The ornate rituals in Westminster Abbey, and Donald Trump’s investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate have something in common, says Heather McRobie: a very pre-modern fixation on blood as a marker of belonging, and heritage as a prerequisite for legitimacy to rule.
The incongruity appeared to raise little comment. At a wedding - perhaps one of the most tender of human ceremonies in its manifestation of love and hope - all the principal male figures wore the uniforms of forces whose business is armed conflict.
The pomp, circumstance and military trappings of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was light years away from the teachings of the vulnerable man Jesus who was executed by the Romans, says Sande Ramage. Despite that 'The Royals at the Abbey', with the full co-operation of the church, keep trying to blend two irreconcilable concepts.
BBC Radio 4, so often a voice of intelligence and relative impartiality, began the news this morning (29 April) with the extreme bias and simpering tones they reserve for reports on the Windsor family. It was announced that Kate Middleton would be "transformed" from a "commoner" into "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge".
Reading the church media over the past week, and probably for the succeeding one, would leave many people with the impression that the boundary between church and monarchy is virtually indecipherable. I find this elision of faith in God with a longing for worldly pomp and circumstance deeply disturbing.
Monarchy as an institution rooted in inherited wealth and pure eugenic privilege stands in contrast with, and contradiction to, the levelling Gospel of Jesus Christ, argues Simon Barrow. But a kind of mythology and ritualising in the popular imagination prevents both Christians and others from seeing what is really going on, and what is wrong with it.
“Are you for King or for Parliament?” I was taught at a tender age to ask the burning question of mid 17th century England as a means of assessing an individual's take on society. It seems apposite once again.