Save that House of Windsor!

Stephen Roberts

July 06, 1992|By Stephen Roberts

AS AMERICANS, we haven't done nearly enough in recent years to help our British cousins. But now, it's especially crucial that we lend the proud but tottering House of Windsor all the aid and succor we can.

Naturally, I'm alluding to the epic of Princess Diana -- who is, as we all know, desperately stuck in a rut and trapped in a marriage and royal position that have left her utterly bereft and beside herself.

But what can we do over here, on this side of The Pond?

For starters, we have much more experience dealing with celebrity burn-out than do the stuffy English.

Sure, they have even more wild and wacky tabloid newspapers than we do. But the Brits apparently don't know what to do when a top-shelf celebrity wants to cry "Uncle!" and put her life back in order.

There isn't, for example, a single Betty Ford Celebrity Rehab Clinic in all of Great Britain. Apparently, the English just don't realize that celebrity sufferers need to be with their own kind when they're in a crisis.

Princess Di doesn't seem to have substance abuse problems -- which have our own U.S. non-royal celebrities lined up by the truckload to be rehabed in luxe surroundings. Nevertheless, this gaping lack of fashionable recovery digs points up how little the Brits really know about celebrities.

But what, specifically, can we do for Di? The answer is that we should persuade her to come to the U.S. for a six-month exchange program.

What's more, I think we should "trade" her for one of our own celebs, who can teach the backward Brits all that they need to know about the ins and outs of contemporary celebrityhood.

For my money, the still-alluring Vanna White would serve the purpose admirably. Yes, I know, Vanna isn't currently the most in-demand of U.S. celebrities. But, owing to the extensive, exciting publicity she received a few years back, she retains an assured spot in our U.S. Celebrity Pantheon.

And because Vanna isn't relentlessly hounded nowadays, her job would be a relaxed one for Di. The princess could fill Ms. White's spot on the TV game show "Wheel of Fortune." Meanwhile, she'd learn the ropes of being a modern celebrity, without being under the British press' harsh microscope.

What's in it for Vanna? Well, I think that the Brits will see the wisdom in this exchange program, and thus grant Ms. White the title of Acting Princess of The House of Windsor.

Sure, this would be innovative, and many stuffy English "royalty traditionalists" will probably kick up quite a fuss at the outset. When they realize, however, that the very future of British royalty is based on how well aristocrats adjust to their roles as modern, TV-age celebrities, they'll probably come around to the wisdom of the temporary trade.

But what about Vanna and Prince Charles? Would they, well, you know . . .?

The answer is that the very essence of being a modern celebrity is flexibility and knowing when to seize the moment. Hence, Vanna and Charlie are adult celebrities who'll have to work that one out together.

Stephen Roberts writes from Clinton, N.Y.

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