Our love for monarch and royalty

Royal family
Image by spacebahr via Flickr

This time, it’s a short and hopefully simple post. It’s about the event many media called as ‘the wedding of the century’. Yes, the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton gives the world a living fantasy. Many people from many countries adore them and celebrate this event.

It seems that after centuries of civilization, decades of democracy and modernization, we still have a tremendous affinity toward living stories of Kings and Queens, Prince and Princes. In this event, Kate Middleton’s origin as a common people instead of royal family, sets a Cinderella-kind of story. Well, obviously Kate was not a poor and abused step-daughter in the family. But still, some might see the new definition of ‘people’s princess’ in Kate (Lady Di was called by some as ‘people’s princess’ too). Nevertheless, it’s an evidence how our society still love royal fantasy, as much as they may hate it.

Some said, it’s a bout the love celebration, not the royal love. I said, there are so many great love story, but they didn’t easily stand out in our mind like the royal ones.

I wonder if that deep inside, we love the image of monarch or royal authority. It can be in the form of charismatic leader, divine prophet, legendary sage or constitutional monarch. Whatever their roles, we tend to put them in the image of kings or queens. Even love interest is often presented in metaphors such as ‘charming prince on a white horse’, ‘the knight with shining armor’ or ‘the princess in waiting for rescue’.

During my stayin the States, I visited Newport, Rhode Island, where I saw is how people is enchanted by royal and monarch image. Great mansions with the nuance of royal establishment, especially along with the fact that their owners are not royal families. In Indonesia, palaces and royal families still has their special place in the society. At the very least, we recognize them as the cultural legacy of our past, and therefore, should be in our good preservation.

I agree that our fascination about them as a form of appreciation and celebration of culture and history. Still, I really wonder why they occupy such a special place in our visualization of happiness? Look at prom night with its king and queen. Look at most wedding ceremonies are taking roles as royal ball in which the couple is the prince and princess. or king and queen of the night? Even some birthday celebrations use royalty as the theme of the party. Some religious leadership are also decorated in monarch-like image. Some presidents in the course of history were actually lived and ruled as royal families.

We live in a time that the concepts of democracy and equality are somehow decorated as the zeitgeist of the civilization. We denounce feudalism and any type of social discrimination. But we show how we missed them, deeply in our heart and dream. We hate the idea that a special group of people have the authority on almost everything, and yet we love the imagination of us being them. Instead of wiped away, royalties now live in people’s dreams.

Perhaps, we like them because of their glamorous and luxurious life, with which we fill the void in our seemingly mediocre life. Or, we just want life to be far simple and far affluent in which we can have almost everything we want, and they are exactly what we’ve dreamed of.

Or, it may just something else…..

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6 thoughts on “Our love for monarch and royalty

  1. I have two comments on this. First, we have the will to be conquered. This is common in individuals with weak mind and weak will. The monarchy symbols are the right object for our will to be conquered.

    Second, this is what Zizek called ideology. It operates in the level of collective subconscious of contemporary society, and creates contradiction between what we are saying to believe, and what we are actually believe. This contradiction is ideology.

    We are saying that we believe in the democratic principles. However, our action shows the opposite, that we love to be conquered, symbolically, and physically.

      1. This is one framework to understand our contemporary society. And of course, this is a descriptive analysis. I don’t want to introduce normative theory on this, because I think we already know about that (or maybe I’m wrong?).

        The crucial point is to really understand the gap, the ideology, and the contradiction between what is explicitly stated, and what actually happens in reality, and to understand that this is not hypocrisy, but two authentic things that exist together in some odd way, and influence our life.

        I think that is the more “realist” normative theory.

  2. Some theorist will argue that we have to be consistent with our epistemological position. It means there must be coherency between our knowledge-understanding on the one hand, and our real action on the other hand. I think this argument is true for some cases, but not all cases.

    The challenge is to know when we have to use it, when we must be consistent with out epistemological stated position, and when we have to understand the paradox of life, namely between the espoused ideal and theory-in-use.

    What do you think?

    1. Yes, I agree. It is actually co-existence of two fundamental forms of life force. The two create a dynamic, and our life is moving like a cradle. The cradle of life 🙂

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