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America's royal envy

Matt Frei | 00:12 UK time, Thursday, 14 April 2011

William_Kate.jpgWhy is America so obsessed with Britain's Royal Wedding?

It is a weighty question of our time, and I discussed it for BBC Americana with a woman who has her finger on the racing pulse of humanity... Dolly Parton.

"I think everyone loves a fairytale set in a castle... to dream about," she said.

Ms Parton, who grew up in the gritty poverty of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, knows of what she speaks. In her hundreds of songs and dozens of films, this "iron butterfly", as she describes herself, has been peddling escapism all her life. She also happens to be the only living human with a theme park named after her - Dollywood. And Ms Parton herself is royalty, of sorts.

But of course not every British royal wedding gets this much attention. America did not get up early to follow the nuptials of Charles and Camilla. And the US barely knew that Sweden - a nation that adores its royals more than the Brits - even had a royal wedding last summer. The US is oblivious to the ups and downs of Spain's constitutional monarchy. So why does the monarchy against which this country fought a bitter war of independence capture its imagination so much?

America has never quite purged its monarchical instincts. The First Family is treated like elected royalty. Michelle Obama's wardrobe receives the kind of scrutiny normally reserved for a queen. From the plane to the fanfare to the motorcade, the procession of an American president is, let's face it, a very regal affair.

The founding fathers feared America's weakness for the monarchy and set up a series of speed bumps to regal power. The cultural affinity between Britain and the US (Dare I mention the dreaded "special relationship"?) is the bloodstream which nurtures the American fascination with Britain's royalty. Both The Queen with Helen Mirren and the King's Speech with Colin Firth produced a harvest of Oscars and box office profits, even though or perhaps precisely because these films displayed monarchy with its human weaknesses.

But back to the wedding. Yes, these days we could all do with a bit of Dollywood escapism. In an era of the instant reality TV celebrity, there is something to be said for the more durable kind that comes with birth. And finally there's the couple itself - enough to make even the most hard bitten Republican weak at the knees. The helicopter pilot who inherited his mother's looks and evokes the memories of her tragic life. And Kate. As one senior diplomat said at a dinner in Washington last night pointing at a picture of Her Majesty the Queen: "That's the soon-to-be-grandmother-in-law of Kate Middleton."

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Why is America so obsessed with Britain's Royal Wedding?"


    Women are, mostly. They were raised to believe that they were "daddy's little princess" and they tend to take things literally.

    It's the same segment of society that reads celebrity gossip magazines; watches "reality" TV shows, soap operas, "Dancing With The Stars" and/or "American Idol".


    "America" as a nation, has no interest in royal weddings. But half of its population does.

  • Comment number 3.

    George VI can be credited with winning over the American people to British monarchy during his visit to the US in 1939, and I imagine the US' consumption of British culture throughout the post war period has helped it to stick. (which also explains why the US favors British monarchy over any other country; the Beatles and Rolling Stones have more lasting popularity than ABBA)

    Mostly, however, I think people are fascinated with monarchy because it is something exotic and kind of quirky to American sensibilities, like castles and double decker buses. We simply don't have it over here, so what may seem ordinary to Brits becomes intensely fascinating.

  • Comment number 4.

    Most of us don't. Most celebrity idols in this country are our own from Hollywood. Heck, most of friends, family, and associates know next to nothing about British royalty. I only do because I read the BBC and keep up on European news.

  • Comment number 5.

    Most Americans don't care. However, we do have a big tabloid culture so major flamboyant events and parties will garner a lot of attention. Just because the US media covers something doesn't mean the general public cares.

  • Comment number 6.


    Empires and their royalties once existed in many places, around the world, where a single wave of a royal scepter could launch warships and deploy invading armies, but all of that is so long displaced from the modern world that perhaps royalty could today be seen as a romantic fiction, wherever around the world.

  • Comment number 7.

    Matt: "America has never quite purged its monarchical instincts. The First Family is treated like elected royalty. Michelle Obama's wardrobe receives the kind of scrutiny normally reserved for a queen. From the plane to the fanfare to the motorcade, the procession of an American president is, let's face it, a very regal affair."

    Quite true, and quite unnecessary, in my opinion. I know that the president, by way of the office of the presidency being by its very nature one who's occupant is expected to both lead the government and head the nation, is for all intents and purposes an elected monarch. Benjamon Franklin frustratedly observed as much during our founding. But just because he/she is by technical definition a temporary monarch, doesn't mean they have to, nor should be treated to all the trappings of the monarchy.

    After Lindon Johnson and Richard Nixon's unconstitutional power grabs (no doubt at least in part induced by all the "White House aids" waiting in the wings to serve their every desire) Jimmy Carter, upon entering office, went a considerable way toward becomeing "the people's president" in deed as well as word. He got rid of the presidencial yot. He had solar pannels installed on the roof of the White House. He survived his entire term in office without having to order one American soldier's boot to strike foreign soil.

    I think its time for us to return to those days. Power in and of itself is corrupting enough. We do not need the servants, modes of transportation and other such elements to make it even more so.


    "The founding fathers feared America's weakness for the monarchy and set up a series of speed bumps to regal power."

    They did more than that. They were so worried about executive power grabs, that they insisted that the president pay for almost all of his expenditures when it came to maintaining the White House. I'm pretty sure all the government payed for was his cabanit's salaries. And once they stepped down from office could they look forward to a penchant of sourts? Travel costs? A severance pay? No. They could forget it. Truman very nearly went broke after he had stepped down from office. And it was here that congress introduced Social Security, if you will, for the president.

    "The cultural affinity between Britain and the US (Dare I mention the dreaded "special relationship"?)"

    I don't know, dare you? I must say, I find it more than a bit baffling, not to mention somewhat offensive, that you would describe that phrase as "dreaded." For this must mean t

  • Comment number 8.

    The President is not treated like a monarch. He's treated like a head of state. The British head of state just happens to also be a monarch.

    Most heads of states are treated with reverence. In monarchies, they are treated more so with reverence because they are monarchies! And in America, more so because the head of state is also the head of government. Not to mention America's preeminence in the world.

    I think you've all been looking at this the wrong way and assigning the status of "royal treatment" simply because the Brits don't know any other kind of treatment. The only head of state they've ever really known is a monarch.

  • Comment number 9.

    "Why is America so obsessed with Britain's Royal Wedding?"

    I hate to rain on Britain's already rainy parade but America is not obsessed with the Royal Wedding. Only a tiny portion of US public who is into celebrity news cares about it at all, meaning teenaged girls and old women. That's pretty much the extent of that demographic.

    A better question to ask is:
    "Why are Brits so desperate to depict Americans as being obsessed with British things"?

    I think I have the answer. British preoccupation and obsession with Americans is so extreme and one-sided that in the rare event Americans pay even the slightest bit of attention to the UK, it's a cause for celebration.

    "Yay! Americans think about us!".

    In reality Americans don't care about the Royal Wedding in the slightest. British people are far more obsessed with American celebrities than Americans are with British ones.

  • Comment number 10.

    It helps the expanding numbers of reasoning people escape media-driven American solipsism.

    It is virtual travel; all that remains available to most after paying the monthly bills.

  • Comment number 11.

    Ken said '......I think I have the answer. British preoccupation and obsession with Americans is so extreme and one-sided that in the rare event Americans pay even the slightest bit of attention to the UK, it's a cause for celebration.

    "Yay! Americans think about us!".'

    What utter tosh! As an Englishman, I can't even stand the term 'special relationship', the only thing that's special is the US constantly screwing us over and our leaders taking it!
    The sooner the press stop believing their own bull the better. I've got more affinity the France and Germany than the US.

  • Comment number 12.

    What i find so odd is that when you go to any British website or news site they all talk about how utterly enthralled we are with this wedding.
    The truth is most of us here in the US find it revolting. American media is pushing it on the American people and they are responding by changing the channel to anything but that. Sorry to disappoint. GAG! I just came over to this site thinking to myself, here they go again, telling everyone how much we love all things British.
    News Flash! Americans don't give two wooden nickles about the "Royal Wedding"
    We came over here for a reason. To get away from the British and their bad food and even worse teeth! :-)

  • Comment number 13.

    I think Americans and British share a common interest in tabloids and gossip rather than each other. As soon as a major celebrity of any kind does something to write about it's on the T.V.,internet,and in the tabloids. This is true in both countries.
    Speaking a common language makes it easier for our medias to use each others stories and don't forget we've been doing it for a couple of centuries.

  • Comment number 14.

    If Americans forget its contact with Britain - here are reminders !

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/who-owns-britain-biggest-landowners-agree-to-reveal-scale-of-holdings-443956.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/who-owns-britain-biggest-landowners-agree-to-reveal-scale-of-holdings-443956.html

    ---- and unlike some family members, Prince Charles pays taxes VOLUNTARILY --some do not pay taxes.

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't think Americans are obsessed with the wedding. It's being crammed down our throats by TV networks because the wedding falls at the start of the May ratings period.

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.

    I can't help but feel as if the BBC takes a special delight in publishing these kinds of stories. If anything, just to get a rise out of the average American poster on these forums.

    May I say it has worked remarkably well, judging by the responses so far.

    While I'm not a big advocate of monarchies, or inherited prosperity in general; well wishes to the happy couple all the same.

  • Comment number 19.

    America has never quite purged its monarchical instincts. The First Family is treated like elected royalty. Michelle Obama's wardrobe receives the kind of scrutiny normally reserved for a queen. From the plane to the fanfare to the motorcade, the procession of an American president is, let's face it, a very regal affair.

    The founding fathers feared America's weakness for the monarchy and set up a series of speed bumps to regal power. The cultural affinity between Britain and the US (Dare I mention the dreaded "special relationship"?) is the bloodstream which nurtures the American fascination with Britain's royalty."

    Very true. Not just with regards to the wedding, which I admit does have celebrity appeal..
    The reverence of and sense of connection with the "cultural and linguistic motherland" is deep-seated and woven into the fabric of our society, and I suspect the special relationship will only grow stronger with time. It is very much a reality. :)

  • Comment number 20.

    Malkava said:
    "I can't help but feel as if the BBC takes a special delight in publishing these kinds of stories. If anything, just to get a rise out of the average American poster on these forums."

    Actually it's designed to appeal to the sensibilities of British people who are so fiendishly obsessed with Americans that they need to hear lies like this to cope with that one-sided relationship. The BBC and other British media it seems has to meet a weekly quota of propaganda about the US. Last week there were numerous articles about "The American dream is dying!" with thinly veiled glee in how it was reported. This week it's "Americans are obsessed and envious of the Royals!". The BBC has a tendency to report utter nonsense as fact, the most one-sided nonsense to depict the US in the most inaccurately negative way possible so that Brits with their inferiority complex can feel better about themselves.

  • Comment number 21.

    I'm sorry to burst Mr. Frei's bubble - but this time there is virtually no interest at all. The fascination with Diana and her downmarket twin Fergie reached its peak in the 80s and early 90s. Now there is very little interest.

    But somehow I think the mischievous author knows that perfectly well...

  • Comment number 22.

    #11 Anthony Rat

    What utter tosh! As an Englishman, I can't even stand the term 'special relationship', the only thing that's special is the US constantly screwing us over and our leaders taking it!

    ---------------------------

    I am always intrigued by anti-American hysterics and frenzy. This is rather low on the scale. It certainly is an example of anti-Americanism, which flourishes in Britain like mushrooms, but it lacks originality.

    Please do better in future....

  • Comment number 23.

    If you believe that Dolly Parton is some sort of American "bell weather" you are in deep trouble as a reporter; regardless of her beginnings she is and for a long time has been, an isolated celebrity, whose schtick is to appear common in a neurotic, trailer-trashy kind of way, while actually living a life entirely insulated from all things common except the adoration of the bored housewives of the South East. You might as well claim Elvis can tell you which way the winds blow in the U.S.

  • Comment number 24.

    #23 BK

    If you believe that Dolly Parton is some sort of American "bell weather" you are in deep trouble as a reporter; regardless of her beginnings she is and for a long time has been, an isolated celebrity, whose schtick is to appear common in a neurotic, trailer-trashy kind of way, while actually living a life entirely insulated from all things common except the adoration of the bored housewives of the South East. You might as well claim Elvis can tell you which way the winds blow in the U.S.

    ------------------------------

    It just feeds into the ugly stereotypes about Americans. But fighting that is impossible.

  • Comment number 25.

    Why was only two thirds of my post #7 published? Has the BBC implemented a new character limit on their blogs now?

    As I was saying, I am rather perplexed that you, Matt, would call the “special relationship” phrase “dreaded,” for this cannot mean anything good. It must mean, that at best its being brought up is highly contrivercial, thus, its status as a real, much less beneficial to both countries thing is hotly contested, and at worst a sizable minority of, if not the majority of the British people think that it is a bad international entity that can only serve to degrade and brake the British nation’s spirit and will. Remember your ‘”Will Assange Give UK its ‘Love Actually Moment with US?” entry which you posted last December? If you’ll recall, you explained to your audience that the British people’s desire to see their government defy the United States government is like a seaseless ache that “must be satisfied at some stage, even with a more popular Barack Obama in the White House.” This spoke volumes to me, as it indicated that the desire to tell the Americans where to go is not derived from, as I had previously thought, the situation at hand; in other words, evidence of American mistreatment, exploitation etc, but rather from nothing. NO matter who is in the White House, no matter what evidence or lack there of there is of American abuse of Britain, the ache to reject America just because still persists amung the British people, and will continue until it is cured.

    I, for one, do not share this view. Despite what many believe, the “special relationship” is not a delusional fantacy drempt up by politicians and journalists, nor is it a temporary, naive expectation developed by a great wartime leader who, along with the world he lead, has long since passed away. It is, quite simply, fact. Its timeless components (values, law, language etc) sound cleche, but just because something is cleche doesn’t make it necessarily false. And you are right, Matt. The cultural affinity between our nations is – as you eloquently said – “the bloodstream which nurtures the American fascination with Britain's royalty.”


  • Comment number 26.

    The fascination with the First Family is a very recent thing. It's not part of some love of Monarchy deeply rooted in Americans. It's part of the Celebrity culture and being famous for being famous. Presidential Limousines aren't chariots the need for them came about after the assassination of one of America's presidents.

    Off the top of my head I can't name either of the Bush Twins. Can you?

  • Comment number 27.

    kent and TimR1944

    If the US has no interest in the Royals why are the networks predicting 60 million plus viewing figures for the wedding
    More Americans watched Diana's funeral than Ronald Reagans and Michael Jacksons funeral together.
    I do think it’s unhealthy the American interest in the Royal wedding plus the fact that more money has been spent in the US on wedding memorabilia than the rest of the world combined. It’s almost as if British royal blue blood has seeped into the US establishment . Here’s a list of all the US Presidents who are related to British Royalty.


    George Washington (descendant of Edward III of England)
    Thomas Jefferson (descendant of Edward III of England)
    James Madison (descendant of Edward I of England)
    James Monroe (descendant of Edward III of England)
    John Quincy Adams (descendant of Edward III of England)
    William Henry Harrison and his grandson, Benjamin Harrison (descendants of Edward I of England)
    Zachary Taylor (descendant of Edward I of England)
    Franklin Pierce (descendant of Henry I of England)
    Rutherford Hayes (descendant of William I of Scotland and William the Conqueror)
    Grover Cleveland (descendant of Edward I of England)
    Theodore Roosevelt (descendant of James I of Scotland and Edward III of England)
    William Taft (descendant of Edward III of England)
    Warren Harding (descendant of Henry II of England)
    Calvin Coolidge (descendant of Edward I of England)
    Herbert Hoover (descendant of Edward III of England)
    Franklin Roosevelt (descendant of James II of Scotland)
    Harry S. Truman (descendant of Robert III of Scotland)
    Richard Nixon (descendant of Henry II of England)
    Gerald Ford (descendant of Edward I of England)
    Jimmy Carter (descendant of Henry II of England)
    George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush (descendants of Edward I of England and Robert II of Scotland)
    Barack Obama (descendant of Edward I of England and William the Lion of Scotland)

    All very strange and slightly insidious> The US is a republic but the British blood line seems to be running the country still.

  • Comment number 28.

    re#12

    Sam ,
    if Americans find the wedding revolting, why are you all (generalism) spending money on the junk been made to commemorate it and by doing so are making the Royals even richer than they already are.. Disgusting..
    Just don't understand why 60 million Americans would want to get up in the early hours of the morning to watch such a sham..
    I see london are reporting more hotel bookiings from Americans for the wedding than in tha last year combined..

  • Comment number 29.

    27. At 10:08am 15th Apr 2011, strontiumdog007 wrote:

    "Here’s a list of all the US Presidents who are related to British Royalty.

    George Washington (descendant of Edward III of England)
    Thomas Jefferson (descendant of Edward III of England)
    James Madison (descendant of Edward I of England)
    etc. etc."

    I would be more impressed if Barack Obama were descended from Queen Elizabeth II.

    It's all fascinating - but vast numbers of people are blood related with those medieval kings - go back long enough and you'll find everybody is related to everybody else - I can definitely say that you and I related somehow !

    I am reading posts saying that the Americans are not "obsessed" at all with the Royal weddings - and yet the estimates of the US viewing figures flatly contradict this.

    Then we are told that its because the media are trying to ram the Royal Wedding down the throats of all Americans - which is laughable because i) nobody is forcing Americans at gunpoint to watch the TV (those estimates are for those who'll voluntarily watch the wedding), and ii) the media will not broadcast shows that nobody wants to watch. They spend big $$$ working out what will maximise their viewing figures.

    I know. I hate it too. I might have a look on Friday 29th. But the whole thing - nah. But there are lots of shows on TV that turn me off, big time. But they are massive hits - viewing figures prove this - so somebody must be watching, somewhere. [Do high viewing figures equate with national "obsession" ?]

    Then I read posts from Americans saying that the Brits are "obsessed" with having the Americans being "obsessed" with the Brits.

    Apart from being catagorically untrue, the opportunities for recursion are endless. Personally, I think the Americans are "obsessed" with the Brits being"obsessed" with the Americans being "obsessed" with the Royal Wedding.



  • Comment number 30.

    Strontiumdog007

    I don't know where you heard those figures but it sounds like complete fantasy, just like the premise this silly article is based on.

    Just a question. Does pretending that Americans care about this make you feel better that you Brits are obsessed with Americans but Americans don't really care about you at all?

    I don't know a single person in the US who is interested in the Royal Wedding or who is purchasing "memorabilia". I know you Brits really want to believe that we care, but we don't. There is only a tiny demographic in the US who is interested in this irrelevant sideshow and it's the same people who would pay attention to an A-lister American celebrity wedding it it was televised. If they spend money on memorabilia then they're probably the same people (teenaged girls and old women) who buy celebrity gossip magazines.

    Brits, stop flattering yourselves. It's excruciatingly to see the self-deception in your media, parroted by everyday Brits desperate to cope with their inferiority complex.

  • Comment number 31.

    Strontiumdog007
    "Just don't understand why 60 million Americans would want to get up in the early hours of the morning to watch such a sham.."

    By the way, I've looked all over the internet for this and have found nothing. It seems Brits are not only exaggerating America's interest in the Royal Wedding, but fabricating hilariously inaccurate stats to help add emphasis to their delusions.

  • Comment number 32.

    @The Toothbrush Man

    It's obvious that the obsession goes one way. Brits are obsessed so utterly consumed with the US that when even the slightest bit of attention is paid to events in the UK by Americans, Brits pounce on it to compensate for the one-sided relationship.

    Do American news organizations ever comment on how many British viewers tune in to peer into the life, marriage, or death of American celebrities? Nope. Does American media ever report on media trends in the UK? Do any Americans other than the few unfortunate enough to have experienced the full extend of Britons' fiendish obsession with Americans ever comment on the fact that almost every day Brits are engaged in a perpetual US-bashing spree in their media? Have you ever seen American media ever even comment on it? Probably not.

    That shows you who is obsessed with whom. You have to either be dishonest or unintelligent to deny that not only are Brits perpetually fixated on events in the US, but are also deliberately overblowing American media coverage of the Royal Wedding in order to cope with a deep seated insecurity and inferiority complex with regards to the US. It's really insane to see how hypocritical Brits are in practically every area in which they criticize and belittle Americans, surreal actually. You seem to avoid self-criticism almost entirely as a nation, instead choosing to scapegoat the US while flattering yourself in the process.

    "Americans are envious of our Royals!"

    Get a grip on reality.

  • Comment number 33.

    We do have a "special relationship" with Britain because we are a former colony & folks here are kind of/sort of interested in the royal wedding, but I think "obsessed" is really overstating it.
    As much as we have had a history of revolting against British rule, we also had quite a few colonists who supported the British monarchy.I've read that more signed a document called a "Declaration of Dependence" in New York than those who signed the "Declaration of Independence".The winning side tends to write the history books so we seldom read about the Loyalists' point of view.

  • Comment number 34.

    Kent,

    sounds like youve got issues,
    I presume when say you... You are presuming that I am British, when I am an Israeli..

    The fact is,, as much as you hate it there is money being made in the USA, on the back of this wedding, including some soppy movie about William and Kate thats just been released by Hollywood..

    To pretend there is no interest, is saying that USA business and media don't know what they are doing and are wasting their money for the sake of it.
    The USA viewing figures for Dianas funeral are available and unless they are lies it is strange why anyone should care in the usa that some far flung Princess has died.

    Well I guess we will be able to see next week how many Americans tuned in to watch this boring episode in someone ellse life.

    Personaly,
    If Americans and Brits dislike each other so much why the hell are they dieing together in Afghan.
    We'd never be so stupid as to get involved in US wars.. But then again we have much more influence in Washington the the brits do, as Obama found out to his peril :)

  • Comment number 35.

    Dear Matt:

    Not meaning to be overly offensive but this is the kind of article that drives those of us in the northern half of your region of duty bonkers.

    It isn't that we don't like our Queen. On the contrary, we tend to be rather fond of our good old sturdy, reliable, dutiful monarch. Junior members of her extended family, hmmm, less so, but alright.

    However, the fact is we have a federal election going on. It is a fairly important election, where the country may veer rather starkly off it's historic path and down some nutso, imported, right-wing Republican path that has no basis in our history or culture.

    It is also an election that is occurring, now, in a Westminster style Parliamentary system for the most fundamental of reasons - a government has refused to be accountable to Parliament over spending, and has refused to be accountable to Parliament over the production of evidence, and the misleading testimony of a government minister to a committee of Parliament.

    These are big, important issues.
    They are critical issues in a democracy.
    They define whether we have the rule of law, or not.

    But instead of covering them your colleague Mr. Mardell has gone on holiday (!) in the middle of the election, and the column produced here today belongs in People Magazine. It does not, in my view, belong on the world's premier, highest quality, hard news service.

    Yours,

    I.F.

  • Comment number 36.

    32. At 11:51am 15th Apr 2011, Kent wrote:

    "It's obvious that the obsession goes one way. Brits are obsessed so utterly consumed with the US that when even the slightest bit of attention is paid to events in the UK by Americans, Brits pounce on it to compensate for the one-sided relationship."

    Er. No we don't. I think there's one late night show I know of (John Stewart - highly entertaining - he does enough "America-bashing" for both of us) and a BBC radio 4 show (Americana) that covers media events in the US. And are regularly confounded by US references in American drama. [What IS a "sophomore", exactly ?] Hardly an obsession.

    "Do American news organizations ever comment on how many British viewers tune in to peer into the life, marriage, or death of American celebrities? Nope. Does American media ever report on media trends in the UK? "

    Er. Why would there be any ? I know of no British news organisations that comment on how many US viewers peer into the life of British celebrities - the Royal wedding is odd for exactly this reason - there is a great deal of US attention with regard to the Royal wedding.

    "Do any Americans other than the few unfortunate enough to have experienced the full extend of Britons' fiendish obsession with Americans ever comment on the fact that almost every day Brits are engaged in a perpetual US-bashing spree in their media?"

    "Fiendish obsession with Americans" ? A "perpetual US-bashing spree" ? What on Earth are you talking about ? What has this to do with the US interest in the Royal wedding ?

    "Have you ever seen American media ever even comment on it? Probably not."

    But we do have British media commenting on the anti-British sentiments in the US. Deepwater Horizon anyone ?

    "That shows you who is obsessed with whom. You have to either be dishonest or unintelligent to deny that not only are Brits perpetually fixated on events in the US, but are also deliberately overblowing American media coverage of the Royal Wedding in order to cope with a deep seated insecurity and inferiority complex with regards to the US."

    So the Brits have a "a deep seated insecurity and inferiority complex" ? This is Earth - which planet are you from ?

    "It's really insane to see how hypocritical Brits are in practically every area in which they criticize and belittle Americans, surreal actually. You seem to avoid self-criticism almost entirely as a nation, instead choosing to scapegoat the US while flattering yourself in the process."

    ... as petty as your insults are, what exactly has this to do with American coverage of the Royal wedding ?

  • Comment number 37.

    #29 "I would be more impressed if Barack Obama were descended from Queen Elizabeth II." LOL!!!

    Good points though - I think that both of our countries are obsessed with our mutual Love / Hate relationship.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    Do I care about this wedding? No, not really. I mean, it's a nice story and I'm happy for the British people, but it truly is being shoved down our throats over here in the U.S. There are countless "specials" and "behind the scenes look" shows on television over here. Most American's aren't obsessed with the royal's, but I think almost all of us respect them, especially the Queen.
    And yes, I do believe that there's a special relationship and it isn't one sided as some are saying. American's hold great admiration for the British (myself included), but the U.S. is a big country that is not only preoccupied with National politics right now, but with state and local politics as well.
    Congrats to the happy couple though.

  • Comment number 40.

    Point taken.
    No matter how you want to look at it, the fact remains, that global viewing figures have been estimated to reach 3billion.
    Its more a human obsession than a American one.
    That said, seeing as roughly half the worlds population will tune in to watch, but that America will expect to contribute 60 million odd, and seeing that is approx one quarter the population, it thus follows that America is, in point of fact, far less interested than you make out.
    Now you cant get more moderate than that, can you? I for one shall be watching, I couldnt pretend Ive anything better to do, and wish Wills and Kate the happiest of times ahead. They ar

  • Comment number 41.

    They are a super couple and a fine example to all of us. The royal family is in good hands.
    (this is what I wanted to add to the previous statement above).
    Im obsessed with Kate far more than the wedding, by the way. :)

  • Comment number 42.

    Interesting.

    I have searched everywhere for confirmation of the 60,000,000 Americans who are expected to fulfill Mr. Frei's prophecy. There is no mention of it anywhere at all, from any other source.

    It is funny and at the same offensive that a journalist who is so openly patronizing and contemptuous of Americans has his own blog - purpotedly about the truths of American life, complete with cute name.

  • Comment number 43.

    Jmay

    Women are, mostly. They were raised to believe that they were "daddy's little princess" and they tend to take things literally.

    "America" as a nation, has no interest in royal weddings. But half of its population does."

    Hey, hey, now. Let's not get sexist. Most women are not paying attention to the wedding plans, and I've heard some men scratching their heads, wondering, again, "How'd he get HER?" But, by and large, America's not really paying attention whether male or female.

  • Comment number 44.

    #41 Kane

    That said, seeing as roughly half the worlds population will tune in to watch, but that America will expect to contribute 60 million odd, and seeing that is approx one quarter the population, it thus follows that America is, in point of fact, far less interested than you make out.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Your math doesn't work out. The population of the US is more than 311,000,000.

  • Comment number 45.

    #36 Toothbruish Man

    But we do have British media commenting on the anti-British sentiments in the US. Deepwater Horizon anyone ?

    -----------------------------

    Well, perhaps because there isn't any.

    Anti-British sentiment does not exist in the US. Anti-Americanism in Britain, on the other hand.....................

  • Comment number 46.

    @TIMR1944
    I stand corrected, I wasnt aware that your population had grown so quickly. Then its only one fifth the population. Nothing wrong with my maths, just my lack of interest in your population figures. My mistake though.
    Im not sure however, how youve managed to have "looked everywhere" in the short period of time since I posted, thats some achievement.

  • Comment number 47.

    Fascinated by the monarchy, yes--they do after all know how to put on a good show when it comes to events like weddings--but we'll stick to our elected head of state thank you. I'd much rather be a citizen than a subject no matter how benign the monarch.

    On an unrelated subject: is anyone surprised that in the absence of American leadership NATO's leadership looks like a deer caught in the headlights when to comes to running the air campaign in Libya? One can almost see the Secretary of NATO coming bowl in hand to the leaders of the other member nations and pleading "Please sir, I want some more". Carmeron and Sarkozy pushed hard for the no-fly zone, if the NATO effort needs more planes and pilots the RAF and Armee de l'Air should be first in line to supply them.

  • Comment number 48.

    Americans are obsessed will celebrity, money and power; so of course the royals would attract our attention. Just like anything though, our attention is intense but brief and will go away quickly after the wedding and will return again after the divorce.

  • Comment number 49.

    @Scott0962
    We were declared British Citizens from 1983 onwards and the term "subject" discontinued. Sounds better I agree. Thats just for the record though.

    As to the unrelated story, I think we,re all well aware that war is a messy business and that there are no winners, just some lose more than others, there is more than one way to skin a cat, its not all blanket bombing and installing puppey regimes.
    And yes, what you do see is the first signs of a European army.


  • Comment number 50.

    Matt, What a mischievous suggestion, that the American public are interested in lightweight showbiz imports from the UK. They are so much more sophisticated and independent than that.
    After all, the top grossing programme on US TV is... Simon Cowell's pursuit of fame by vacant wannabees, the X factor.
    Oh well, should guarantee top audience figures for the royal tryst then.

  • Comment number 51.

    Matt Frei wrote: "And the US barely knew that Sweden - a nation that adores its royals more than the Brits - even had a royal wedding last summer. The US is oblivious to the ups and downs of Spain's constitutional monarchy. So why does the monarchy against which this country fought a bitter war of independence capture its imagination so much"?

    This is easy to answer, Matt. Most of the members of the media are lazy and are not bilingual. If more American reporters spoke either Dutch or Swedish, we'd have a so-called "obsession" with the Dutch and Swedish royals. Going after other foreign royals would be too much work. The U.S. media simply regurgitates the stories from the London media because they're written in English.

    Over here the Royal Wedding is being forced-fed to us by the press. A couple of weeks ago CNN announced that they will embed a 400-member crew in London to cover the wedding. (Compared to the 50 they have in Japan to cover the earthquake and tsunami and the 25 in Libya. --Yeah, let's get our priorities straight about the most pressing issues of our times.)

    The Americans who do follow the antics of the British royals are fascinated with them for the same reasons they're obsessed with Charlie Sheen. They're like a never-ending celebrity soap opera. The royals also embody everything that America treasures: wealth, social status, privilege... We don't admire the royals because they're the visible representatives of the British government. We view them as celebrities on par with Madonna, Tom Cruise, and Lady Gaga.

  • Comment number 52.

    To all those Americans out there saying that we could care less about the royal wedding, I would like to second TheToothBrushMan and others' remarks indicating, quite rightly, that ratings do not lie. Television stations air what makes money; I.E. what the people watch. The royal wedding is making money, so obviously people must enjoy watching it. It is ok for a foreigner to make observations of us; there is no law against that. Heck! If we listened a bit more to the world's observances and constructive criticisms of us, may be we wouldn't be so hypocritical in domestic action (race relations, equal pay for equal work etc) or anger the international comunity as much. We can certainly learn a few things about these things from Great Britain that's for darn sure!! Unless, in the spirit of the 150th anniversury of the Civil War, some of our British posters would like to inform any of our conceited American posters of a time in British history when a black man was beaten within an inch of his life for peacefully protesting in order to receive the same basic civil rights enjoyed by his white countrymen? Or how about a time when the United States endured a painfull, foreign-based attack such as 9/11 and held fast to its constitution as the British did the rule of law during the Blitz?

    The King's Speech was so successfull here because, as Matt said, it shows the monarchy with its human weekness. But I believe there is more to this explination. Noone explains better than the film's screen writer, David Sidaler, when he says that the reason why Americans, in particular, find it so apealing is because it is about "changing one's pre-ordained destony" which is "what America is all about." In other words, The King's Speech, in a way, embodies the American idea.

  • Comment number 53.

    "To all those Americans out there saying that we could care less about the royal wedding, I would like to second TheToothBrushMan and others' remarks indicating, quite rightly, that ratings do not lie."

    The people who make them up on the spot do lie.

    I've searched for a confirmation of this "60 million American viewers" figure several times and have come up empty handed. As I've said before it seems Brits need to make up lies to fortify their fantasy that Americans are particularly interested in the Royals, something that is simply untrue.

    It's really funny that despite the fact that every American commenting is pointing out that this article is completely inaccurate, Brits are still insisting that it's true without any sort of evidence whatsoever. This proves you that this idea that Americans are obsessed with the Royal Wedding is wishful thinking on the part of Brits. It's pure nonsense, unifying trait of British depictions of the US in general.

  • Comment number 54.

    "So why does the monarchy against which this country fought a bitter war of independence capture its imagination so much?"
    ------------------------------------------------
    Because at the end of the day we're family. We fought because the Monarch was ill and Lord North took advantage of that. If it weren't for that, we'd be part of the Commonwealth.

  • Comment number 55.

    @Kent.
    May I venture to suggest that your search so infuriates you because, the fact of the matter is, your search rewarded you with no figures at all?
    How convenient for you.
    I take it you definately, definately wont be watching yourself, because as far as I can make out, nobody in America is going to be watching at all judging by the posts I read on here. Which seems to make a mockery of the 800 reporters being sent by one American channel alone. Maybe its CNN, I cant remember now. Good luck with the search on that one.

  • Comment number 56.

    #46 Kane

    I stand corrected, I wasnt aware that your population had grown so quickly. Then its only one fifth the population. Nothing wrong with my maths, just my lack of interest in your population figures. My mistake though.
    Im not sure however, how youve managed to have "looked everywhere" in the short period of time since I posted, thats some achievement.


    ------------------------------

    Lack of interest? It was the topic of your post.

    And the 60 million is in the opening post. As for how I looked 'everywhere' - we are talking about what is supposedly a generally known piece of data regarding a current story. Search engines related to news events are more than sufficient.

    There is absolutely nothing anywhere suggesting that legions of Americans numbering 60 million will stop everything and slaver over Britain's royals with glazed eyes, while munching chocolates, clutching stuffed animals and ceramic royal mugs, and wailing into tissue paper.

    Nothing. Not a word.

  • Comment number 57.

    #55 Kane

    Which seems to make a mockery of the 800 reporters being sent by one American channel alone. Maybe its CNN, I cant remember now. Good luck with the search on that one.

    ------------------------------

    Well, it was an easy one.

    That came from a WSJ blog piece that claimed it was 400. (Fond of hyperbole, are we?)

    That was false. It has been corrected by CNN. The number is 50 - still excessive, but a far cry from 800......

    Try again.

  • Comment number 58.

    47 @scotto962 wrote:

    On an unrelated subject: is anyone surprised that in the absence of American leadership NATO's leadership looks like a deer caught in the headlights when to comes to running the air campaign in Libya?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Not at all, now that the Nato officers are involved professionally as a group rather than some attention grabbing individual in a fancy overdecorated suit claiming all credit for US planes and ships.

  • Comment number 59.

    48 @basildave wrote:

    Just like anything though, our attention is intense but brief and will go away quickly after the wedding and will return again after the divorce.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As an american admitting obsession with celebrity, money and power, are these thoughts you have as a couple? or some other couple each maybe with a well known movie star profile. If its the latter...go on, let us in on the secret pleeeeese.

  • Comment number 60.

    timr1944

    Americans may not be obsessed with the Royal wedding, but I see that your obsession hasn't abated one iota! "I am a collector of anti-American comments" you wrote on another blog - how sad is that.

  • Comment number 61.

    quietoaktree;

    Oh dear, I might have known I'd find you here.

    I'll think I'll respond to this in the style of post #1 from the recent Greece blog:

    #14

    REPEAT!

    #15

    REPEAT!

    #17

    REPEAT!

  • Comment number 62.

    As an Australian I am fed up with my country's media and political "elite's"(crap is a better word) obsession with all things UK and US. Suffice to say this royal stuff is a lot of bull about nothing.

    IMO nobody is more equal than others.

    I couldn't give a stuff about the UK or the US.

  • Comment number 63.

    #62

    "I couldn't give a stuff about the UK or the US."


    Which is why you are posting on a BBC site, specifically in a blog about US news.


  • Comment number 64.

    62 @south pacific wrote:

    I couldn't give a stuff about the UK or the US.
    -------------------------------------------
    Australia! now isn't that near New Zealand where Britain sent all its cons?

  • Comment number 65.

    PursuitOfLove, (#25. At 03:58am 15th Apr 2011)
    ”Has the BBC implemented a new character limit on their blogs now? ...”
    Yes, it has. The limit is about two thousand characters.

  • Comment number 66.

    Anyway,
    @Tim1944 & Kent.
    Their is a definitive answer to the thread, I know it, but you do not, the bottom line is the answer, and for me its the same as the top,
    To help but just a little, may I suggest, "once more into the breach" or "please sir, may I have some more?" clue, dont look in the search engine for the answer. Try looking INSIDE.

  • Comment number 67.

    The American News media is pushing the wedding and I do hope they are happy, they do look like a lovely couple.
    But in the US, anything, anything to forget the reality of what is going on around this Country. From war's, economy, poverty and a dozen other issues. Just let us be in a dream land, forever.
    Mickey

  • Comment number 68.

    #61 CC

    Lost without the Ancient Brits ?

    Repeats --- Just in case some American forgets their Colonial background.

    --- bought the souvenirs for the grand-kids and posterity yet ?

    ---- A plate or a cup and saucer ?

    ---the BBC reported that decorated airline sickness bags were all the rage in the UK ?

  • Comment number 69.

    #61 CC

    ---What are you doing getting up so early --- its not you that´s marrying !

    Is the marriage making you THAT nervous ?

  • Comment number 70.

    Pub: If you’ll recall, you explained to your audience that the British people’s desire to see their government defy the United States government is like a seaseless ache that “must be satisfied at some stage, even with a more popular Barack Obama in the White House.” the ache to reject America just because still persists amung the British people, and will continue until it is cured.
    -----------
    So because we rejected them from running our country several hundred years ago now some of the modern day ones want to reject us?

    Or is merely being the "old superpower" not like being compared to the "new superpower"?

    Talk about "old grudges!"

    It makes one wonder as USA recently just entered another war, this time in Libya, to help UK and France...

    The Libya war is not our war, its not in our backyard and is not of strategic importance...

    Libya war is in UK and France's backyard and is of stategic importance to them, as they get a lot of oil from there...

    So here we are in a third war as supporting role for our friends UK and France...

    Unfortantely its looking more like stalemate as UK and France have not yet found a way to oust Gaddafi, so its hard to tell where this road will end...

    I have heard some of the protesters on tv say they want USA to lead it, but we have done our job, now its up to UK and France to show their power...

    UK and France are stronger than they think, but their political correctness also commands them...you do it or you don't do it...but either way, make a decision cause' stalemate's no fun...

  • Comment number 71.

    RDM: The U.S. media simply regurgitates the stories from the London media because they're written in English.
    ---------
    Very true...that is amongst America's strongest bond with UK is that we both speak English...most of the other European countries have their own languages, otherwise we might be closer to them, but because we, too, speak English, the language is the leading factor that brings us together...

    Just look at the difference between Canada and USA's relationship and USA and Mexico's relationship...if Mexicans spoke English, would our relationship be better?
    I know the fact that many Canadians speak English brings us closer together...
    And I agree with IF the Canadian election is huge and there should be a blog about it!!!
    ---------
    RDM: We don't admire the royals because they're the visible representatives of the British government. We view them as celebrities on par with Madonna, Tom Cruise, and Lady Gaga.
    ----------
    I would say the two Princes are right up there with the British rockers and movie stars...

    When the Beatles, Stones and many other British musicians came over during the "British Invasion" America was already rockin' and a rollin' via Elvis and others, but we fell in love with the British musicians, too and they are so popular here, they are like a piece of us, at least a part of our cultural history...

    I don't think Americans liked the Beatles because they were British, they liked them because they were truly talented and just plain fantastic musicians...

  • Comment number 72.

    @70 Lucy.
    But we thought Vietnam was your back yard, has it shrunken all of a sudden.
    You could have also said "theyre political correctness commends them"
    And isnt stalemate more satisfactory than say, carpet bombing and installing a puppet regime.
    Also, admire the usage of "superpower", no ego massaging go on their then.

  • Comment number 73.

    Kane: But we thought Vietnam was your back yard, has it shrunken all of a sudden
    ---------
    Good way to change the subject, Kane...I was talking about the modern day...

    Well, I wasn't even born at taht time, so I can only go by history books and what my parents, ect have told me...

    Many people were opposed to going to Vietnam and feel it was a great mistake, this is true...and what's worse is how some of the soldiers were treated when they got back home; whether or not I agree with going to Vietnam or Iraq, I still love our soldiers just the same, they are our country's defendors...

    I could never not love them...
    ---------
    K: You could have also said "theyre political correctness commends them"
    ----------
    No we did not use pc in Vietnam, we went for it...

    That is what I am saying with UK and France- you either go for it or don't go for it, but halfway or in between is not putting in the full effort...

    Of course it doesn't help that UK's military is losing funding in a time when they are going to another war, even if its together with other countries...USA's military, along with everything else, is also losing funding, so I guess we get to lose funding together! Ha, ha...fortantely, there are a lot of reserves, lets hope the recession does not last too long, eh!

    Europe is very smart and makes some of the finest weapons, including airplanes and engines in the world, you have lots at your disposal but your objective is what's confusing: are you going to oust Gaddafi or just have discussions with him?
    -------
    K: And isnt stalemate more satisfactory than say, carpet bombing and installing a puppet regime.
    ---------
    No, because we ousted Saddam, which was the key objective and we did achieve that...we have learnt lots and lots from this escapade...although of course we did sends lots of arms to thier military afterwards to keep going; personally I am against arming the Libyan rebels (let Qatar continue with their weapons for oil trade with rebels) as we don't know exactly who they are...

    Shouldn't the key objective of UK and France be to merely oust Gaddafi and not to take over their country, control thier oil or give them arms?

  • Comment number 74.

    @LucyJ.
    No I didnt change the subject, you said "Libya is not our backyard" it was the subject that you covered in your post. It very much was the subject, and then to sweep it under the carpet, you claim that its only modern times that count. If that is so, then how is Iraq your back yard and Libya not.
    No amount of rhetoric thereafter is going to detach me from the statement "Good way to change the subject", because it didnt happen.
    The difference between you and I, is I dont condone any of the interferrance in the Middle East past or present by "Old Superpower" nor the "New Superpower".

  • Comment number 75.

    Kane: If that is so, then how is Iraq your back yard and Libya not.
    ---------
    Iraq is not our backyard...some call Iraq a humanitarian war just like Libya because of what Saddam was doing to his people which is why it was called Operation Freedom, meant to liberate the Iraqis...thank goodness it is beginning to draw down now, so its one war almost done and two to go...

    Then we went to Afghanistan to fight the war on terror in retaliation to 9/11...this war is still ongoing, I think we have had the wrong strategy and should have treated it like we treated Japan after Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor...the USA military was too soft on Afghanistan and that is why we have not advanced further than we have and this war has dragged on too long...

    I do have to say thank you to the British, Canadians, and each and every one of our allies who has helped us fight against the terrorists because it means more to us than words or any amount of money...

    The reason why USA is helping UK and France in Libyan war is because you guys and our other allies helped us...so its like a payback thank you type of deal...

    The difference is, sad but true, when the Iraq and Afghan wars started, USA was loaded with money and no recession, but nowadays, much of middle class is broke and recession (thanks to a combination of the wars being too long, Bush tax cuts for rich and corporations, losing our good industrial jobs to overseas, and some of the corruption in the financial sector) so its harder for us to levy up support for Libya war due to our economy and already being involved in other wars...

    Our country is suffering right now and perhaps the Royal Wedding is some sort of positivity in a sea of often bad news...

  • Comment number 76.

    Speaking of the Royal wedding, big changes for UK ahead possibly...
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110416/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_royal_succession
    An excerpt:
    Britain's government said Saturday it has begun the process of reviewing the ancient, discriminatory rules of royal succession, so that if Prince William and Kate Middleton's first child is a baby girl she would eventually become queen. The current rule that puts boys ahead of their sisters "would strike most people as a little old-fashioned," Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said. It is just two weeks until the prince and Middleton get married at London's Westminster Abbey, and Clegg said many people may agree that the rules should be changed so that if the couple's first child were a girl, she would eventually inherit the throne — even if she had a younger brother.
    -----------
    Just think of all the previous years when they would try again and again to have males, but not always successful and this changed the monarchy...
    -----------
    Here's an intensive article about Yemen...
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_terrorist_eavesdropping
    An excerpt:
    Before the protests, when it looked like Saleh would continue his decades-long presidency, the U.S. was planning to expand operations there. The CIA had bolstered its station and there were discussions about broadening airstrikes and working more closely with Yemeni counterterrorism officials on ground operations.
    All that has come to a halt. If the Yemeni government collapses, the concern is how al-Qaida, with its track record of adapting to new adversity, will adapt to new freedom.
    --------
    K, just one more...water wars anyone?
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110416/ap_on_re_as/as_asia_water_s_battlefield
    An excerpt:
    The blame game, voiced in vulnerable river towns and Asian capitals from Pakistan to Vietnam, is rooted in fear that China's accelerating program of damming every major river flowing from the Tibetan plateau will trigger natural disasters, degrade fragile ecologies, divert vital water supplies. A few analysts and environmental advocates even speak of water as a future trigger for war or diplomatic strong-arming, though others strongly doubt it will come to that. Still, the remapping of the water flow in the world's most heavily populated and thirstiest region is happening on a gigantic scale, with potentially strategic implications. "Whether China intends to use water as a political weapon or not, it is acquiring the capability to turn off the tap if it wants to — a leverage it can use to keep any riparian neighbors on good behavior," says Brahma Chellaney

  • Comment number 77.

    @LucyJ

    Lucy, can you explain to me please, what exactly is a humanitarian war? You can call it operation freedom if you like, but forgive me for asking, did we oust a former puppet regime?
    So the revenge for 9/11 is on Afghanistan......nice. And you were too soft?
    Well, can I thank you, for your thanks, on behalf of the Canadian and British public, but rather, more than half over here, more likey, wont want to hear it. Dont be surprised if in future years, we wont be thanked by Iraqis and Afghanis. I suppose youd put that down to lack of gratitude though. huh.
    Theres none so blind as those that wont see.

    Enjoy the wedding.

  • Comment number 78.

    kane, (#77. At 19:01pm 16th Apr 2011)

    "... So the revenge for 9/11 is on Afghanistan......nice ...”
    LucyJ wrote of retaliation for the events of 9/11, not revenge. That is your word, not hers.

  • Comment number 79.

    #60 Champagne Charlie

    Americans may not be obsessed with the Royal wedding, but I see that your obsession hasn't abated one iota! "I am a collector of anti-American comments" you wrote on another blog - how sad is that.

    ----------------------

    Sad - yes! Sad that there are so many examples, and that they take so many forms - some far more profoundly offensive than others.

    Bigotry is always sad. But of course 'sad' is not a strong enough word.

  • Comment number 80.

    Kane: Lucy, can you explain to me please, what exactly is a humanitarian war?
    ---------
    A war driven by humanitarian purposes obviously...in the case of Iraq, Sadaam was harming his people and in case of Libya, Gaddafi was harming and still is harming the protesters against him...you could argue that they both are civil wars and we should let chips fall where they mayst...

    I think Mexico could be a future humanitarian war (due to the drug/gun cartel gangs violence spilling into our border) and I think Pakistan and Yemen are potentially terrorist hotspots trying to take advantage of them...

    As for your puppet regime theory, well yes at one time perhaps we did prop Sadaam up before he went bad, I don't really know as much as some on this and in Libya, there was that whole Megrahi issue, I have heard there's previous ties between Gadafi and France, UK or at least this was stated by his sons and company, not sure where the truth lies with that one in how close it was...

    We certainly can't help everyone (its up to the world to help the world, not just one country) but help the ones we can...however, we shoudl always put ourselves first and never forget that protecting our homeland is the most important...

    Right now, we have to find a way to get our debt under control, as it does pose a threat to our national security...Congress is working on it...
    ---------
    Kane: Dont be surprised if in future years, we wont be thanked by Iraqis and Afghanis
    -------
    Most likely not, but then again only time will tell that...

    Ask Japan if they would thank us for dropping the bomb and I imagine many would say no but was it the right thing to do for us?
    Yes...ask Japan if they would thank us for helping them in time of crisis during earthquake, tsunami and then nuclear radiation and I imagine many would say yes...
    --------
    Kane: And you were too soft?
    --------
    Absolutely...I believe we had the wrong strategy in being too soft and not using full force, everything we had and that is why it has lasted way longer than it should have,..
    --------
    Kane: Well, can I thank you, for your thanks, on behalf of the Canadian and British public, but rather, more than half over here, more likey, wont want to hear it.
    -------
    And that is their personal right to feel how they feel, no one else's...

    Whether or not some people agreed with going over there or not, that was what your countries leaders agreed to and just the way that some of us may not agree to going to Libya, that%2

  • Comment number 81.

    @78
    But revenge is exactly what it was, retaliation was the semantics of choice.
    Just like, when we invade Libya, its for the oil, but when you go in, its for freedom,I suppose you were owed the oil you take for the humanitarian slaughter.
    I see the preposterous actions of my own government and yours, you are prepared to see those of mine only.
    When will you stop nit picking over small details to try and be right whilst our leaders kill in our name to line pockets and you stand by and condone it.

  • Comment number 82.

    @79. Tim1944 still talks as though the Americans are the only people to receive anti nationalist comments.
    Pretty much playground talk. Tell them "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me". Works a blinder over here, but youve got to catch them early.


  • Comment number 83.

    Oops, wanted to finish...

    Whether or not some allies people agreed with going over to Iraq/Afghan or not, that was what your countries leaders agreed to and just the way that some of us may not agree with going to Libya, that is what our country's leader, President Obama, agreed to, so maybe neither of us always like it, but that is what our country's leaders agreed to...so we shall do what we can do with the best of our ability...we are all only human...

    Ultimately, a lot lies with how the leaders of one's country shapes the direction of that country...

    So if those people want someone to be unhappy with, it should be the leader who made the deal and sent them there...

    But as I said, everybody is entitled to their own personal feelings and opinions and to each be their own...

  • Comment number 84.

    kane, (#81. At 19:54pm 16th Apr 2011)
    "@78
    But revenge is exactly what it was, retaliation was the semantics of choice ..."

    Nonsense. The Afghani government of the time, the Taliban, acted as an agent for a terrorist organization by providing a safe haven for the organization. Your use of the term "revenge" is pejorative.

    "... Just like, when we invade Libya, its for the oil, but when you go in, its for freedom ..."
    More nonsense, the oil was being exported to Europe (primarily) before the Libyan revolution began. Qatar is guaranteeing the oil from the breakaway eastern portion of Libya now, and the oil will be exported once the combat is resolved. As is obvious the oil was not the casus belli at the beginning of the revolution, is not now, nor will it be in the future.

    "... I suppose you were owed the oil you take for the humanitarian slaughter ..."
    You have it backwards, it is the supporters of Gaddafi who employ, for example, cluster bombs against civilians.

    "... I see the preposterous actions of my own government and yours, you are prepared to see those of mine only ..."
    Foolishness. The Libyan uprising was a grass roots revolt against a tyrant whose government supported international terrorism.

    "...When will you stop nit picking over small details to try and be right ..."
    When you stop using pejorative terminology to misrepresent LucyJ's and my statements.

    "...whilst our leaders kill in our name to line pockets and you stand by and condone it.
    Do you have any evidence to support your claim that the intent of the policies in Libya are "to line pockets?" I rather doubt it.

  • Comment number 85.

    #79

    timr1944;

    Have you ever spent any time in the UK or do you know any British people well?

  • Comment number 86.

    #85 Champagne Charlie

    "timr1944;

    Have you ever spent any time in the UK or do you know any British people well?"

    ---- How come you never asked that question on the European blog ?????

  • Comment number 87.

    @78 Chryses. Note the lack of speech marks @87.
    @84 do you mean @78 or @81. @78 are your quotes I rather think.
    @84 Point1. Slim on fact, big on opinion. No suprise there.
    @84 Point2. see@73LucyJ Final paragraph. Clearly not singing from the same hymn sheet here.
    @84 Point3.Clearly I reference the US involvement in Iraq, you produce a document on Libya.
    @85 Point4.When have I ever commented on your posts previously?
    @85 Point5. Just because I dont have evidence, doesnt mean there isnt any. However, I dont have my head buried in the sand.

  • Comment number 88.

    Canada has suffered a great loss today:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/prairies/former-saskatchewan-premier-allan-blakeney-dies-of-cancer/article1988257/


    Allan Blakeney was a fine and decent man, the last surviving father of single payer public health care in Canada.

    Minister of Finance of Saskatchewan in the Douglas government when public health care was introduced. Minister of Health in Saskatchewan during the doctor's strike. Premier of Saskatchewan 1971 - 1982. One of the intellectual mainsprings of social democratic thinking in Canada 1948 - 2011. A voice or reason, of fiscal prudence and responsibility, of moderation, of profound morality and integrity. A testament to the ideal of service in high public office as an honourable calling.

    Rhodes scholar, teacher, counsellor, negotiator of the Charter of Rights, the Canada Clause, and of our constitution generally; former head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; a man of vast knowledge of public administration; counsellor in the writing of the new South African constitution, board member of Algoma Steel, Board member of the millenium scholarship foundation, a man of exquisite balance and judgment, of common sense, of gumption.

    A man able to see the other guy's view and to explain and weigh a multitude of views of complex public policy problems; and, after expounding upon them, from his perception to draw out the truth with stunningly accurate logic and clarity.

    A man of both lightning-fast thinking, and yet carefully considered reflection.
    A man with an extremely lively and infectious sense of humour, of great personal warmth and charm, and that unforgettable laugh.

    A baptist, and a Sunday school teacher.

    Respected by friend and foe alike.



    Somehow, when our democracy is under attack every day, when the legacy of public health care is under attack every day, this news is so hard to bear.



    He was a great, great man who lived a full and astonishingly active life.
    This is a terrible loss.

  • Comment number 89.

    #82 Kane

    im1944 still talks as though the Americans are the only people to receive anti nationalist comments.
    Pretty much playground talk. Tell them "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me". Works a blinder over here, but youve got to catch them early.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Oh yes - you are correct. Xenophobia and prejudice are all too common. Still, it is good to point out the foolishness of indulging in it. For example, comparing Americans in WWII with Nazis would certainly call for a strong response, and goes well beyond playground antics.

  • Comment number 90.

    # 85

    Have you ever spent any time in the UK or do you know any British people well?

    ---------------------------------

    It seems to me that I did answer a related question from you. I made the great mistake of responding sincerely, and was met with a flood of invective and accusations of lying; I managed to recover nicely, but I realized the pointlessness of my response. I may be stupid (being American and all...), but not THAT stupid.

    I will therefore leave that one alone.

  • Comment number 91.

    The latest news about Kate Middleton's fainting spell was when she was told that the cost of her wedding was going to be $25 million dollars, while the British Royalty have commented that they will not "WILL NOT" donate one shilling towards the feeding of 25 million starving children.
    NOT VERY NICE WOULD'NT YOU SAY

  • Comment number 92.

    #66 Kane

    Their is a definitive answer to the thread, I know it, but you do not, the bottom line is the answer, and for me its the same as the top,
    To help but just a little, may I suggest, "once more into the breach" or "please sir, may I have some more?" clue, dont look in the search engine for the answer. Try looking INSIDE.

    ----------------------------------------

    Perhaps this is intended to be read backward? Or do I pick out every other word?

    I'm sorry - you must understand that I am an American, and must have the meaning of things spelled out. No esoteric word-puzzles for me! Please have patience with my limitations.

    So what the heck are you talking about?

  • Comment number 93.

    @89Tim1944.
    So as I can avoid any slanderous remarks, can I at least direct you to the US National Archives where the documents are currently held.

  • Comment number 94.

    @91Gerrard Jolly. Takes a brave man to question anothers charity, I wouldnt go there personally, but I rather they do more than most when it comes that particular quality.
    Just punch into Google the words British Royal Family and Charity, then browse from the 6,700,000 pages available to you.

  • Comment number 95.

    @92tim1944. What the heck am I talking about?
    The blog writer asks "why is the US obsessed with Royal wedding,
    @47Scott0962 loses concentration and talk of war breaks out, but at least he had the decency to point out it was unrelated.
    I merely point out @66 that I know the answer to the question the blog writer asks in his opening paragraph, all very insignificant to you I know as maybe youve been too busy collecting memoribilia.
    I suppose you think there isnt an answer but the blog writer would beg to differ and so would I, and now you would like me to give you the answer instead of doing the hard work yourself.
    Dont worry, it will click, it has done for many of you already you just chose to ignore it.
    You truely are the masters of convenience.

  • Comment number 96.

    #89 TimR1944

    "For example, comparing Americans in WWII with Nazis would certainly call for a strong response, and goes well beyond playground antics."

    I gave up any form of nationalistic pride many years ago --- there are only different shades of dark grey to be proud of.

    http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/llt/51/pauwels.html


  • Comment number 97.

    @89 or Google, Bank England Finance Third and Riech.
    Little to be proud of really, in effect. To the winner, the spoils.

  • Comment number 98.

    Let me play Captain Obvious here for a second.

    Point One: Even if 60 million (which I assume is highly over-rated, or counts the people recording it to skim through later) tune in, that's still less than 1/5 of the US population. I'll bet I can find any number of things that 1/5 of Americans do that's hardly considered a national phenomenon.

    Point Two: Americans love spectacle. Always have. We're the former colony who left in the flashiest way possible (getting France in on it too? Classic.), and goodness, do we love a good party. Add an attractive couple and a country that 1) a lot of Americans think of as good old mom, and 2) where nothing needs to be translated, and you have a recipe for American media success.

  • Comment number 99.

    kane, (# 87. At 21:35pm 16th Apr 2011)

    "@78 Chryses. Note the lack of speech marks @87 ..."
    Permit me to quote from your post #18 again "... When will you stop nit picking over small details ..." And then you complain "Note the lack of speech marks?" Talk about hypocrisy! LOL!

    "... @84 do you mean @78 or @81. @78 are your quotes I rather think ..."
    You are mistaken. I quoted your post #81, which began
    "@78
    But revenge is ..."
    Go back and look. You'll see that I am correct.

    "... @84 Point1. Slim on fact, big on opinion. No suprise there ..."
    You are again mistaken. The Taliban, as the de-facto Afghan government harbored al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization in Afghanistan at the time that Khalid Mohammed proposed the idea to Osama bin Laden in 1996. Further, when the U.S. requested that Osama bin Laden be extradited to face charges about his involvement in the events of 9/11, first the ambassador, the official representative said "No." He also said he had no information on bin Laden's current whereabouts. The facts refute you.

    "... @84 Point2. see@73LucyJ Final paragraph. Clearly not singing from the same hymn sheet here ..."
    I was not trying to do so. I refuted your contention in post #81 that, "its for the oil." I showed that your claim was false. Good effort on the attempted Red Herring though.

    "... @84 Point3.Clearly I reference the US involvement in Iraq, you produce a document on Libya ..."
    The only country you identified in your post #81 was Libya. Go back and look. You'll see that I am correct. Busted!

    "... @85 Point4.When have I ever commented on your posts previously? ..."
    Irrelevant non-sequitor. You did so comment in post #81. Remember this, "When will you stop nit picking over small details?" That is what you posted.

    "... @85 Point5. Just because I dont have evidence, doesnt mean there isnt any ..."
    But it does mean that, if I might again quote your post # 87, "Slim on fact, big on opinion. No suprise there."

    "... However, I dont have my head buried in the sand.
    I will agree that your head is not buried in the sand.

  • Comment number 100.

    Hey, Sam (#12). In the words of one of the first American colonists - while still technically a brit- "Speak For Yourself, John." The United States Constitution establishes your right to express your own opinion, not mine, nor anyone else's. You didn't ask me. So don't profess to knowing what everyone else thinks. Got it?

 

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