Is there anything quite as hilarious, yet embarrassing, as the British media moving into royal mode?
The simpering fake familiarity, the cringing deference, the solemn recital of every dreary detail of royal domestic life, the unspoken obsession with class: nothing reveals our national character more ruthlessly than a royal wedding.
Behind the usual forelock-tugging, something nastier is invariably going on. There is a prurient longing for something to go wrong, allowing the royal hacks to move from the prevailing tone of respectful affection to something altogether more amusing: disappointment, concern, outrage.
While the grim galère of “palace-watchers” take centre stage – the oleaginous James Tabloid, the studiously toff Hugo Daily-Telegraph, Serena Somebody from Majesty magazine etc etc – let us take a moment to predict some of the royal stories of the coming months:
♔ An ex-boyfriend will emerge to tell his story.
♔ The Middleton parents will seen or heard to do something shockingly middle-class.
♔ Prince Philip will put his foot in it.
♔ The Queen will be snapped glowering at her future daughter-in-law.
♔ A fake sex-tape featuring the royal couple will appear on the internet.
♔ Prince Charles will put his foot in it.
♔ David Cameron will try to inveigle himself into the story at every turn.
♔ There will be concern about how much weight the future princess has lost.
♔ The royal couple will be interviewed by Alan Titchmarsh.
♔ Prince Harry will put his foot in it.
♔ The Duchess of Fergie will sell a ‘The Kate I Know’ story to the Daily Mail.
♔ At every turn, Miss Middleton will be compared to the People’s Princess, with increasingly disappointing results.
It will be long and oily trail. Prepare to bend the knee and feel ever so slightly nauseous.