Volume 91, Issue 94

Thursday, March 26, 1998

Belushi goes west


British invasion

Hundreds of teenage girls were screaming as they crammed against each other, standing on tip-toes trying to get the best view. They held placards stating their devotion and one girl, who managed to reach through the crowd and shake the hand of one of the mop tops, said she would never wash her hand again. Ever.

No it's not a scene from decades ago when The Beatles invaded North America with their pop messages of love and yeah, yeah, yeah. But these Brits are making a royal splash just as big with the teenybopper set and other not-so-young folks. However, the objects of the crowds' devotion are not as content as John, Paul, George and Ringo were.

It is not the large gathering of teenage hormones that is getting the royals Roots costumes in a knot. It's the cameras.

Yesterday, Buckingham Palace threatened to cancel an upcoming media photo opportunity with Prince William, his brother Harry and their father Charles, who is secondary in importance on this teen heart-throb tour. Apparently, three Canadian camera crews were shooting the royal family as they skied in Whistler, B.C. even though there was an agreement in place that the royals would be left alone.

The issue of privacy certainly is not a new problem for the royals but this particular incident comes at a very precarious time. The boys' mother Diana was killed in a car crash less than a year ago and this incident sparked a huge international public outcry about the excessive attention Diana was given by trash media. Hounded by tabloids, Diana was followed everywhere and rarely got a moment's solitude.

This trip is the first abroad for the princes without their mother and many in the international community are watching to see events unfold in Canada and how the two boys cope. It doesn't help the reputation of Canada's media then, when they break agreements with the family. Not only that, stations like Global TV, one of the offenders, are now going to be lumped in the category of paparazzi tabloid journalism around the world.

Our country had an opportunity to provide a refuge for the royals. A perfect getaway that would make them feel more at home than at home. A place William would visit as King with his own family on a regular basis. Looks like we blew it.

Is it the princes duty to strut and pose? Unlike The Beatles, who were a commodity, the princes were born into this life of superstardom and have little choice but to grin and bear it. But it is unnecessary to follow them everywhere they go. Surely there are plenty of opportunities for snap shots. Let's give the kids a break instead of being a royal pain in the ass.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998