Bin Laden bumps newlyweds off scene

But royals won't be forgotten so easily – especially Camilla

May 05, 2011|Susan Reimer

There is nothing like the death of the world's most-wanted terrorist to blow a royal wedding right off the front page.

Will and Kate's helicopter had no more taken off from Buckingham Palace the morning after their wedding than U.S. helicopters were dropping Navy SEALS into Osama bin Laden's compound to kill him.

We went from watching happy throngs waving Union Jacks in Trafalgar Square to watching happy throngs waving American flags at Ground Zero.

The future king of England and his beautiful bride decided to postpone their honeymoon, presumably so that they could throw reporters off the scent.

Looks like a bad call in hindsight, as the rest of the world is now clamoring for pictures — not of the love birds but of the bullet-riddled body of the man who ordered the planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon nearly 10 years ago.

But I am not ready to leave off on the royal wedding, and not only because it is a pleasant alternative to thinking about what hell might rain down on us from bin Laden's grieving acolytes.

No, I am still fussing over the royal wedding because I have not forgiven Camilla.

The television commentators kept repeating how princes Will and Harry have come to care for the woman who makes their father, Prince Charles, so happy.

They talked about how the queen has warmed to her, as has the entire British empire. So much so that she might actually get to be called queen herself someday, instead of princess consort, a title more appropriate because it comes with the scandalous connotations that are so richly deserved.

In the days after the wedding, I chatted up friends, as well as complete strangers, and we compared notes on the best parts of the wedding — Kate's dress, Will's words "you look beautiful" and "I love you" at the altar, the flowers, the carriage ride, the kiss and the bonus kiss.

We each had our favorite moments, but we all agreed on one point.

We have never forgiven Camilla — or Charles, for that matter — for driving Diana mad and then out of the royal household and away from her beloved boys.

Diana might have been at Westminster Abbey to see William marry if she hadn't been forced to live the life of a princess in exile, vulnerable and exposed as she never would have been shaking hands at ribbon-cuttings and visiting hospitals.

Instead, Will and Kate were paying a visit to her grave in the days before the wedding.

It is odd that in a country like ours, noted for its cynicism, its divorce rate and its country music songs about cheating hearts, that we would hold a grudge against Charles and Camilla after all these years.

We could just as easily spin a narrative around their 40-year love affair, the cold-hearted queen who separated them and their obvious devotion in the twilight of their lives.

But anybody who watched Diana marry Charles 30 years ago was snared by the fairy-tale storyline, and the revelations that it was an arranged marriage and that he never left off with Camilla — not to mention the dreadful "Camillagate" tapes — soured us on Camilla.

And listening to the wedding commentators go on and on during the wedding of Diana's son about the rehabilitation of her reputation was too much to endure. My girlfriends and I, up early and sipping English breakfast tea and nibbling scones, rolled our eyes and harrumphed every time her name was mentioned.

Maybe the British have forgiven her. Maybe the British have really short memories. But I haven't because I don't.

Much was made out America's determination in the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden.

That's nothing. Wait till they see how long we are going to stay mad at Camilla.

susan.reimer@baltsun.com

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