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Friday, April 29, 2011

The Royal Family Pop-Up Book Reminds Us How Well the Last Royal Wedding Worked Out

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 8:45 AM

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Each Friday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from Golden State basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets.

The Royal Family Pop-Up Book

Author:Patrick Montague-Smith

Date: 1984

Publisher: Hamlyn Publishing Group, London

Discovered at: San Francisco Library Book Sale

The Cover Promises: Some loves can only be captured in the medium of pop-up.

The Cover Also Promises: "The best-loved family in the land in a variety of settings, and moving!" This being 1984, that must mean the Huxtables.




England is the quaint and sophisticated TV sitcom from which the bigger, louder, and certain-to-run-on-many-seasons-past-its-prime America was adapted. Funny thing about Britons, though. On occasion, they spend great heaps of play money called "pounds" on wedding ceremonies for "royalty," that nation's curious pantheon of fictitious queens and princes who will blink right out of existence on the day that children stop believing.



One such fairy wedding occurs today! The details of it are lost on me, but I can tell you all about 1984's The Royal Family Pop-Up Book, a bizarre and reverent depiction of Prince Charles' marriage to Lady Diana, who would become known in her time as "The People's Princess" thanks to her un-fairylike ability to hold occasional conversations with actual Britons.



The pop-up book depicts her lavish 1981 wedding. Here, she and her prince share their first public kiss as man and wife. And check out how the Union Jack swells up each time Charles leans in. Talk about a pop-up!


Okay, Charles doesn't exactly kiss her. Instead, he pecks her like a seed bell.

A year or so later, after the birth of their son Prince William, the happy couple embarked on a trip around the world. Here they are picnicking in Auckland, New Zealand.

There Princess Diana -- then temporarily immobilized from the waist down -- shocked the world by stubbing out her cigarette on Prince William's bottom.



As their trip abroad continued, the newlyweds found time to re-enact the truck chase sequence from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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Next, they toured in a summer stock production of Meet Me in St. Louis.



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The show was especially popular with giant robots.

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Still, the royal family was always happiest at Balmoral, their Olympian retreat in the Highlands of Scotland. Here we see as only a pop-up book can show us just why they have for so long commanded England's -- and the world's -- imagination:

Their courageous belief that tea should poured from the waist rather than the knees. Plus, they're also into dog-fishing, apparently.

And that is the most beloved family in the world, the people who rule over Great Britain much like Mayor McCheese rules over McDonald's. We salute you!

A NOTE SO IMPORTANT IT SHOULD HAVE DRUDGE SIRENS ALL AROUND IT: I made it all the way through a post on a royal family pop-up book without a single joke about Charles' ears. Also, I know the giant robot makes no sense, but I didn't have the cat around.

Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap or @ExhibitionistSF on the Twitter thing.



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Alan Scherstuhl

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