The Way We Live for Sunday 13 February 2011
I have something to tell you. Here goes: I am a republican with a monarchist trying to get out. I can’t help it. I’m totally fascinated by the Royal Family. Or that should be Royal Families – plural. If you’ve got a crown on your head, you had me at hello (your Highness). How bad is my obsession? I’ve marked William and Kate’s wedding in my diary so as to ensure I don’t make any plans for that night. And I’ll probably watch the wedding with my girlfriends eating Thai food on the couch while discussing in depth whether or not we think the marriage will last. Because, you know, we’d have a clue. Obviously. Then there’s the fact I’ve actually logged on to the Danish Royal Family’s website more than once. And last week I hit a new low. I started following Clarence House on Twitter.
I feel so dirty.
My father think it’s hilarious (He would. He’s English). Brad however appears to be mildly horrified. “Mildly” being code for off-the-charts. He doesn’t get it. Actually, I’m not sure I get it. Because the fact is I’m all for Australia being a republic. In a big way. And I’ve been pro-republic for years. (Did you hear that sound? It was the sound of lots of monarchists getting out their Lady Diana Souvenir Wedding Stationary to write me an angry letter).
So there you have it. I’m one hundred percent behind the idea of Australia becoming a republic while at the same time hiding a royalty-porn addiction. So I believe one thing but am secretly doing another. I’m the Paris Hilton of Republicanism. (Too obscure? In 2008 Hilton was part of the Rock The Vote campaign to convince young people to vote. Except, um, Hilton herself doesn’t vote).
I’d like to point out that my royalty obsession was self-motivated. My mother could care less about them. But not me. I created my own Lady Di scrapbook when I was about eight. When Princess Diana visited Brisbane back in 1983, I lobbied my local member to make it a public holiday so that I could have the day off school to go into the city to see her. (Strangely, my local member wasn’t into this idea. Go figure.)
Even my Barbies paid the price for my obsession. I decided “Golden Dream Barbie” should have the “Shy Di” hairstyle. Needless to say I grabbed my mother’s kitchen scissors and hacked her hair off in a manner akin to Edward Scissorhands after he’d had a few beers. The result? She was less Princess Diana Barbie and more “Girl Interrupted Barbie” by the end of it.
So how did my parents cope with their daughters Princess Di obsession? By focusing dinner table conversation on an individuals’ contribution to the community. By discussing the warts and all aspects of all walks of life. And – truth be told – by hiding the kitchen scissors.
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.