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Royal Wedding – Questions

  • April 28th, 2011
  • Posted by 7thmin

prince-william-engaged1.jpegIs the ban on an ABC comedy team covering the Royal Wedding this Friday (29.4.11) a serious matter or not?

Lee Duffield asks about the decision by the BBC and APTN to say no to the live feed, if a broadcast by “The Chaser” on the second ABC channel would be using it.


Some of the facts are clear and others are not.

Prince William, (William Arthur Philip Louis – will she get it right?), is scheduled to marry Kate Middleton (Catherine Elizabeth) (picture), at Westminster Abbey. (See EUAustralia Online, “Right Royal carry on”, 17.11.10).

thorpe-ian-topnews.jpegSundry Australians have been invited including Ian Thorpe (picture), the swimmer, and Julia Gillard (picture) , the Prime Minister.

gillard.jpgThe nuptials have been considerately arranged for evening viewing time in Australia, so much of the nation’s population is expected to watch, adding a tiny drop in the bucket to a world audience that may reach two-billion people.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is to relay pictures from the BBC coverage, arranged with the Corporation and the news agency group APTN, for screening on ABC1.

On Wednesday, 27.4.11, two days before show-time, the ABC announced that  “The Chaser” would not be looking at the funny side of it all, after all, on ABC2.

charles-prince-wikipedia.jpgThis was blamed on a late change, said to have been decreed by “Clarence House”, the name of the home of the Prince of Wales, (Prince Charles -  Charles Philip Arthur George, as most of us have known since 1981) (picture) — and also of the political entity that represents the interests of the two princes, Charles and William, father and son.

Charles is a man roughly treated by media in times past; they turned out in force for his first wedding, and behaved well enough over his second, but in between were mortifying with the paparazzi-shots and the phone taps.

He was thought to have been behind the ban, possibly with a younger accomplice.

However the BBC then declared there had actually been no moving of the goal posts.

“It has always been made clear by the BBC that use of its basic live news feed and BBC One programming for comedy, satirical or similar entertainment purposes would not be permitted contractually,” it said.

“This is a standard condition that applies to all broadcasters around the world  … which includes footage shot inside Westminster Abbey in agreement with Clarence House.”

That interpretation has been disputed in Australia, but it seems there is nothing to be done, except to watch the main show – though one of the commercial channels is promising comments from “Dame Edna Everage”


Members of “The Chaser” have been mild about the set-back, though insisting that a new clause went into the broadcasting agreement on the weekend to freeze them out.

Comedians being prone to have dark side, the particular act can be merciless and unpleasant about kindly human relations.

There was their 2009 sketch about terminally ill children, greatly deplored as a cruel act.

One of the comedians purportedly, rudely and casually dumped his girlfriend during a show.

More topically, for this week, there was the “eulogy” song four years ago, which contradicted nice things said about dead celebrities – including the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

We come back to that lady’s former husband, the Prince of Wales,  Charles Philip Arthur George, waiting in line to become King of Australia.

What if the man did act to censor Australian television this week?

westminster-abbey-coaches.jpeg  westminster-abbey.jpegPresumably the Royal Family asserts no claim to what is televised in the streets of London; if they clop about in gold coaches in the open air, it is reasonable for the police to clear the way and control the crowds, but we must assume anybody can shoot pictures without their say-so.

As for TV inside the Abbey, we have to wonder if it is a sort of private event, where the family have hired the hall and can call the shots – much like a football club or the IOC controlling venues.

Could it be a fully entrepreneurial sort of deal under a Royal ownership – copyrights and rake-offs?

What if the premise of control, is that Westminster Abbey is the scene of a state occasion, where a Royal authority will prevail; or that the Monarchy, heading the Church of England as it does, can say-what-goes in Churches of that denomination?

How will that go for Australians?

The man in question has earned some respect in his maturity, and in the longer-term for his love of the Earth, and for his appreciation of the sublime proportions of a classical building.

If it happens though that he has given commands over this television program, he ought not to think about doing it again, in Australia, at least not without going there to get elected to  office — to reign over us.

eureka-flag-2.jpegNo off-with-their-heads, no boiling the cook alive for burning the dinner, no commanding the surf at Cronulla to lie still, no going off to Canberra to unseat the Prime Minister –  no commands please, beyond the odd Command Performance. (Show here the Eureka flag – republican banner, picture).

With that all properly understood; the world may settle to enjoy this great event, and toast the future of the Royal Couple in England, and all others getting married this St Catherine’s Day *.


Nicole Chvastek, “The Queen dumps Chaser!”, ABC Online, Brisbane, 28..4.11., (28.4.11).

Paul Kalina, “Chaser banished, but Dame gets royal nod”, The Age, Melbourne, 28.4.11., (28.4.11).

SMH, Sydney, “Chaser casts doubt on timing of BBC ban”,, (28.4.11).

* Catherine of Siena, a Patron Saint of Europe in the Catholic calendar, commemorated 29th April.


acci, topnews. greenman, catherine-middleton, wikipedia