ink-stained wretches

British Royal Family Pretty Sure It Can Still Tell Americans What to Do

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrive for a service of celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of the Coronation Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on June 4, 2013 in London, England. The Queen's Coronation took place on June 2, 1953 after a period of mourning for her father King George VI, following her ascension to the throne on February 6, 1952. The event 60 years ago was the first time a coronation was televised for the public.
Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

It’s the year 2014, yet Buckingham Palace has issued a proclamation to its colonies in the New World, which is awaiting a visit from Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Journalists wishing to cover Royal engagements, whether in the United Kingdom or abroad, should comply with the dress code on formal occasions out of respect for the guests of The Queen, or any other member of the Royal Family,” said an order aimed at reporters planning to write about Will and Kate’s December trip. “Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie, and for women a trouser or skirt suit. Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away. This also applies to technicians.”

First of all, what are “trainers” or, for that matter, “technicians”? And second, why should the United States’ press corps — who barely bother to brush the muffin crumbs off their polo shirts before lobbing questions at the president of the United States — schlep extra pieces of clothing to work just so they can make small talk with a (perfectly nice-seeming) British air ambulance pilot-in-training and a former chain-store accessories buyer?

Reporters Ordered to Dress Up for Will and Kate