For those salivating over every bit of cake or gown drivel that oozes out of the royal wedding, Christopher Hitchens is here to rain on your parade. The "constitutional absurdity" (ie, monarchy) is getting ready to claim its latest victim, he writes in Slate, and Kate Middleton had best consider the spectacularly dysfunctional family she's marrying into:
- Queen Elizabeth: Praised for her "stoicism and a certain integrity," she really "refused to allow her younger sister Margaret to marry the man she loved and had chosen, and she let her authoritarian husband have charge of the education of her eldest son." Both to "gruesome" results.
- Princess Margaret: "Married and divorced a man she did not love," then wasted years as a "bone-idle, cigarette-holdered, gin-sipping socialite, surrounded with third-rate gossips and as unhappy as the day was long."
- Prince Charles: "Subjected to a regime of fierce paternal harangues and penitential cold-shower boarding schools, withdrew into himself, was eventually talked into a calamitous marriage with someone he didn't love or respect, and is now the morose, balding, New Age crank and licensed busybody that we flinch from today."
- Diana and Fergie: "Vapid disco-princesses" who came "within range of demolishing the entire mystique."
- Prince Andrew: "Had just recovered from tidings involving overwarm relations with the Qaddafi clan when his ex-wife was found to have scrounged a loan from a wealthy friend whose record, alas, was disfigured by a conviction for sexual relations with the underage."
- And finally, Kate herself: "If you really love him, honey, get him out of there, and yourself, too. Many of us don't want or need another sacrificial lamb to water the dried bones and veins of a dessicated system."
For more of the royal mess that Hitchens considers the House of Windsor, click through the gallery.