Today’s Thought Experiment

The Official Royal Wedding website launched last week with promises to tell an eager world the latest developments in Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s wedding plans.

I saw nothing on the website offering the faintest glimmer of hope that anyone from the sf community will attend the Royal Wedding on April 29. That’s just not right!

SF Crowsnest revealed last November that the bride-to-be is a Buffy fan. If that counts I volunteer Ben Yalow as our representative. He’s the biggest Buffy fan I know — and he does own a black tie. 

But I don’t think we should put all our eggs in one basket.

So I challenged myself: Who do I know who could get me invited to the Royal Wedding?

The most famous Englishman I know is Dave Langford. Dave is a literary lion. What’s more, Sir Terry Pratchett sends him news for Ansible and we know Sir Terry’s met the Queen at least once. Unfortunately, Dave answered that he didn’t think he could be much help:

[My] kind of extremely limited fame doesn’t translate into any kind of influence in the British establishment, but then I don’t suppose Terry’s encounter with the Queen helps either. (He’s not the only one in the UK sf community — Chris Priest has been to at least one Buckingham Palace garden party, I think as a reward for services to the Society of Authors, and I’d be surprised if Brian Aldiss hadn’t done the same at some stage.)

Probably best to blackmail a Tory of at least junior-minister rank, or a member of the Palace protocol staff. I assume that quickly marrying a close relative of bride or groom would be inconvenient since you’re already spoken for.

You’re quite right, Dave, that would be tough to arrange between now and April 29. 

I think my next inquiry will be to sf author and composer Somtow Sucharitkul, who is himself related to Thai royalty, as it says in his bio:

In 1999, he was commissioned to compose…  Madana, inspired by a fairytale-like play written by King Rama VI of Siam and dedicated to his wife, Queen Indrasaksachi, who was also the composer’s great-aunt.

If I hear back from him I’ll be surprised report further.

13 thoughts on “Today’s Thought Experiment

  1. Who presented J. K. Rowling her Hugo at Millenium Philcon? Perhaps through Ms Rowling there’s an in?

    Or maybe through the Doctor Who production company as when the TARDIS was found left on the grounds of Buckingham Palace and brought to the Tenth Doctor, he said, “Aw, She doesn’t mind!” (H. M. the Queen is reported to be a Doctor Who fan….) (She’s also been depicted in the show itself in two different decades.)

  2. SF fan Nicholas Whyte attended the wedding of Prince Johan Friso of the Netherlands in 2004, so he has experience attending royal weddings. He wrote about it in Argentus 4.

  3. Rowling didn’t make it to Worldcon to collect her Hugo; her stand-in was a local librarian. So unfortunately that’s out.

    Your best bet for the Doctor Who route is Paul Cornell, who writes for the show and is an enthusiastic convention attendee.

  4. @Petréa: “a local librarian” depends on how one defines local”, The acceptor at the Philly Worldcon was a librarian, but from the Boston area.

  5. @Michael: Since it was a “Boston-Orlando” worldcon bid that Philly defeated for the rights to run a 2001 Worldcon, “Boston local” is probably good for that value of “local”…

  6. Well, if I’d known it was a Boston librarian, I wouldn’t’ve said “local”. I was just repeating what I’d heard from other sources.

    Thanks for fixing the typo, Mike.

  7. Were you hoping some self-sacrificing fan would shoot the Royal Couple — and relieve the world of the boredom brought on by anything to do with state marriages, manufactured news and ceremonial photo ops?

  8. I’m pretty sure John Berry the Irish fan holds the British Empire Medal, and is therefore may put the letters BEM after his name. Brian Aldiss holds the OBE, as does, I think, Roy Kettle. But do they, individually or collectively, have an “in” at Buck House? I rather doubt it.

  9. Perhaps Sir Patrick Stewart?

    Tim Kyger told me that he was there when the late astronaut Gordon Cooper approached Sir Patrick as a National Space Society fundraiser and introduced himself, saying he might not be recognizable since he himself had lost his hair.

    Sir Patrick replied, “It is the haircut of The Future!”

  10. Well, my brother is a longtime sf reader who might count as a fringefan, and his ex-wife Serena Scott Thomas played a villainess in the Buffyverse, “Mrs. Gwendolyn Post.” But she’s playing Kate’s mother in the Lifetime TV movie about this royal wedding, and she played Princess Diana in one of the TV movies about the breakup of that marriage, so I doubt she’d be likely to get invited.

  11. @Matthew: On the contrary, what a breakthrough! If I get invited to a wedding in a movie, that will still be a heck of a lot closer than I’ve gotten so far. We definitely need to work on this…

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