Chuckles at the Royal Wedding


On Saturday I sat in my office in the flat watching thunderstorms threaten. A blimp was flying around Prague and I was not in the mood to work on my book or any other files I came across. Instead, I opened a blank document and started free writing. A good way to clear the head and get some ideas down.

Burke was in the living room watching the Royal Wedding. Every now and then I’d walk out to check out the famous mechanical waves and outfits which cost more than my college education. What I saw of the occasion did spur some nostalgia for my visits to England, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I sighed, recognized that I already miss Claire Foy and Matt Smith, and went back to work.

As Burke is not one to keep mum on something currently possessing the bulk of her attention, I was the recipient of constant alerts on the action. Oh the Queen doesn’t sing the song because it’s about her! I think they stuck George Clooney behind a pillar. Everyone’s trying not to laugh.

Though I didn’t watch the audience chuckling, I did wonder what would make a bunch of stiff-upper-lipped Brits laugh at a Royal Wedding. Some claim it’s because of Prince Harry, considered to be the more jovial prince. Others suggested it was the gregarious and impassioned sermon by Reverend Curry. I know and work with Brits, I’m B2-C1 in British English, and even love me some British entertainment. Through simple exposure, I have picked up enough about the people and culture to hazard some guesses as to what might make them laugh at such an auspicious occasion.

Let’s first eliminate things which would no doubt make them laugh, but which were probably not involved. These include an episode of Father Ted or an American’s reaction to Benedict Cumberbatch’s accent. There can’t have been an American rugby game on and I’m assuming nobody was serving curry made in continental Europe. So these things are out.

I suppose a foreigner might have complained about the chilly summer days where they’re from or might have tried to pronounce Leominster, Bicester, or Godmanchester. Perhaps someone told off an American for “jumping the queue” and the American was forced to wonder just how he’d go about attacking the 17th letter of the alphabet. Perhaps someone in the audience read my previous, incredibly obvious joke, and laughed in pity for the state of global humor.

I watched clips of the wedding later. When asked if he would take this woman, Prince Harry emphatically shouted “I will!” And then the source of the laughter was clear. No doubt the congregation was beside themselves with humor that someone would directly commit to a direct question. Here had done no hedging. Not a Well, I suppose it’s possible. He had not employed a modal very of possibility. I guess I could take this woman….

Hahahaha. Hilarious. At least he didn’t say “Right. That is a very interesting proposal, I shall bear it in mind.”

No laughing matter that one.

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