12 February 2021

1981 At Forty - Part 1: Charles and Di


Fed up with the virus scenario? We now live in a world that is very odd indeed. A world in which families are breaking apart as 'covid deniers' argue fiercely with 'covid believers'. A world in which civil liberties vanish like spit on a griddle and the public applauds. But whether you think it's all in good spirit, the facts are totally transparent and anything else is a rancid conspiracy theory, or you believe the figures don't add up and the 'Great Reset' and Big Pharma are far greater threats, we offer you an escape. Yep, an escape to 1981.

I can't promise that 2021 won't infiltrate slightly, but most of this blog post is pure 1981 - in the immortal words of Big Audio Dynamite a few years later: 'Time slide, place to hide...'

We can hardly believe 1981 is now forty years ago. In the pre-mobile phone, pre-yuppie boom 1980s, where computers were slow and odd and strictly for professors and geeks, what were we into?

Well, amongst other things... Rubik's Cube, CB radio (so exciting as less than 50% of UK households had a landline phone and the mobile was still a few years down the road), Space Invaders, the Space Shuttle, riots, Adam and the Ants, Duran Duran and...

Charles and Di.

Goodness, the quiet, posh girl who'd soared into the spotlight in 1980, was apparently about to have a fairy tale ending - and marry her prince.

It all turned out quite differently and very sadly, of course.

Mugs, tea towels, dolls, even a Rubik's Cube - the hottest craze of the year. Charles and Di were everywhere in 1981.

Slow start for the Cube... the trademark was registered in the UK on 7 May 1980 but, due to a huge shortage, the first Cubes did not start arriving until just before Christmas. In the spring of 1981, we were fully stocked and the craze raged. And, like so many other things, the Cube commemorated the royal wedding in July.

The Sunday Times magazine review of 1981 - featuring royals and Rubik's.

I've never been a royalist, so I was unimpressed by the Royal Wedding mania. In my family, the view was that the Royal Family 'lived off the fat of the land' and was an anachronism. 

I was not initially impressed by Lady Diana Spencer, either. The media dubbed her 'Shy Di', but I thought the way her eyes slid away was far more likely to be evidence of slyness. However, I think she proved me wrong. Diana was refreshingly human, as it turned out - in my humble opinion, of course. She was warm, concerned, and very much a people person.

And Charles? Simply not my scene. I'll say no more.

But, in 1981, the Royal Wedding thrilled many. The news was full of it, and no angle was left unexplored as the public clamoured for more.

True Romances magazine plotted the future of the couple, via the wondrous world of astrology. It makes for quite sad reading now, but at the time many believed that the royal marriage was the start of a glittering new era for the family.

Having taken into account planetary placements and aspects on their respective birth charts, and the fact that both Charles and Diana had Leo ascendants, astrologer Peter Vidal wrote:


How will the marriage work out? Charles and Diana are well-matched, and are a handsome couple with the world at their feet. Factors occurring in both horoscopes will make for happiness and contentment. Charles will gain noticeably in poise and confidence; Diana will be radiant.

The Royal Wedding was a day of great optimism for all admirers of the Royal family. And readers of True Romances thrilled to Peter Vidal's rosy predications.

But even astrologers can't always be right. Not even the fact that Charles and Diana were both sun water signs - she Cancer, he Scorpio, could make things right.

Well I never!

We return to the buzzing world of 1981 soon - all together now: 'Qua qua, fa diddily qua qua...'


Giddas said...

Great reset? Wow too many episodes of top of the pops has addled your brain

Drew said...

Do try not to be rude. It's no way to justify any stance you may have. The fact is, I just like to read the facts - like the Great Reset website from the World Economic Forum: