Princess Beatrice: First Royal in Space?

The Royal Scotsman has a profile of Princess Beatrice, fifth in line to the British throne and rumored (rumoured?) to have a seat on a future Virgin Galactic suborbital space tourism flight:

Her companion has been David Clark, son of a wealthy American family living in Hampstead, who met Beatrice through her cousin Prince William, with whom he was at St Andrews University. Clark, who has dual British and US nationality and is endorsed by acquaintances as “a thoroughly decent chap”, regularly holidays with Beatrice and her sister and mother.

Clark works with Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism enterprise, which plans to start the first commercial sub-orbital flights in 2011, and he has apparently persuaded Beatrice to sign on the waiting list for a seat. As she turns 21, it’s anybody guess as to whether Beatrice will fulfil – or even wish to aspire to – that Blairite paradigm of “people’s princess”. However, if not shackled to the earth by bonds of protocol, she might just be the first member of the Royal Family into space.

The rest of the story is largely about the terrible struggles that one faces growing up as royalty, what with her millions of pounds and papparazzi and the press reporting on every time she shows off her size 10 body in a bikini, parties with Beyonce, and gets shitfaced with Kelly Osbourne and Bob Geldof’s kid Peaches.

Peaches? Really, Bob? You didn’t think your kid would be teased endlessly with that name?

Being an American, I don’t get any of this. Our whole national identity was formed by rejecting royalty. Upon hearing the Declaration of Independence read for the first time, a mob of New Yorkers ran to the bowling green, pulled down a enormous statute of George the Third, cut off its head, and melted the whole thing down for bullets for the Continental Army.

I like that. I really do. (Not that I’m recommending it, mind you. Just saying…that was pretty damned cool…)

I’m also somewhat blase about the whole celebrity thing. I’ve met a fair number of them over the years. Deke Slayton bought me a beer. Buzz Aldrin pitched a script to me in a diner. I’ve had dinner with Tuvok, watched Eric Stoltz eat brunch in Hollywood (als0 not recommended), and came thisclose to going into Tom Arnold’s Celebrity Garage Sale (hosted by Illeana Douglas!!) in Van Nuys.

I also own some rare celebrity memorability: A Freedom 7 stamped envelope with John Glenn’s signature.Neil Patrick Harris’ used Roller Blades. And a bathrobe I believe was worn by one of the characters from the Sapranos. (The one they shot and dumped into the Atlantic. Again, not that I’m recommending it….)

So, you’re probably wondering, why am I writing about some rich royal going into space. Well, it’s because people love celebrities and it will get more traffic through the site, which makes me marginally more wealthy.

And that’s cause enough, I think.