The Royal Teat.

Not wanting to be too hypocritical, having recently condemned Plaid AMs for failing to attend the state opening of the Senedd this year, but it was hard not to be more than a little perplexed by the content of today’s Western Mail. On both the front cover, and a full 3rd page spread, were extensive column inches dedicated to some duke and duchess parading around Canada. What relevance did this story have to Wales exactly? Was this an occasion where Wales would be promoted to Canada as part of some extensive effort to sell investment options in Wales to wealthy Canadians? No. Was this an occasion to sell the Prince of Wales brand to an internal market? No, as no Prince of Wales was in attendance, and the title, and indeed word ‘Wales’ was not made use of during the visit so far, certainly not in relation to the two figures dominating the Welsh newspaper. Was it perhaps an opportunity to put a Welsh princess on the front cover of the Welsh newspaper? Of course not, as no princess was on display, no Welsh was on display. In short, the Western Mail chose to dedicate its’ front and third page to a story that has no relevance to Wales on any level, apart from perhaps a desperate attempt to ride the coat tails of the English establishment into the public eye. In short, the coverage in today’s paper was a pathetic exercise in pandering to the royal family, an effort to suck at the teat of international attention, regardless of the relevance there is to the country these people, in theory, should be promoting. I wonder, despite the Western Mail’s excitement, how many Canadians will wave farewell to the duke and duchess with a greater awareness, appreciation and love of Wales? None I am willing to bet.

Perhaps we need to be reminded that the last princess to bear a Welsh title, did little more than abandon her chosen nation. ‘Oh no’ the loyal royalists will shout, ‘Diana was patron to so many Welsh charities, she was so good to Wales’ they might declare. Diana, let us be reminded, having fought so hard to maintain her title in her divorce settlement, which implied at the very least some connection to the country of Wales, promptly abandoned every single Welsh charity of which she was patron. Keep the title, abandon the nation. Her premature death meant that few really had the opportunity to keep up with this callous act, but callous it was. Let it not be forgotten that the last princess to hold the Welsh title, turned her back on us – can we expect better from her manufactured successor?

Perhaps in time this duchess will prove to be a great ambassador for Wales, maybe I will be shown to be blowing hot pretentious air. What would be nice though, is to see a little bit more restraint from what is our only national newspaper, and that perhaps the Western Mail could run pictures and stories at the front of their paper that have some relevance to Wales. Frankly, the duchess of wherever the hell she is duchess of, nowhere in Wales is for sure, being broody, is not national news in Wales, should not be covered in a Welsh national newspaper, and should be replaced by something far more relevant – the Welsh speaking winner of the Miss Wales competition would have been a more valid front page story to cover than the royalist pap fawned over by the Western Mail’s editor today. Let this woman do something for Wales, then carry a story on her, don’t let it be the other way around.   

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