England’s royal family announced they have started a Flickr account, which means they can now share their baby pictures and vacation snapshots with their friends and family around the world via the Internet, just like we commoners. Let’s just take a quick look at some of them:
Here’s one of Prince Philip with his grandchildren. Why is that kid pulling his finger? And there’s Prince Charles playing polo. I hear everyone in Britain plays a little polo. No, I think I’m mixing up polo with soccer. They call soccer “football” over there, so maybe what they call “polo” is called “bowling” here. I’ll bet Prince Charles has his own polo shoes! He probably doesn’t rent them. Maybe they have a different word for everything. “Oh, you call it a ‘knife’! We call it a ‘fork’!”
And there’s Prince Andrew with a lampshade on his head. You can’t say this about most people, but it looks good on him. There he is with his daughters. Those poor kids. They come from a broken home. If only there were some way to take the sting out of their parents’ divorce. Like growing up in a few fairy-tale palaces with lots and lots of servants. And maybe some little blue songbirds to make dresses for them while cute bunny rabbits and fawns sing happy songs.
Here’s a picture of Queen Elizabeth relaxing. Here’s another one of her working. They look exactly the same to me, but then I’m not a member of the family. They can probably tell the difference. I’m starting to think that she may wear a brocade dress with matching purse and hat when she goes swimming. Do they call it “swimming” over there or do they call it “bathing”? Maybe they call it “hockey.” Like any family, there are plenty of pictures of significant moments. Here’s Prince William getting his first valet; there’s Prince Harry taking his first driving lesson, learning how to tell the chauffeur where to go. Here’s the whole family having a picnic — the waiters, valets and cooks are the ones who aren’t eating. Here’s one of the butler counting the silver after the picnic.
Here’s a picture of the Royal Master of the Height of the Prince in full velvet ceremonial costume, including sash and giant medallion, measuring a young Prince William with a yardstick against a royal door frame, made especially for that purpose. You can see the other pencil marks from past ceremonial measurements. On the whole, the entire family seems to be getting shorter.
The younger generation of royals seems less formal and more modern. Many of them love to play computer games. Here is a group of young heirs playing “Wii Fox Hunt,” and another of an older group of children playing “Wii Beheading.” It is very realistic. A lot of today’s pictures of the royal family are even taken with cell phones. But only by Her Majesty’s Master of the Cell Phone Camera, who must first seek approval from His Lord Most Trifling of Household Accounts.
There are many pictures of school graduations: here’s one of a smiling headmaster receiving a check and the relieved young royal getting some kind of diploma in return. Just like commoners, the royals seem to enjoy everyday things: scrapbooking, knitting, sitting for portraits, formal dining, carriage rides, private train cars, collecting jewels, fur-trimmed capes and watching “Benny Hill” reruns. It just shows why people love them so much: they are just like us.
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.