Prince William's entourage of British gossip columnists has been shocked to disocver that no-one here gives a damn about their precious monarchy:
The young prince dashed into Auckland for a whirlwind two-day visit today to be met at the airport by just 10 enthusiastic royalists.Yes, really. Its all a bit sad really. But it gets better:
Network Nine was so disappointed with the turn-out their reporter penned a few "I love William" signs for female bystanders to wave about.
But despite his enthusiasm and his blow-by-blow itinerary being printed in several New Zealand newspapers, no Kiwi fans showed up at the gates to see their royal representative.That's so beautifully kiwi. The Brits may be obsessed with hierarchy and deference and publicly displaying their loyalty to the unelected scion of an undemocratic institution - but we have better things to do. Like enjoying ourselves in the sun. The British royal-watchers call this "a distinct pro-republican feeling", but its more that we just don't give a damn - the monarchy is simply utterly irrelevant to our lives. Though from a republican view, that irrelevance is a two-edged sword; not giving a damn also tends to mean not giving a damn about getting rid of them. Hence the slow drift to republicanism; no-one cares about them, but no-one cares enough to finally sign the paperwork to get them out of our lives either...
"It's low-key to say the least," said Hello! reporter Judy Wade, a longtime royal watcher who has followed Prince William since the day he was born.
"Compared to people back home, those here really don't seem that interested at all.
"As one Kiwi I spoke to put it: I think they'd rather spend a nice day like this at the beach."