2014 Persons of the Year; God Save the Queen, The Duchess and her Sister!
Facebook is a good example of my obsessions. From the time I joined on October 4, 2007 until the spring of 2011 I was fascinated and consumed by it. As of this moment it is still a part of my life and could be for a few more years or decades, but not like when it was at its peak. I used the love following the top singles charts, starting in the early 1960s. Somehow I would find a week to read the Billboard Top 100 Singles chart every week. As time went on I was less and less interested until the middle of last decade that I realized I no longer cared. So that obsession, in some form, lasted four decades. I loved The Beach Boys (and for several years Mike Love, with his beard, was probably #1 on my all-time obsession list) from the 1960s until 1998 when Carl Wilson died and I realized that it could never be the same without him. I’ve loved The New York Yankees since 1972 and have been blessed with great teams to follow. But the last of the Core 4, Derek Jeter, retired this year and their outstanding string of teams ended in 2012. Those who have seen me in action on social media got to experience my Geri Halliwell and The Spice Girls obsession from 1997 through 2008 when the last reunion tour ended and I realized there would probably never be another good song released by them again. Probably how I feel about The Rolling Stones these days; thank you for being part of my life but there will probably never be another great song added to their catalog. For a while I, and you too, were in our American Idol phase and who won the contest was extremely important to me and my wife and we spent hours talking about it. I have a Lena Meyer-Landrut obsession since she won the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest (and she favored my tweet last Christmas!!), I can jump back into a Jedward obsession at any moment and every May I now have a Eurovision Song Contest obsession. I’ll always love J.R. & Bobby from Dallas, The Smothers Brothers and I’m thankful for living through The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I’ve never joined a cult so all of these obsessions are pretty safe, unless you’ve heard me talk endlessly about them. Which bring me to Kate & Pippa Middleton.
I’ve never cared about The British Royal Family. The first pop culture reference I recall was in 1967 when Paul McCartney said The Beatles should not be blasted unmercifully in the U.K. press for Magical Mystery Tour movie because it was better than Queen Elizabeth’s address to the nation. In the ol’ rebellious time of 1970, I remember a movement to do away with The British Monarchy to save money. I had no interest in the Charles & Diana wedding. They seemed to have nothing in common in with me. Well, who really does have something in common with me? But it’s like somehow I feel if I had met John Lennon he would have ignored me or ridiculed me. But somehow I think; gee if I met Mick Jagger and he was in a good mood and I told a funny joke…
Anyway last decade I heard about Kate Middleton. She was on the cover of some UK gossip magazines that you can’t miss if you’re in midtown Manhattan. She was going with Prince William. Kate seemed like a modern, attractive, normal, yet approachable (like Mick Jagger, right!) young woman. She and William had broken up and the U.K. press called her “Waity Katy” because she was “holding out” for William even though she was like 25 years old or something and still (*gasp*) single. At some point I read Kate & William were getting married and I thought she was a royal person I could like.
On April 29, 2011 they got married. There was a lot of coverage in the U.S. but it was nothing like the Charles and Diana wedding. It was there that Kate’s sister, Pippa became known to the world. There was the famous tight white dress and I realized that the successor to Geri Halliwell had been discovered! Pippa became known as a “party girl” and had that slightly mischievous look about her, though she has her own job that she goes to every day. There’s proof; everyday day the U.K. press shows Pippa going to work carrying a cup of coffee. Just like you and me! A couple of years ago there was a story about Pippa and Geri meeting at a party. One of the very nasty readers after the story wrote, “whatever you do Pippa, don’t ask Geri to sing!” Probably was Eric Idle.
Kate and Pippa are great to follow. Except for an occasional Huffington Post article and the coverage of Kate giving birth to her son, and their visit to New York from December 7–9, 2014, there’s hardly any day-to-day U.S. coverage of them. So I don’t get over-exposed on daily media coverage that would causes me to tire of my obsession. But there are lots of daily stories coming out of U.K. papers about them. So I feel I’m into some European fad that nobody in the U.S. knows of. It’s similar to when I followed the British singles charts and knew a lot of cool songs that nobody in the U.S. knew about. There are also thousands, million, billions, dare I say zillions of pictures of Kate & Pippa online and they help me fill my Tumblr blog and Pinterest boards. They look attractive, fun, wholesome, friendly, approachable, doing normal things or at least acting normal, and with Kate turning 33 in January 2015 and Pippa at 31, they’re not too young for me to follow though I’m old enough to be…uh….well..um..their older brother. It’s also one of the rare times these days that I find myself interested and following a current cultural phenomena. Within the confines of The British Royal Family, they can’t get too wild and weird like what’s been happening with Justin Bieber. So they won’t embarrass their fans and we can grow older with them.
And there’s new royalty for me to follow. Back in 2009, I noticed a very attractive woman with then France’s famous first lady/model/singer Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. It was Princess Letizia of Spain. Now you can find attractive women anywhere. I don’t think of myself that way and I’m married to the most beautiful woman ever. But there was something different about Letizia. She was a former CNN reporter and anchorwoman.
In June 2014 when Spanish King Carlos abdicated the throne to his son, now King Felipe, Letizia became Queen. There are “important” articles everyday I would read online in the U.K. papers on what she was wearing as she attends “important” (ceremonial) events. She looks like an professional 42 year old woman that you could see on your company’s executive team. Comparisons have been made with Kate Middleton. The U.K.’s Daily Mail calls Letizia Europe’s most glamorous monarch.
Here’s the article.
Prince Harry isn't the only royal blowing out candles on a birthday cake today. It's also Queen Letizia's big day as…www.dailymail.co.uk
Yeah, I know, not enough pictures. And if you want more, here’s “a friend’s” Pinterest board:
Pins about Queen Letizia of Spain hand-picked by Pinner Barry Piatoff | See more about princess letizia, spain and…www.pinterest.com
There are other modern royalty and they have their fans and blogs and loyal subjects. In the U.S. they’re hardly covered but that’s what makes them fun to follow. As long as they’re healthy, they’re going to be around for a very long time. Just ask Queen Elizabeth; yes, I know you’re not supposed to address the queen directly.
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