By Christopher B. Daly
How do these things happen?
Here’s the most prominent part of the homepage for today’s Washington Post, the morning after a state dinner held at the White House for prominent French bachelor Francois Hollande.
That headline: “D.C. royalty turns out for state dinner” is a stunner.
Royalty? Really? The word is not even placed inside quote marks. Just presented as a matter of fact? Aw, c’mon.
We all know that Post editors intend it as a kind of shorthand for the American establishment (which, btw, includes a lot of people who live far from the District in such remote outposts as New York, Hollywood, and Kentucky).
It would be tiresome and pedantic to point to the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Sec. 9:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
That about covers it. How could anyone at the Post seriously entertain the notion that the guests at the White House constitute “royalty”? Have they been watching too much “Downton Abbey”? Or, do they really think they are that special? The Post certainly didn’t help itself today, especially among us
citizens peasants out in the provinces.
Vive la Republique!
In other social notes: I see that among the guests was Jill Abramson, the NYTimes executive editor. According to the official guest list from the White House, her escort was not her husband (Henry Griggs) because most guests are invited alone and paired with another guest. Jill was paired with a man named William Woodson, who was not further identified. Was it the author or the actor?