Royal Wedding Wagers: I Bet The Families Don't Like ItJohn Cave Osborne
So, I get it. Prince William and Kate Middleton will be tying the knot this weekend, and everyone’s eyes will be on them. But what I didn’t get is that many sets of those eyes will belong to gamblers. And I don’t mean to seem like my royal knickers are all in a wad about it, because truth be told, I couldn’t care any less about this weekend’s nuptials if I tried.
Still, as a family man, I feel bad for both sides of the aisle. Each family deserves to celebrate the marriage of their child with dignity, instead of knowing that many tuned in will only be doing so to see if Prince Harry’s drunk, as his sobriety is, indeed, one of the many categories folks are betting on.
For those of you who thought the prop bets for the Super Bowl were out there, they’re nothing compared to the bets associated with the royal wedding, or so I learned today after reading an AP story on Comcast.net. An estimated $1.6 million (US) will change hands as folks watch eagerly to see if they’ve made the right call.
“[UK oddsmaker] William Hill has bets out on whether Middleton will get a kiss on the cheek or on the lips when the couple appear at the Buckingham Palace balcony, whether her father will cry as he walks her down the aisle, and whether Prince Harry will catch her bouquet. Among the less likely bets: That the happy couple car’s will break down outside Westminster Abbey, that Middleton will jilt William at altar, or that Prince Harry will be too drunk to finish his speech.
“That last option pays out 25 pounds for every pound wagered.”
It turns out that the gambling is more for fun than anything else. The average bet is just 6 pounds compared with 14 pounds for, say, a soccer match. Plus, many of the categories, like “Will Elton John sing live?” are ones which insiders will already know the answers to. So it’s not as if oddsmakers are thinking they’ll rake it in. According to a spokesperson for William Hill, they’ll be happy if they just break even.
Regardless, I think that placing bets on who designs Kate Middleton’s dress or whether William and Kate will stay together does, indeed, undermine the integrity of the nuptials. In fact, if I were in royal family, I’d be sick and tired of the freak show which constantly abounds at times of familial ritual. We all remember the circus that Diana’s death was. Must the wedding of her eldest son also be stripped of its fair share of honor?
Such, I suppose, is the price of royalty. Which makes me happy that I’m not part of the royal family, because I’d prefer a little more dignity with our families’ weddings, if it’s all the same to you.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta hop and track down that William Hill fellow. I gotta dime that says Harry’ll be totally sober during his speech and that he not only finishes, but also finishes with a certain and rare eloquence.
That, my friends, is a layup. Even at 25:1.
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