The Guardian published a headline that characterised ordinary people who will attend the royal wedding as “commoners”. This is how people responded:
— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) March 2, 2018
The full headline reads:
On social media, many expressed surprise at the choice of words:
You might expect @guardian not to use the patronising term ‘commoner’. There is no difference between a royal and the rest of us, apart from the state aid and made up titles.
Royal wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle invite 2,640 commoners https://t.co/F7Sg1Y5tsO
— Graham Smith (not that kind of republican) (@GrahamSmith_) March 2, 2018
'commoners'. Christ you wouldn't think it was 2018.
— Mark Smith (@MarkSmithWriter) March 2, 2018
The Guardian went on to gush over the benefits for the “commoners”:
The commoners, 1,200 of whom will be chosen “from every corner of the United Kingdom”, will get to watch the arrival of the bride and groom as well as their wedding guests, and then the carriage procession as it leaves after the service.
Social media users mocked it accordingly:
You would think a modern society would be well beyond the irony-free use of the word "commoners".
— OffGuardian (@OffGuardian0) March 3, 2018
For the record, the original press release from Kensington Palace did not refer to the public as ‘commoners’.
“Widely used term”
Responding to The Canary, a Guardian News and Media Ltd spokesperson claimed:
‘Commoner’ is a widely used term when reporting on royalty
Slavery, fascism, and smallpox were also once widespread. That doesn’t make them ideal. This is frankly a terrible line of defence from The Guardian – an outlet that prides itself as a leading left-liberal voice. The term ‘commoner’ was regressive in the 18th century, and it’s regressive now.
– Check out Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state.
Featured image via Surtsicna – Wikimedia