Leah, Queen's Square | April 1, 2019
Ah the glamour! The tiaras, the castles, the cars! Those hats! The Royal Family seems to have it all. Keeping up with the royals is just sheer entertainment and good fun, isn’t it? Well, there seem to be two schools of thought about why we’re so obsessed with the royals.
One: We live in chaotic times where we see negativity everywhere, especially on the news. This can make us feel stressed, depressed and anxious. Since this is not a fun way to be, we look for ways to escape. Watching and reading about the Royals can literally calm us down.
In her Marie Clare article, Kayleigh Roberts notes that “according to Dr. Donna Rockwell, Psy. D., a clinical psychologist, the royal family’s strict adherence to procedure and tradition is key. Even just reading about it can trigger the same comforting feeling that a child finds in boundaries and rules.” Basically, your brain is calmed and comforted by these stories.
Two: From childhood, kids are taught to embrace the happily-ever-after Disney princess mentality and all the glitzy stuff that goes with it. Who doesn’t dream, at some point in their lives, of being rich and famous, with enough money to buy or do whatever they want? Constant media exposure and these kinds of affluent aspirations create a feedback loop that never ends.
In a recent Time article, Dr. Frank Varley, a professor and psychologist, says that with celebrities like the royals, “we often live some of our lives through them.” Dr. Varley notes that this is “parasocial behaviour” which means we create a kind of one-sided relationship with the person without actually knowing them.
“There’s nothing wrong with getting caught up in the details of a wedding you’ll never attend, or poring over pictures of the royal baby,” Lynn McCutcheon, editor of the North American Journal of Psychology, confirms, “so long as you keep perspective”. So go ahead and relax with the royals with the entertaining books and DVDs below. Personally, I’m just totally fascinated with those fascinators!