Hanging out the bunting for William and Kate 为威廉和凯特悬挂彩旗
That was then 那是当时的情形
“PRINCELY marriage is a brilliant edition of a universal fact” that “rivets mankind”, observed Walter Bagehot, a Victorian editor of The Economist. It is also a good excuse for a knees-up; specifically, according to a national tradition dating to the “peace teas” held to celebrate the Versailles treaty in 1919, for decking residential streets with Union flags and setting up makeshift tables in the road. Despite some naysaying predictions to the contrary, the tradition will be honoured on April 29th, when Prince William marries Kate Middleton: the Local Government Association says party organisers have submitted over 2,000 requests for road closures.
经济学人维多利亚版主编Walter Bagehot 说，王子的婚礼是“吸引人类”的普遍事实中的一个辉煌版。这也是举办一场活跃聚会的好理由，尤其是按照国家传统，可追溯至为庆祝1919年凡尔赛条约签订的“和平茶”，人们用欧盟旗装饰住宅街道并临时在道路上放置桌子。尽管有相反的否认预测，该传统都会在每年4月29日举行，当威廉王子娶了凯特米德尔顿：地方政府协会表示，聚会组织者已经提交超过2,000封要求封锁道路的要求。
Communal street parties reflect the fuzzy political fad of the “Big Society”, David Cameron’s term for the local civic activity that he desperately wants to cultivate. To help jolly people along, the day has been designated a one-off bank holiday; local councils have simplified the licensing process for celebratory events; some government departments have used Twitter to encourage participation. Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha are hosting an exemplary party in Downing Street, having applied to close their already inaccessible road.
Yet since William’s parents, Charles and Diana, married in 1981, the country’s streets have become markedly more fragmented. A report last year by Co-operatives UK, a trade body for co-operative businesses, compared polling data from 2010 with a survey conducted in 1982 and concluded that, judging by how well people know others in their street and how often they interact, Britons are “less than half’ as neighbourly as they were 30 years ago. Many of next month’s revellers will be introducing themselves as they put up the bunting.
Then there are the evolving attitudes to monarchy. The proportion of Britons who want to abolish the monarch has hovered around 30% for decades, but indifference and ridicule have risen. Chris Gittins of Streets Alive, which provides advice on parties, recommends that, given the mix of attitudes likely to be found on most streets, organisers should consider branding their shindigs as ecumenically as possible.
The self-explanatory lobby group Republic is offering to console some of the most monarchy-allergic. Membership has risen sharply, to around 14,000, since William’s engagement was announced, says Graham Smith, its campaign manager, echoing the surge in interest in its Swedish equivalent in the run-up to the marriage of Crown Princess Victoria in 2010. Republic has been granted permission to close Earlham Street, a cobbled road in Covent Garden, to host a “Not the Royal Wedding” party, “celebrating democracy and people-power rather than inherited privilege”.