Royal wedding is no fit subject;Opinion

29th January 1999 at 00:00
FOR THE life of me I can't think why, but Tom's class is studying the forthcoming royal wedding. I didn't realise this was going on until I spotted a drawing in his news book: two stick insects, one of whom wore a crown and the other a long white dress with what looked like Thomas the Tank Engine attached to it. "Princess Sophie's train," Tom explained. Well, at least one part of this picture made sense to my son.

Why, one is tempted to ask, should British schools be remotely interested in the private life of a TV producer, so distant from our constitutional throne that even the most thorough of anarchists wouldn't bother blowing him up? And what is so special about his wedding for heaven's sake? We all know marriage is a phase the Windsors pass through. Does the national curriculum have to be disturbed in order to mark the fact that another relative of the sovereign is trying it out for size?

I speak from a severely jaundiced point of view. Many years ago Princess Margaret's car drove past my father's school. The Princess was not visiting us, just zooming by, but a message came through that my Dad should get everyone lining the route with simulated delight. The Princess arrived very late and at such speed that in my eagerness to get a full wave in, I let go of my toy mouse. We found it later, crushed flat by the royal passage.

Maybe it was at that moment that I became a republican. Or maybe it was later when I realised that Princess Margaret was one of the last people to deserve cheers and that even her sister, a much more admirable person, actually exercises no discernible function other than to wave back at crowds and stop the likes of Mrs Thatcher or Tony Blair becoming dictator.

We are a multicultural society I am often told and our children are being brought up to appreciate heterodoxy. Teachers please note therefore that there are parents out here who feel genuine regret that as Britain enters the Third Millennium we are still pretending to be ruled in feudal fashion by a family of diminutive Hanoverians.

I have no dislike of the royals as people but I didn't vote for them and I don't like my children being encouraged to believe they serve a purpose.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now