The Lights Are On, But...
Posted on 19th November 2010
The Lights Are On, but...
Our fairytale city was set alit by royalty last night – not Oliver Cromwell, not quite the Hollywood royalty of Nicolas Cage last year, but the Real Thing: Camilla Parker-Bowles, Her Royal Highness The Princess Charles Philip Arthur George, Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland.
The presence of royalty had the children very excited, with dreams of fairytale princesses, handsome princes, sparkling tiaras and probably coaches that turn into pumpkins. It is wonderful to be young.
This all helps cement Bath's identity as the perfect Christmas town for refined shopping and luxury. After a symbolic shopping excursion to the newly opened Highgrove shop and greeting the gathered, the Duchess was driven in the not-yet-pumpkin to a stage at the bottom of Milsom Street to plunge the honorary plunger that puts Bath's Christmas lights aglow.
People – though not, it must be said a lot – gathered, police sat atop horses that, alas, did not fly, anticipation coursed through the crowd as it waited for... what?
Filing across the Milsom Street stage were music students from City of Bath College playing reggae, the Stockingtops Christmas choir, the Bath Rugby Team, Camilla the Princess lighting the lights with her Magic Plunger and a bit of musical royalty, Midge Ure, singing Christmas songs.
The stage, fully equipped with state of the art technogear, was a wonderful opportunity for Bath artists to perform in a near-real situation for near-masses of people, a platform for Bath to show off its rich artistic culture. One might wonder if students playing cod-reggae, someone singing a Leonard Cohen song as if they were Britney Spears (now there's a concept to chill the heart)... anyway, you get our drift; it seemed a lost opportunity for something actually engaging.
A de rigeur ceremony like this makes us seem a town just like all the rest, but we know Bath to be different. Different not just in the amount of money floating around the town and the culture it enables (and, believe me, it does), but different in its fervent and creative artistic life both student, professional and the part that blithely ignores both, what we call Walcot Street.
For those not in attendance, we will tell you that Camilla was quite graceful and attractive, not the image that Hello magazine would have you believe. And we were home in time to watch the latest episode of True Blood. By ListomaniaBath staff
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