I recently read this light-hearted article by the royal commentator, Talbot Church, in The Independent. All the stuff and nonsense about whether males in the royal family should wear wedding rings, and the Queen’s apparent apoplexy over Prince Andrew wearing a blazer with gold buttons (the scoundrel!) raised nothing but an amused smile.
What really got me was a seemingly throw-away paragraph at the end of the article:
“Another practical matter has been preoccupying wedding organisers. How far in advance of their wedding should William and Kate cease living together? The royal lovebirds are reluctant to be apart, but Palace officials are concerned that the move from cohabitation to marriage is not too rapid. The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that “an illusion of innocence” is important on 29 April.”
An illusion of innocence. Really. Who for exactly? Everyone in the country, and indeed most of the world, is well aware that Prince William and Kate Middleton have been living together since they were at university. All but the most naive citizens will realise that this means they are highly likely to be sleeping together. As would be the vast majority of young couples in their situation in the country today, and as were many couples in decades past, even if they were not being quite so open about it. So, the general public don’t need to be duped into thinking that they are still innocent, virginal young things on their wedding day.
Perhaps His Eminence believes that they can fool God? If this is the case, then I have an idea for the Church of England. If myself and my same-sex partner want to get married in church, then perhaps you would allow us to if we shack up for a few months with a same-sex couple of the opposite gender, and swap partners in public. That way, we would be giving an “illusion of heterosexuality” and God would be quite happy to marry us all in a double wedding! I think this is worth putting before the house of bishops, don’t you, Archbishop?
This whole thing is laughable in the extreme, and yet again demonstrates that older members of the royal family and senior clerics in the C of E are completely out of touch with the country and society as it is today.