Diana’s legacy: it’s not what you thought it was going to be

Prince Philip got right to the point in his usual style. The year was 1969, and Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau wanted to unify Canada and move away from British influence. That meant that they might break from the monarchy, too. Philip characterized the situation thus:

I think it’s a complete misconception to imagine that the Monarchy exists in the interests of the Monarch—it doesn’t. It exists in the interests of the people: in a sense—we don’t come here for our health, so to speak … if, at any stage, people feel that it has no further part to play, then for goodness sake let’s end the thing on amicable terms without having a row about it.[1]

That’s pragmatism for you. The Duke made his answer plain. So if, as Harry claims, the monarchy isn’t working for the people immediately within it, can we take that same pragmatic approach? “If, at any stage (right now), people (Harry/Cambridges) feel that [they] ha[ve] no further part to play, then for goodness sake let’s end [their role] on amicable terms without having a row about it.”

There, much better. This is the style of straight-up talk Harry should’ve used rather than his “woe is me” statement to Newsweek. It doesn’t have anything to do with what the royals want – it’s down to the people. One referendum is all it takes, and Harry could be doing his own shopping for real. The public won’t just have a referendum to decide on the monarchy in general, they’ll call one specifically to get rid of whiny, privileged princes.

Harry and William are not cut from the same cloth as their grandparents. That much is obvious. They were taught to air grievances in public and hope that their public relations teams got them good press from it. I call this Diana’s Legacy ™.

The late Princess of Wales constantly pushed for her sons to be ‘normal’ because the monarchy is full of a bunch of old meanies that won’t let you do whatever you feel like. We give interviews about how we feel (all the feels!) and how tough it is to be royal – everyone needs a good pout on a yacht. Don’t you?

Yes, it was important for William and Harry to see that there are less fortunate people in the world. It was good for them to have a taste of average life. What isn’t good is that it all stemmed from Diana’s revenge-fueled media games aimed at their father and the monarchy. You know, all of that McDonald’s-and-water-parks normalcy that she gave them to reinforce how stinky and ‘stuffy’ royal life is. The two princes are obviously now conflicted by it. This “am I royal or am I normal”  is the result. Diana set William and Harry’s teeth on edge about their futures, and the public is starting to see it more and more.

On The Flip Side

Before I catch hell from “Di-hard” Diana supporters, let me add that I do understand that the royals had a part to play, too. Prince Charles kept the princes shielded, and both Harry and William have been given a lot of leeway in order to heal from Diana’s death. Ok, but shielding them for too long, like top-secret formula plans, didn’t help them. Letting them do whatever they wished didn’t help them.

I am also concerned with the Queen’s lack of put-your-foot-down finality. I can’t claim to know how the Queen thinks, but I fear that if she is anything like her mother, then she will shy away from confrontation. The Queen Mum could often be described as “sticking her head in the sand” in order to avoid anything unpleasant. So if Elizabeth II never set the princes straight, it’s no wonder that they seem spoiled and annoyed when they are expected to do their job.

So what now? Will they be “normal” as their mother made fashionable, or will they grow up and represent their country? I get the feeling it won’t be the latter. It’s too late. Combined with Diana’s drive to do what she wanted regardless of consequences, and the royal family letting it happen, these two men may be the end of the monarchy as we knew it. How sad. Harry was right about one thing – we do need the magic of monarchy, but not unless there’s a responsible adult to wear the crown.

Current mood:

Prince Harry talks to Newsweek

“Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”

No, that wasn’t Prince William talking. This is a quote from Prince Harry in an exclusive interview with Newsweek.  Harry granted the news magazine access to observe his daily life over part of the past year.

What’s going on?

I don’t think Harry meant to sound apathetic, but there you have it.  This does not bode well in the wake of William and Kate moving to Kensington Palace only when their 96-year-old grandfather retired. Can you believe that? Prince Philip had to officially hang up his hat before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would stay permanently in London for more work. The term reluctant doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Then Harry continues: “It’s a tricky balancing act,” he says to Newsweek. “We don’t want to dilute the magic….The British public and the whole world need institutions like it.”

Now Harry’s making me wonder. After all of his great work with Invictus and wounded soldiers, Harry’s obviously no slouch for being fifth in line. So is he trying to tell us that he doesn’t want to be king, but might have to be and he will carry on because that’s what you do. The fact that his brother and his sister-in-law seem, at best, tense about their increasing duties, I can’t help but think there’s a lot in going on in private and these comments are popping out because of it.

Somebody better do something soon, because when Harry himself is talking reluctance, we’re looking at a harsh reality: if no royal is interested in that “top job”, then why should the rest of us be? If you really want to preserve that magic (thank you, Walter Bagehot), then don’t sound so dismayed. Call a royal family meeting and figure out who will step aside/step in and then get on with it. The public will thank you for making a damn decision already, instead of the constant off putting “at the right time” or we’re “keen” to eventually do things, etc.

If I sound unsympathetic, I am. For two reasons:

1.) Kate joined the monarchy after a ten-year courtship and was slowly eased into what it entails.  The Queen obviously allowed breathing room so Kate could find her footing and so William could live more quietly with his little family. However, given the ages of the Queen and Philip (not to mention Prince Charles),  Kate and William couldn’t possibly have expected their “quiet life” to last too long. If they fear or resent that, time to reconsider their options.

2.) Nowhere have I found references to King George VI going on public tirades on how his brother dropped him, unprepared, into kingship. Nor have we read about Elizabeth II complaining in interviews about her role as queen perhaps starting too early (age twenty-five, for the record) or how much of a burden it is on her children. They. Just. Got. On. With. It. That’s why the monarchy has been so successful so far, and the younger generation needs to realize that.

Let us look at a page from the excellent book The Monarchy: An Oral Biography of Elizabeth II.

[Click the image to enlarge]

Funny, I didn’t see one thing about hesitation or complaining in the media. If William, Kate, or Harry are so damn uncomfortable taking the lead in upholding that royal magic and doing as the Queen has done, then stand aside for someone else in the family to do it sooner rather than later. Nothing kills the magic like a great big yawn from the public, and that’s not how you show respect for your grandmother or her institution.

God Save the Queen.

From Prince to King: Charles Is Next, Despite Media Claims

From Prince to King: Charles Is Next, Despite Media Claims

English: Charles, Prince of Wales, in a meetin...

English: Charles, Prince of Wales, in a meeting with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Español: Carlos de Gales durante un encuentro con José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Express has kicked off the new year with an article about who will be king when the Queen dies. Nice start.

The claim is that there is a gnat’s chance in hell that Prince Charles may step aside and pass the throne to his son, Prince William. This type of headline isn’t new, and it isn’t unique to the Express, but it is yet another weaselly hint that Charles should be toppled. I’m over it.

This article says that “many have speculated” that Charles may step aside and give the throne to William. Who is this mysterious ‘many’ to whom they refer? I’ve not heard from anyone of any authority that the Prince of Wales would abdicate his role as king. More to the point, I’ve never heard Charles himself expressing a wish to step down. That’s about as likely as the Queen deciding to abdicate (ha!).  So what’s the deal?

If there is a concern about Charles being king, let’s talk about it rather than dance around in a hazy, rumor-mongering piece. The article does bring up the concern over Prince Charles’s expressed viewpoints to government ministers. Well, then? Where is a source, or actual proof of Charles’s intentions having a negative impact? Is there a real issue or is it just a popularity contest?

I’m tired of this propaganda pushing the Duke of Cambridge over the rightful heir to the throne. If we leap over people in the line of succession based only on empty values, what’s the point of monarchy? Go to Las Vegas or Hollywood and get your drama and celebrity fill. Monarchy follows the line of succession, not who gets the most votes on X Factor.

Let’s wake up and see the reality that is before us: the prince has worked his whole adult life with major success in his charitable endeavors. He isn’t doing cartwheels down the Mall, posting selfies, or stumbling awkwardly out of bars. Nor is he pretending to be something he isn’t to fill a media expectation. He is the one and only HRH The Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and he works within that capacity. Charles makes no apologies for who he is; rather, he takes what he has and does the best work he can. I cannot see anyone better prepared to be a monarch than Charles.




Cambridges Welcome A Baby Girl

CambridgeGirl-300x187A hearty congratulations to the Cambridges! Kate and William are parents to a little baby girl, born May 2, 2015. The little princess was born in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s hospital where Prince George was born in 2013.

Speaking of  big brother George, almost 2 years old, he is sure to be excited and probably a little confused! Who is this new little person? he’ll wonder.

Hopefully a great friend for life, Georgie. Welcome to Baby Cambridge II.

For a name, I will put forth Alexandra Elizabeth Frances. How spot on will I be (or not)? Find out soon.

Prince William’s Malta Itinerary

English: His Royal Highness Prince William of ...

The Duke of Cambridge (Copyright: Wikipedia)

The Duke of Cambridge lands in Malta today to celebrate the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. He will follow the same itinerary that had been laid out for his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke begins the trip by meeting the President of the Republic, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca. The Duke will then take part in a tree-planting event at the San Anton Palace gardens.

Following:

    Inspecting the In Guardia at St George’s Square in Valletta
    Call on the Prime Minister and his wife at Auberge de Castille.
    View historical documents at the National Library marking Malta’s history. Included are letters from King Henry VIII and George II and the original citation awarding the George Cross to the island.
    Attend a reception at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta to unveil a plaque.

On Sunday morning, William’s day begins anew:

    The Independence Day Service at the St John’s Co-Cathedral followed by viewing of paintings by Caravaggio.
    Visiting the Vittoriosa Access Centre , which provides social services within the community.
    Folklore presentation at the Vittoriosa Square, where the general public will be able to greet the Duke.

After visiting St. Lawrence Church, Prince William will be given a boat tour of the Grand Harbour followed by a garden party at the High Commissioner’s residence, concluding his 24-hour visit.

Tiara Tip to: Malta Today

 

The Cambridges: Full-Time Royals Or Not?

English: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, on...

English: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, on his first royal tour after his marriage, visiting Ottawa for Canada Day celebrations. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cambridges: Full-Time Royals Or Not?

On last week’s RoyaltyNow! radio show, I discussed whether or not the Duke of Cambridge could fulfill two roles at once. Can he be both an Air Ambulance pilot AND Prince? He seems to think so.

According to CNN’s Max Foster, the Palace says that Prince William’s job with the air ambulance will be his “primary occupation” but he will also take time to perform royal duties and charitable work. That’s quite a schedule! Prince Harry is a soldier as well as a royal, so Prince William should be able to manage pilot duties in between royal duties. Right?

Let’s take a look.

Prince Harry has been pegged as an insouciant wild child, but there’s no denying his work ethic. He has been overseas in the military serving Queen and country in horrible conditions. His patronages include helping people in need, whether it’s after a natural disaster or the children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in Lesotho, Africa.

Although he has a full-time career in the military as an Apache helicopter pilot, Harry still acts in his capacity as a prince representing the Queen. He carries out engagements and travels overseas as part of his royal duties.

This should all bode well for William. Some people say that by joining the air ambulance service, William is expanding the royal role. That the prince is helping people in need, much like Harry, and that he should be able to have this career without criticism.

Not only will he be helping people in need, the prince is giving his salary to charity. Good thing, since this civilian air ambulance he’ll be flying is run by a charity and probably needs the funds to keep running effectively.

 
It just seems so weird to me. I can’t shake it. Harry’s life makes so much more sense. I’m sorry, but I am just confused by the Cambridges.

First the Cambridges renovate Kensington Palace to the tune of millions of pounds, now they’re not even going to be there. Or if they are, it’s only for a brief stopover to perform a royal duty or two while in London. Most of the time they will be at their country home, Anmer Hall, for William’s new job. So why all the dollars thrown at Kensington Palace right now? It seems so unnecessary at the moment.

Then the job itself. It’s not an ordinary pilot job, it’s an emergency service. Whereas Harry’s schedule is EITHER in the military OR acting as a royal, William’s new job sounds like he will be called upon in – you guessed it – an emergency.

For example, the Cambridges are in London for a Tusk Trust gala. Will the prince zoom back to pilot an air ambulance for an emergency? If he has made it clear that that particular day is for royal duties, who fills in? Does the service have to hire a whole new person to cover for William, or is someone going to pull a double shift? Either way, it sounds costly and/or inconvenient for the air ambulance. It’s an odd set-up, to say the least.

The Age Gap

Then there’s the age gap. I love Charles and Camilla, but they are at the age where most people think about retiring (or already have done). That’s not to say that they can’t do their jobs. I realized a long time ago that British royals don’t do retirement, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh being prime examples. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number to them, but at some point, both couples will need younger back-ups for those long-haul tours and extensive engagements. As much as we want them to be superhuman, that’s just not the case.

Those closest to the throne will need to step it up. That’s Prince William, Duchess Kate, and Prince Harry.

Yes, there are other members of the family to help the Queen, but William is second in line. His lack of understanding of an institution that is based on precedence is worrying. It’s willful, and that’s distressing.

Stay tuned for more.

Remembering WWI 100 Years Later; The Cambridge Career on RoyaltyNow!

Today’s show: Remembering WWI One Hundred Years Later; The Cambridge Career

We recently commemorated the start of the Great War on August 4th of this year. One hundred years ago on that date, British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith announced at 11pm that Britain was to enter the war after Germany had violated Belgium’s neutrality. Can William be a pilot and perform royal duties? He seems to think so.

Photos of World War I centenary remembrance


More News Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with RoyaltyNow News on BlogTalkRadio

Order of the Thistle: What’s It All About?

On July 3rd, Prince William took part in the Thistle ceremony at St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. As a Knight of the Thistle, the Duke of Cambridge donned the emerald green robe to join Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne, and Prince Philip.

order of the thistle

Motto: Nemo me impune lacessit
(No one harms me with impunity)
Chapel: Thistle Chapel, St. Giles’ Cathedral
Ranks: Knight or Lady
Post-nominal initials: KT or LT

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle represents the highest honor in Scotland, and it is second only to England’s Order of the Garter.

The Thistle Installation Service is held in the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle in St. Giles’ Cathedral every other year, during the week that Her Majesty The Queen is present at Holyrood. It was not until 1911 that the Order finally had an official chapel, adjacent to St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, in which its services and ceremonies could be held.

Thistle ceremony

The star of the Order consists of a silver St. Andrew’s saltire (cross), with clusters of rays between the ‘arms’. In the center is a green circle bearing the motto of the Order, and within the circle there is a thistle on a gold field. The badge depicts St. Andrew in the same form as the star. On the reverse, it depicts a thistle, on a green ground and surrounded by the Order’s motto.

See Mandy’s British Royalty on the history of royal ceremonies and Orders of the Bath, Garter, Thistle, St. Patrick and more!

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