The Wax Conspiracy

The Danish Royal Wedding - SBS Live Broadcast - 14/05/04

Fuzzy reception, temperature drops by the minute, conditions unkind to another late night/early morning and a nameless announcer calling brief shots of the Danish Royal wedding between Crown Prince Frederik and Australian-born Mary Donaldson broadcast direct and live on SBS. Many other broadcasts ran subsequent to this one, but delays and repeats offer nothing in the raw essence of a man undone by running commentary and a hooked leg. That and a hold back on the use of "fairy tale." Twice by count of close. Only one of which from the voice over.

The line of dignitaries and guests poured in from the start of the broadcast which itself only cranked in eleven p.m. Australian local viewing time. Commentary on the coaches and cars shovelling in the guests was not particularly forthcoming. Local time in Denmark must have been around four in the afternoon. They held off for what was assumed to be the bigger draws and names toward the end of the first hour or so. Roger Moore was seen in the walk as the announcer mentioned this, surely not so great for one of James Bond's egos.

Flower girls in the waiting area were playing around faking camera shots and yawning their pudgy heads off. Stretched for maximum tease, the next scene to memory stood the Crown Prince himself at the altar, Napoleon hat in hand. Playing with time again and much, many awkward pauses and slight "ahems" the caller remained virtually silent leading up to the Australian's arrival.

Finding out the name of the announcer for this broadcast was particularly hard. Viciously beastly, the cold that set in near toward the end may have affected parts of the viewing. Either that or the camera work was much shaky. Wobbly then the entrance shot as Mary Donaldson finally made her appearance. The guests and family members already waiting in the cathedral cast with a look of stone to avoid any doubts or fears in their minds.

Standing over proceedings, the Bishop of Copenhagen, Erik Norman Svendsen. Wearing a rather menacing outfit, and with his back turned, melted into the ornate background with a villainous swivel. Hymns and all reverberated and the mouths of the seated apparently in full gust. What the Bishop recited between the lulls was left translated in a rough mash of meanings and gist only after the first few were passed. Seated for the most part, sword sheathed still in the belt of the Prince, the couple were upstanding on their vows, read in a rather quick manner by the Bishop.

"Before God and all mankind"

Camera work fell short as the fidgety corkscrewing of the ring onto Mary's hand was following up promptly by the view of an elbow when it came time to do same for Frederik.

"Peace be with you, Amen."

Hymns, hymns—most likely Danish—and more ghoulish chanting from the Bishop slipped in between notes from the commentary that the wedding was Lutheran and traditional for Danish royalty as they exchanged their loving glances back again, now seated. With the ceremony done, the newlyweds ventured forth toward the awaiting carriage where the bridesmaids deftly handled the train of the wedding dress with much finesse and organisation as that of a well-oiled team of roadies.

Here, marking the second last section of the programme, the forty-eight horse drawn escort would parade slowly around the streets of Copenhagen, the loudest throat clearing for the night ripped through. A mobile phone clearly beeping its acceptance of a message was heard clearly in the background followed by a dropped casing.

Close up, the camera held on well with the cantering guards in suits, when pulled into long shots, their pacing was comical, feet splaying on each stride. Massive crowds lined the streets and a narrow street slowed passage enough for an excellent opportunity for a well-aimed hit. Taking their sweet time appearing at the balcony of Amalienborg Castle no indication or identification whatsoever imparted from the commentator, his tardiness taken over by painful bouts of lungs ejecting phlegm. Waltzing Matilda banged on by the band below and local time now stood somewhere close to six p.m.

Clearly the man calling the broadcast was coming down with a major cold, sniffles overtaking his body and another ring of the mobile signaled the quiet and quick end of the program. Hacking was the last thing the announcer did as the quick cut to the final title screen showed the now married couple, newly made members of the Danish royalty.

Ethan Switch

Reviewed on Tuesday, 18 May 2004

The Wax Conspiracy



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