Don’t weeze the thaumaturgical juice

As my Mom notes earlier this week, the royal touch is regarded as capable of curing, so you aren’t supposed to, as Michele Obama did, touch the Queen, because this could lead to a reduction in her healing juice, or something. Or at least that is the interpretation that Time offers for ruffled British feathers. The simpler explanation, that protocol is simply a set of signifiers that have evolved as a way of showing respect, is ignored for some attempt at rationality. This reminds me of the manufactured kerfuffle over Obama going jacketless in the Oval Office.

The Time angle is perhaps better suited to some large group of Americans who see their own presidents as somehow guided by God’s voice. While I have no doubt that there are royalists who believe the same, I suspect that most are just offended by the First Lady’s potential failure to show deference by maintaining protocol. I also wonder how this is news in either country, but I know the answer to that. Audiences must be entertained!

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2 Comments

  1. Mary Halavais
    Posted 4/3/2009 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    The London Times was a bit put out, as well, but El Pais (Spain) saw it as an indicator of Michelle O’s warmth and sweetness, and pointed out that the queen only stepped away from Michelle when it was time for the “formal” photographs.

  2. Mary Halavais
    Posted 4/3/2009 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Time Magazine needs a consultant on European history.

    One of our recent MA defenses also touched upon (no pun intended) the issue of English kings, the royal touch and scrofula. King Charles II of England attempted to cure the son of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, with the royal touch, and failed. The youngster, in fact, died shortly afterward.

    There will always be an England, of course, but I am afraid that French royalty are the owners of the royal touch.

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