Prince William and Kate: What Wedding Gift Should Our Country Give them?
By Khaama Press - Thu Dec 02 2010, 8:32 am
By: Moe Riyasat
The thought of a wedding gift won’t have crossed our minds if the media hadn’t turned the news into a feeding-frenzy.
The news had just broken: the royal engagement was announced. Prince William finally proposed to Kate Middleton, and what began as a slow day for the media, turned into feverish, bee-hive, activity. The media hounded us, pounded us, and then shifted the story into hyper-drive. CNN told us, David Letterman told us, the tabloids told us, and even if we still didn’t hear, the village idiot would’ve told us.
But don’t be distracted by media noise. The real tooth-and-claw action is in trying to get an invitation to the royal wedding: the hottest ticket in the world; and some people are going out of their way to snag it. Old boys’ networks are unearthed and dusted off, favours are called in, buttons pushed, and if all else fails, indecent proposals traded.
However, the elusive invitation is frustrating everyone, especially leaders of countries who’re hell-bent on getting it. You’ll find Presidents, Prime Ministers, and imposters, worldwide, making burnt offerings at dawn, praying that their names are on the guest-list for the wedding, while their spouses are out-sprinting their ancient butlers to check the mailboxes daily, for the royal invitation. They’re all obsessed, becoming basket cases.
While they’re busy on the lookout for the royal-sealed envelope, it’s in our best interest to help the leader of our country choose the perfect gift for the soon-to-wed couple. After all, we have a stake in it: the gift would represent us too, courtesy of our tax dollars.
In helping our leader choose the perfect gift for Prince William and Kate, we’ll need to brainstorm and ask a few probing questions, similar to these:
Does size matter?
We know that the British monarchy has been in existence for centuries. This means that they have thousands upon thousands of paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and keepsakes, gathering dust; and nothing is ever thrown out. As a result of the hoarding problem, there’s a shortage of real estate in the castle and only a couple of bedrooms remain free of stuff.
So since space is critical, size matters.
Is it made in China?
These days, just about everything is made in China. It goes without saying that if we give something “Made in China” to the couple, then it becomes a Chinese gift. A Chinese leader could always show up at the wedding empty-handed, and claimed that it came from him. Could we say otherwise?
The moral of the story: before selecting an item as a present, check where it’s made.
Can it be duplicated?
Imagine going to a party and another person wears the same outfit you have on. Think of the emotional shock. Likewise, suppose another leader takes a similar gift as ours, to the royal wedding? The result: our gift won’t stand out and won’t be remembered.
So the rule of thumb becomes: if it can be duplicated, ditch it, let it go, get rid of it. No hoarding allowed here.
How expensive should it be?
The Prim & Proper Advice Column reminded us that at a wedding, it’s polite to give a gift worth more than the cost of a plate of food served at the wedding.
We can easily get the cost of a plate of food from a simple question: what is the cost of two sprigs of asparagus fencing-in a scrawny chicken leg and resting on an oversized Royal Doulton dinner plate?
Using that cost as the bare minimum amount to spend, and the maximum amount being our national budget, we could go as expensive as needed, as long as it doesn’t cause taxes to rise or cause a peasants’ revolt.
Is it creative?
A set of tall beer glasses bought at the dollar store, as the gift, may not identify who we’re as a nation, even if the tall glasses are frosted and dimpled.
Our gift should be creative, unique, representing the psyche of the country and coming from deep within our culture. We could look for guidance from our artisans, sculptors, painters, etc.
And, will it wow the royal couple?
An oil painting of two chimpanzees scratching their lower body parts, and grinning, may not impress the royal couple, regardless of the price of the frame. It may even rile up the Royal ancestors.
In wowing Prince William and Kate, our gift should be something unexpected, something desirable, and something to be treasured.
After we’ve brainstormed, probed, and thought of the perfect gift, it’ll be in our best interest to suggest it to our leader in time for the wedding. Hopefully, they will listen to us (as was their election promise), and give a gift that will personalize the nation and do us all proud. Equally important, the gift should make Price William and Kate ecstatic and their families thrilled.
Best wishes on your choice of a gift.