor clan. It gives them a shared identity.
And what better place for the deity to appear than on a nice mug or medal? Why are we so much quicker to look down on the "eccentric" older woman who has a house filled with St Mary medals, pictures, mugs, necklaces etc., and yet, views coronation mugs, royal wedding plates etc., as totally normal? It is surely hard to argue that royal memorabilia isn't very similar to a religious relic of some kind?
The ancient Israelites (the source of the dominant monotheistic faiths of our day) believed that Yahweh lived in the Holy of Holies - a sacred space that only the high priests could enter.
Much like Buckingham Palace, perhaps? Which would make selected members of the aristocracy and the elite of the elite the high priests of the faith. Only they are permitted to enter the Holy of Holies. Ideally dressed in specific ceremonial outfits and strange hats...
I don't hold anything against the latest cast member of the Windsor clan, I'm just not sure that the three wise men should be flying business class all the way from the east to drop of gold, frankincense and myrrh by his manger...