Tamara Ecclestone and her fiancé Jay Rutland were married this week. There was a three day wedding party in the French Riviera. Mark Ronson, Elton John, Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie provided the entertainment and the best hotel was booked for all of the guests. The whole shebang is thought to have cost around the £7 million mark. More than most could ever spend in a lifetime, let alone fork out for a wedding ceremony.
It is strange that in these times of austerity when we are allegedly all in this together, many still like to read of this completely fantastical lifestyle, almost as if we want to live vicariously through Tamara an impossible dream. You only have to witness the sales of Hello magazine (1.4 million copies each month with online subscriptions up by 43%) to know that many are drawn to celebrity lifestyles and find the opulence and splendour aspirational.
Others, like me feel far more curmudgeonly about the whole glamorous sham that is weddings like this. Can there really be much romance or optimism for a lifetime of happiness together when the bridegroom has to sign a pre-nuptial agreement meaning he will not be entitled to any of his bride’s wealth if they divorce? And isn’t there something rather vulgar about this ostentatiousness. It could be argued that “if you’ve got it, flaunt it” or if any of us had the money wouldn’t we do the same but it seems crass and inappropriate to me. I mean couldn’t they have done it on a budget of £1 million for instance? As one commenter put it “This is everything that is wrong with the world today. Just think how many starving people this could have saved.”
£7 million was the amount paid to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for one exclusive picture of their newborn twins; as they subsequently bought a yacht for £70million maybe this was a drop in the ocean. Beyoncé Knowles spent £50,000 on a pair of gold, Balenciaga leggings-I know I wouldn’t approve of going to Primark or Tesco’s and buying a pair for a couple of quid but that is surely beyond the pale isn’t it? These celebrities by any stretch of the imagination do not live in the real world. Have they any idea of the price of a loaf of bread, a pint of milk? Have they ever wondered how they will meet the next mortgage payment? Do they have any conscience about the starving or the homeless or do they assuage their guilt by giving some of their fortune away?
I realise it is a Utopian dream to think that one day the wealth of the world could be fairly shared but there is such an enormous chasm between celebrities and the rest of us mere mortals that it is meretricious and nauseating. We are all supposed to aspire to this opulent lifestyle; children in schools have completely unrealistic expectations about what career they will have (professional footballer, supermodel) and the kind of lifestyle they will lead. I think it would be better all round if the press didn’t report on celebrities. After all,would any of us be worse off for not knowing about Tamara Ecclestone’s wedding day?