Infatuated by royal family and their celebrity lives

Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II.

So excitement is building with news that the Duke of Lancaster herself, HRH the Queen, is heading to the city.

This is the first time in many moons she has returned to the city of which she is Duke and it has changed immensely, if not unrecognisably, while she has been away.

The news of the visit has been welcomed with the mixture of genuine pleasure, voyeuristic interest and good old British scepticism which sums up our relationship with the royal family.

We love them, resent them and yet are infatuated by their existence in equal measure.

Highlights of their lives – marriages, babies, coronations – are part of our own lives.

They have what we don’t have as automatic birthright, but their lives are fascinating and they undoubtedly play a role in championing the best of British around the world.

Royals have always been celebrities, they are now the shiniest of the A-list, if not completely infallible and immune to criticism in this critical media age.

It is always amusing to see hardworking film stars and business champions who battled for their careers bowing before those who, talent aside, happen to be born in the right family and shake hands for a living.

But they do retain that untouchable air of mystique, or privilege and mystery that means meeting them is a real honour. Something that is invaluable in a society where nothing is sacred.

Just how sceptical we British are was summed up to me by an American fellow passenger on a plane.

Fascinated with my Britishness, she inquired if I see much of the Royal family. Do I know Kate?

Somewhat taken aback I tried to explain our mix of fascination and scepticism. And that I don’t know Kate personally. She looked 
baffled.

To her, a citizen in a monarchy-free state, the royals were the epitome of glamour and goodness. She wished they were her royal family.

I asked why? ‘Because I love them,’ she answered, eyes shining.