Alf was delighted to read of the Royalist leanings of Aaron Hape and Chloe Oldfield, who strike him as being a splendid couple (and probably worth recruiting into the National Party).
According to the Dom-Post, they will be celebrating the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton tonight under red, white and blue streamers and before a portrait of the Queen.
Mr Hape said they were expecting about 30 guests – who have all been asked to dress for the occasion, whatever their views on the monarchy – at the party at their flat in Brooklyn, Wellington.
“I’ve asked people to come in formal dress, and I’ll be making cucumber sandwiches.”
Alf wouldn’t bother inviting anyway who was not a staunch monarchist.
But he admires the 19-year-old Victoria University student who apparently co-ordinates the Wellington arm of Monarchy New Zealand.
He admires his taste in sheilas, too.
His partner, Miss Oldfield, said the part of the wedding she was most looking forward to was the trumpets, fanfare and singing of old hymns.
“Some people might say it’s a good excuse to have a party, but I think it’s a good reason to celebrate New Zealand’s monarchy.”
This Hape feller said his interest in the monarchy stemmed from being with his grandmother, who always watched the televised Queen’s speech on Christmas Day.
“I wondered what it was all about and found it was a good system of government that’s proven to work well over the ages.”
Right on, young man.
Alf notes that Mr Hape’s grandmother will be watching tonight’s ceremony at her home in Dannevirke.
That’s further on up State Highway Two from where the Grumbles will be seated in front of their telly to relish the occasion.
Alf had beleived they would have been seated with the VIPs in Westminster Abbey, but it seems they were squeezed out by Britain’s curious need to keep on good terms with a few tyrants.
For example, the Guardian says Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali al-Khalifa will be there.
This sheikh is the former head of an agency accused of torture and human rights abuses, Bahrain’s National Security Agency. He will attend the wedding in his role as the current Bahraini ambassador to London.
Khalifa was head of the agency from 2005 to 2008. The pressure group Human Rights Watch alleges that in 2007 detainees in Bahrain suffered torture including electric shocks and beatings.
An invitation to attend the wedding was withdrawn from the Syrian ambassador to London because of concerns over domestic repression and human rights abuses.
Libya is also excluded.
The decision to rescind the royal wedding invitation to Dr Sami Khiyami, the Syrian ambassador, was made after the foreign secretary, William Hague, decided it would be “unacceptable” for a representative of the Syrian government to attend in the light of the killing of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators.
Another bloke from Bahrain has declined his invitation, too.
Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, crown prince of Bahrain, where at least 30 people have been killed in recent demonstrations, put out a statement on Sunday saying that with “deep regret” he had to decline his invitation, complaining that media reports about his attendance “clearly sought to involve my potential attendance as a political proxy for wider matters involving Bahrain”. The invitation had been criticised by human rights groups.
But Alf is astonished to learn that a Zimbabwean envoy is on the guewst list.
The event will see high profile dignitaries and other personalities from across the world converge in the British capital. But many rights groups have been left outraged at the inclusion of controversial figures, including representatives from oppressive regimes like Zimbabwe.
London based protest group, the Zimbabwe Vigil has called on the UK Foreign Office to withdraw the invitation to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador, Gabriel Machinga. Observers have also called the invite a “shocking display of hypocrisy,” with British officials arguing that the invite is a matter of diplomatic relations and protocol.
British media have been outraged that two former Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, were left off the guest list.
Stephen Glover, a columnist with the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, said it was “mind-boggling that Blair and Brown should have had to yield to men such as Gabriel Machinga, Zimbabwean Ambassador to London, a loyal servant of President Robert Mugabe’s murderous and kleptomaniac regime.”
Alf will be emailing Mr Glover to point out that Alf has been obliged to yield to this Zimbabwean bloke, too.
This is bound to bobble his mind even more.