After the Fact: A Royal Pain


It’s not surprising that the English think Americans are strange. We mispronounce any number of words and entire sentences; we have wholly non-descriptive vocabulary (as “elevator” for “lift” or “French fries” for “chips”); we put cream in our coffee, but not in our tea; we drive on the wrong side of the road AND we prefer our beer cold. 

Consider that we fought a revolution to become independent of King George III, his tea and his taxes. Now, we read every little thing in the magazines and newspapers or watch on TV the goings-on, in great detail, of everything the Royals do, say or think.  Not that they seem to think overmuch. At least the new generation is decorative, thanks in no small measure to Lady Diana Spencer.

In my perspective, Prince William’s Kate has beauty class and sensibility; Harry’s wife was a B-grade actress, notable for absolutely nothing. For those of you old enough to remember, it must sound like the second season of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

Now, our royalty rides down the main street of every small town on the deck of a 1965 Impala convertible (if they can find one), leading the homecoming parade while friends hold up cell phones (that weren’t even around when the Impala arrived) to take pictures.

When I came to Adams State College, there was NO homecoming queen! We had, instead, an Indian princess, MiKaKe, who was “crowned” with a full war bonnet, and the attendant Indian maidens wore headbands with feathers. I seem to remember that Budge Threlkeld, head of the theatre department, had written the “Legend of Princess MiKaKe,” a story somewhat like Pocahontas. It made our school, and our mascot, the Adams State College Indian, unique in the world of homecoming celebrations.

The week before homecoming, we had the “Medicine Show,” a program of student talent. All acts were fun, some more memorabl

e than others: I remember a vocal quartet that had some really sterling talent, most notably Larry Motz. We didn’t have cheerleaders, either: as most elite colleges of the time, Adams State had “yell men.” I don’t know if he’s still around, but Emilio Esquibel was one, and pretty spectacular looking, besides!

It’s likely a consequence of our so-less-than-royal (or even loyal) leaders that we ascribe royalty to anyone in Hollywood. Queen Kris, the King-Queen and all the little prince and princesses Kardashian-Jenner. If Lady Gaga marries, does her husband become Lord Gaga? Some are so sure of their place in the celestial GPS that their child has a title in place of a name, as Prince Jackson. Or Prince’s cousin, Jermajesty Jackson.

When I first heard the name “Nevaeh,” I thought it rather an affectation to expect heavenly behavior from any little girl, but it’s become less outrageous than, say, “Messiah ya’Majesty Harris” or “Sovereign-Dior Newton.” 

Patience, my great-granddaughter, considers her name an affront as she has none. It could be worse. My neighborhood at one time thought my granddaughter was “Jennifer.”  We were halfway through the school year

when they learned that there was only ONE little girl living with me, and her name was “Torrey.” She only thought she was a princess.

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