Metaphors of Life Journal: The Royal Wedding, The Sequel RSVP – Zimbabwe Can’t Make It

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on November 20, 2010 0 Comments


The Royal Wedding, The Sequel RSVP

ZimbabweCan’t Make It

Fair warning. If you are a fan of the royal family, you may want to skip this post as I occupy the opposite end of the spectrum.

Hmmm, will the residents of Zimbabwe be huddled around their televisions watching “The Royal Wedding: The Sequel” starring Prince William and Kate Middleton? Probably not since most of them can’t afford a television or the luxury of watching it even if they did.

But millions of people around the world will no doubt be glued to their televisions that day to witness the pageantry and the extravagance. Those in the know say that the price tag for the event will likely be around $30 million.

Charles and Diana’s wedding apparently rang up a tab of $49 million. But a spokesperson for Prince Charles’s office says that they’ll be tightening their belt a bit this time around to be respectful of the economic realities of the day.

“Prince William and Catherine are very mindful of the economic situation. It’s something they will bear in mind — the state of the nation; it is something that will be considered.”

I’m sure the people of Zimbabwe will be pleased to hear that the royal family plans to exercise restraint – to the tune of $30 million. Not that affordability is an issue, mind you. The Queen’s personal wealth is estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $475 million.

Why I am drawing Zimbabwe into this discussion? Precisely because Zimbabwe has the dubious distinction of being one of the poorest countries in the world when GDP (gross domestic product) is used as the measure.

GDP is the market value of all final goods and services produced in a year in a country. So let’s put things in perspective. Great Britain’s GDP per capita is about $35,000. Zimbabwe weighs in at $0.1 per capita. Yes, I did put the decimal point in the right place.

It seems to me rather glaringly unjust for Great Britain to fork over $30 million for William and Kate’s wedding when people in the poorest countries in the world live on $2 day or less.

Economists may argue that I’m overlooking the fact that the royal wedding will reportedly add as much as $995 million to the U.K. economy as consumers spend more on food and drink and tourism revenue increases. But Zimbabwe isn’t likely to see a nickel of that money.

Wouldn’t it be a grand gesture of humanity if the royal family opted to spend only $100,000 on William and Kate’s nuptials and gave the other $29.9 million to the poorest countries in the world starting with Zimbabwe? $29.9 million is, after all, only about 6% of the Queen’s personal wealth.

I’m not holding my breath that the royal family will take up my suggestion. I expect that William and Kate’s wedding will be a roaring metaphor for unbridled extravagance and a “money is no object” mentality.

Zimbabwe has already RSVPed for “The Royal Wedding, The Sequel”: “Sorry, we can’t make it. We’re too busy too earning our $2 a day.”

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel” – double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

~ Follow Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm regularly at this site. Categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor. Originating at Or subscribe to my Twitter site (mdyetmetaphor) to receive tweets when blog postings go up.

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I am The Metaphor Guy. Novelist, closet philosopher, chronicler of life’s mysteries – all through the lens of metaphor.Double award winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009: 1. Canada East Region Winner 2. Writers in the Sky Aw

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