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  #161  
Old 03-12-2011, 06:06 PM
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We're all princesses now: The rise of the middle-class monarchy | Mail Online
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  #162  
Old 03-13-2011, 12:39 AM
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Thank you for posting this article Lumutqueen. I enjoyed reading it.
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  #163  
Old 10-12-2011, 04:09 PM
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On the occasion of the King of Bhutan's marriage:

Royal weddings to commoners more common - TODAY People - The Royals - TODAY.com
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  #164  
Old 08-24-2014, 08:33 AM
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In the book "At the Court" by the journalists Remco Meijer and Jan Hoedeman -about the workings of the Dutch Court- is written that Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands wanted her eldest son to marry someone "with a certain background" and "foreign". The reasons for the Queen were her fear that the -according her- "necessary distance" would disappear when a future Queen would just be a girl from the common people.

Whether Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti fulfills the requirement "with a certain backgroud" is open to discussion. The requirement "foreign" is met. Why was this so important for the Dutch Queen? According the authors she feared that someone with family, friends, classmates, sportmates, roommates, ex-colleagues, ex-lovers, etc. just around the corner will bring "the street" into the palace and also would result in a feeling: "Yesterday she was my colleague, today she is Her Royal Highness" and turn the monarchy into a vaudeville.

Anyway. To come to my point. When Prince William engaged with Miss Middleton, I had to think about what the objections of Queen Beatrix were. I think she had a wise and foreseeable view. Look at this article about the family of the future Queen:
'Carole has shunned her own family... she is even grander than the Queen': Middletons under attack as grandmother of the future king is accused in an extraordinary outburst by her own goddaughter | Mail Online

Of course in Belgium there is a "homegrown" Queen as well but the average Belgian will not be able to relate to the daughter of Count d'Udekem d'Acoz and Countess Komorowksa who grew up at the Château de Losange in Villes-la-Bonne-Eau deep in the green forests of the Ardennes. In Luxembourg we see Stéphanie, a non-Luxembourgian anyway but like Mathilde also someone the average Luxembourgian will not be able to relate to. A daughter of the Count de Lannoy et du Saint-Empire and of Lady della Faille de Leverghem who grew up at the Château d'Anvaing in Hainaut. A far-from-their-beds-show and with a total different "natural habitat" they mingle into.

This is no guarantee for happy and enduring marriages (Diana!) but this sort of marriages still keep the monarchy somewhat "special". The two ladies who face the fiercest criticisms are actually the homegrown royals of common origin: Mette-Marit and Letizia. The Duchess of Cambridge still is in her "goodwill period" after a great wedding and being the mom of wonderful Prince George, but never trust the British media. The knives are wielded to slash her if they want. "The street" is close (the family, the schoolmates, the roommates, the sportsmates, the ex-colleagues) and within reach (not at the other side of the world like Buenos Aires or Tasmania). Queen Beatrix was right with her fear that the "necessary distance" which is needed to keep the monarchy is gone here.
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  #165  
Old 08-24-2014, 08:58 AM
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So how do you explain the press and Queen Maxima's father and his rather notorious reputation? Sure he is far away, but Max has certainly distanced herself from her family. Why is there no criticism of that, and yet Carole Middleton is trashed by the press. The point is the press will choose when, where and if they pursue any issues regarding a family, also the Dutch press is a bit different from the British press ... to say the least.
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  #166  
Old 08-25-2014, 06:42 AM
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Of course the Daily Mail is not right, like The Sun, The Mirror, The News of The World, The National Enquirer and other awful rags not even worth to wipe your derrière with. But what Queen Beatrix' once feared with people "too close from the common people" has become true again: now an uncle jumps up and speaks to the press (in defence of Carole Middleton) but again the family feeds the media: Gary Goldsmith back's his sister Carole Middleton over cousin Joanne Callen's comments | Mail Online

This is exactly the same phenomenon which causes Mette-Marit and Letizia such a hard time with the press. An uncle writing a book, an aunt openly declare themselves a proud republican and loathing niece Letizia, ex-colleagues speaking about the wild years of the future Queen of Norway. Everything which was feared as a possible result of choosing such a partner has become true. All possible distance is lacking.

Of course it is. The lady who did powder Letizia day-after-day before she went on the News, the editor-in-chief whom assessed her in her functioning at TVE, the clients whom ordered a beer or a café in from that blonde waitress in Oslo, now they suddenly have to say "Royal Highness" or even "Majesty". It feels as a travesty, as a vaudeville. Uncle Gary and cousin Joanne, tattooed et all, some living in a council flat suddenly can say that the lady in Kensington Palace or waving there on that balcony is their very own niece or cousin or whatever. Of course this is a side-effect of this sort of partners. Not to mention that underwear model, Miss Hellqvist, in Sweden. This is really asking the people to crawl in all directions and count on their willingness to go on with the royal theatre.
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  #167  
Old 08-25-2014, 07:03 AM
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Clearly there are pitfalls with royals marrying 'ordinary' people from their own countries but consider the alternatives -
A - that they be resticted to marrying Royals from other countries . That means the number of prospective spouses is incredibly tiny, and the chances of a successful marriage correspondingly small.
B - That they marry aristocrats from their home countries . Certainly in Britain there is a widespread grudge against 'those born with a silver spoon in their mouths', and consequently an enthusisiasm in the press to 'knock them off their pedestal'. They would be targeted by the gutter press in a way that would make their lives hell !
C - That they seek partners who are foreign. This also poses problems since they the spouses are necessarily separated from their families [and support network], and the [often] xenophobic press and public would again make life as difficult as they could.
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  #168  
Old 08-25-2014, 07:46 AM
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Well I think the daughter of the Earl Spencer (until the marriage problems), the daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the son of the Earl of Airlie, the son of the Earl of Harewood, the daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, etc. were examples of marriages between royals and British "subjects" which kept the necessary distance but worked well. The aristocrat born Lady Diana Spencer became the most popular royal ever in modern British history.

I understand the chance on xenophobic reactions on foreigners. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, Marie-Christine Baroness von Reibnitz, they can talk about it. But in the end they are all still there and none of these three are exactly folks the common Brit can relate closely to. So even these three, despite the unlucky hiccups around Marie-Christine have kept a distance between "them" and "us".

When the Daily Mail writes about the uncle of the future Queen, brother of mom Carole: Two years ago, Mr Goldsmith celebrated his fourth marriage, to convicted fraudster Julie-Ann Brown. His new wife previously swindled £250,000 from a luxury car firm to buy Rolex watches and Mercedes sports cars. Mr Goldsmith was once caught on camera at his home – dubbed Maison de Bang Bang – snorting cocaine and offering to obtain Brazilian prostitutes for Mazher Mahmood, the ‘fake sheikh’ undercover reporter for the now defunct News of the World newspaper.

Eeh... that is why you sometimes better can have family in foreign countries...

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  #169  
Old 08-25-2014, 08:32 AM
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The Duchess of Cambridge: Family, Wealth and Background

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Well I think the daughter of the Earl Spencer (until the marriage problems), the daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the son of the Earl of Airlie, the son of the Earl of Harewood, the daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, etc...
I'm sorry but your posts come off sounding as incredibly snobbish, though I'm sure that's not what you mean.

The fact is, modern monarchies are a bit of theater, a bit of built-in diplomatic infrastructure, and a bit of shared cultural history all mixed together. Long gone are the days of "divine right," and monarchical structures today forget that at their peril.

I get that it complicates things to have "common" folk elevated to the trappings of royalty, but aren't there examples just as good of commoners who have been embraced in their role? Eg Mary in Denmark, Daniel in Sweden, Sophie in England, etc etc etc.

At the end of the day, IMO, arguing that royalty should continue to distance themselves from the public, especially if it's expressly (ie limiting their marriage pools) and openly, it would court disaster.
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  #170  
Old 08-25-2014, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
...This is really asking the people to crawl in all directions and count on their willingness to go on with the royal theatre.
I am really laughing at your last sentence - very funny, but also very true. Now, I rather like Uncle Gary and Sofia Hellqvist, I have no problem with their connections to royal houses. or that Sofia will be an HRH. However, your point is a good one and I've been saying it too - the whole notion of royalty requires a suspension of disbelief (divine right did nicely in the past), but your metaphor to a theatre is spot on, IMO. And indeed, can you have a 300 pound hairy, unwashed man play Cinderella and have the audience able to see him as Cinderella? (I am not referring to Sofia Hellqvist in this analogy - just the whole idea of ordinary people suddenly becoming semi-deities.

The concept, the idea of "royalty" is changing - but is it changing too much? Will people adapt with it? Will people be able to keep their suspension of disbelief? I don't know. nor does anyone else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Well I think the daughter of the Earl Spencer..
Fair point on Uncle Gary - but what irks me is all of those with more connections or more blue blood who get a pass in the eyes of the public. Will, Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie all hang out with Guy Pelly, a convicted drunk driver (now we are suddenly hearing in the press he's Harry's friend, but no - he's Will's too. While comparing uncles, let's take a closer look at Uncle Charlie Spencer, aka Earl Spencer, whose blood is allegedly bluer than the Queen's. All the attention is on the council house descendants but not on these people. Why is that?

The attention is on Sofia Hellqvuist while I will take her any day over her future father-in-law. Why is that?

I'd have more respect for The Daily Mail if they wrote a little tell-all on Uncle Charlie, not Uncle Gary, but I think its readership would simply die if they read it.
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  #171  
Old 08-25-2014, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GracieGiraffe View Post

I'd have more respect for The Daily Mail if they wrote a little tell-all on Uncle Charlie, not Uncle Gary, but I think its readership would simply die if they read it.

This gets at another point that I don't understand.

Duc et Pair, you seem to argue that the common folk should be excluded from royalty because the yellow press will attack them?

That's like saying we should all cover our heads with plastic because we might catch lice.
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  #172  
Old 08-25-2014, 09:34 AM
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Gracie asks: " And indeed, can you have a 300 pound hairy, unwashed man play Cinderella and have the audience able to see him as Cinderella?" and she is referencing the suspension of disbelief that makes royalty work.

But I don't think that's the right question.

I think the question is can you have a normal person marry into royalty and behave with honor, dignity and leadership while showing reasonable respect for the people and custom of the country? For me the answer is, YES, because I see normal people everyday behave with honor, dignity and leadership while showing respect for their country and fellow citizens.

I just don't think people are rejecting the Duchess of Cambridge because Uncle Gary did coke or because the press digs up all the bad stuff they can on Carole.

And maybe that's because there is not so much of that suspension of disbelief required or even around these days. I am quite sure that any of the Windsor family can be snobby when they think it is merited. I think we all know that. I for one think any number of royals have used cocaine. I know all of them use the restroom. Big deal. I'd still back the leadership of Queen Elizabeth because of her record of behaving with honor, dignity and leadership while showing reasonable respect for the people and custom of the country.

Let alone the new, common blood, the press digs up all the bad stuff they can on the royal parts of the BRF (The Duke of Edinburgh says embarrassing things, Prince Andrew thinks it his job to fly anywhere and do whatever he likes, Charles has a single servant to dry his toothbrush etc, etc.) That's what the press does. And whether it's a royal or a commonly originated person on which they throw dirt, it has about the same effect. Not much - unless it is a right royal hash up.

So I am just not worried about the effect of this story on Catherine and Cheeks' ability to rule in the future.
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  #173  
Old 08-27-2014, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualfan View Post
This gets at another point that I don't understand.

Duc et Pair, you seem to argue that the common folk should be excluded from royalty because the yellow press will attack them?

That's like saying we should all cover our heads with plastic because we might catch lice.
I think you are not willing to see what is the underlying problem. Becoming "too common" (and I am not a purist who says royals should marry royals!!!) is simply an ongoing erosion of the foundations on which the monarchy rests. Please try to spearate the persons from the institution. I take it immediately for granted that Catherine, Letizia, Mette-Marit, etc. are the most lovely and sweet persons imagineable. But the points of Queen Beatrix' idea that a partner should have "a certain standing" (without specifying it further: royal? noble? upper class?) and "foreign" were not without a reason. The often uttered amazement on TRF where that hostility towards Mette-Marit and Letizia comes from is -to my own personal opinion- directly related by not meeting the requirements Queen Beatrix requested!

The one, an unwed mom working in a bar in Oslo, and the other, a divorced lady who brought the news into the living rooms day-after-day, lack something which is very important for the monarchy: distance. With this distance is not meant that we should fall in awe and treat them like Gods. It is the notion of something special, something exclusive, something mysterious if you want, which makes the monarchy what it is. Sir Walter Bagehot already wrote that the Crown "should never be naked" and that it flourishes best "in the shadow of the throne". With cousin tattooed cousin Joanna in the council flat around the corner or the internet showing the future Princess Sofia of Sweden posing in all her, eh..., natural pureness for a wide audience, this simply destroys all what is left of a certain distance, a sort of "natural" dignity and feeling of respect for the institution and the people in it.

Of course, aristocrats have feuds too. The Earl Spencer has had his affairs. The father of Countess Mathilde had a public conflict with his elder brother about the division of an inheritance. Nothing human is strange to aristocrats. But it is clear that a lady who lived on Althorp, or at the Château d'Anvaing (Stéphanie) or at the Château de Losange (Mathilde) is not a lady the everyday Briton or Belgian or Luxembourgian relates too. It is still "them" and "us". This did not take away that Diana was the most popular royal ever. And that Mathilde and Stéphanie are the most popular female royals in their respective countries. So that "Cinderella concept" can be thrown out of the palace windows because the two most discussed and criticized royals are exactly the two cinderella's in Norway and Spain! Food for thought.

In the meantime Prince William has married Catherine Middleton. So be it. We have her cousin Joanne and uncle Gary included and undoubtedly the press will treat us with more family, more "friends" and more juicy stories to come. I wish Catherine well and hope that she can find her place in the monarchy with her spouse. This does not take away that I still hope on a "swing back". When Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands, Elisabeth of Belgium and Leonor of Spain continue to marry fellow countrymen, the one an unwed dad, the other a fitness dude, the third a driving instructor, etc. then there comes the moment the well-willing hardworking tax-paying citizens will scratch their heads: Hey, wait a minute. If we want commoners becoming head-of-state and reside inside that palace there, we probably better can elect them by ourselves, thank you....

Thát, my fellow friends, is the danger. I hope people can see further than the first reaction of considering this as a "snob post" or an attack on the ladies themselves. It is not. It is a genuine fear felt by a monarchist. Merci beaucoup.

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  #174  
Old 08-27-2014, 06:09 AM
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yes duc, i do see the danger and your point, and I agree with you. How exactly it will all work itself out in the future we will have to see.
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  #175  
Old 08-27-2014, 06:14 AM
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Commoners have married into the family for hundreds of years. The last princess to marry into the BRF was 80 years ago and its had no adverse consequences to the family.
Since the Queen in Britain is the sole person who determines who is royal, it has never really made any difference.
Our current Queen's mother was a commoner, so was Diana Spencer. Heck, the mother of William the Conqueror was a commoner. The only people in Britain who are not commoners are the Sovereign and hereditary peers. Everyone else is a commoner.
Individuals, not entire families are ennobled in Britain.
As for Kate, she is the private school educated daughter of multi-millionaires so I'm not sure how relatable that makes her to the average person. Its not like she was a street urchin
As far as having a commoner for a head-of-state, its impossible in Britain as the Sovereign is the font of honour.
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  #176  
Old 08-27-2014, 06:32 AM
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Imo duc-et-pair and you have a different definition of commoner... Queen Elizabeth the Queen-mother was of "noble" descend as was Lady Diana Spencer. Both were not royal, but also not one of "the average population".
I think this is what Duc-et-pair is getting at, that it is best if there is some distance between a family who reigns the country because of birthright and their citizens. Once the reigning family starts being of "same birth" as the average population, what then is the basis for their "birth-right"?

Imo what is important that a family who reigns by birthright has to uphold certain standards like, they have to know how to represent, how to communicate with various people and cultures in their country and outside it, how to keep their personal opinion in control if necessary, and if they take part in the rule of the country, have to understand politics and the political difficulties that can arise.
From a person who is born into a royal or noble (or otherwise notable) we expect that they are thought this in their upbringing; not only should they learn their language, math, science etc, but also etiquette, behaviour etc.
That this isn't always the case we all know, but in general, the average royal does get more education in these matters than the average man in the street who sort of has to learn it as they go along.

This doesn't mean that the average man in the street is "worse" or "better" than a royal or noble, but for the job of being a royal representative (and that's what this is about), the average man in the street has the disadvantage that they are years behind in training for the job.
But as always, you have fast learners and slow learners and a certain commoner can learn in a year what a certain royal will never get
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  #177  
Old 08-27-2014, 06:40 AM
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Well I'm sure anyone who italicized merci beaucoup as Duc_et_Pair did in a comment knows the definition of commoner and how it is used in Britain. He/she is applying a very continental view to the BRF and the BRF has never looked to the continent for an example of anything.
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  #178  
Old 08-27-2014, 07:25 AM
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Well I'm sure anyone who italicized merci beaucoup as Duc_et_Pair did in a comment knows the definition of commoner and how it is used in Britain. He/she is applying a very continental view to the BRF and the BRF has never looked to the continent for an example of anything.
Ah, okay, i can't comment on that, because i don't have a feeling for the exact finesse of the english term commoner. My response was aimed at royals in general
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  #179  
Old 08-27-2014, 07:35 AM
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Lady Diana on paper was idea- a young, beautiful virgin with a stellar aristocratic pedigree. However, the marriage was a total disaster ending up with it being dragged in public via the newspaper.

Now the royals are marrying the people that they actually love instead of someone with the right blood. Which is what has happened with Edward, Peter, Zara and William.

George V started the monarchy on its path where the monarch is the representative of all the people not the head of aristocratic social pyramid.


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  #180  
Old 08-27-2014, 08:32 AM
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Duc et Pair,

Thank you for your clarification. We will agree to disagree.

A couple of reactions to some of the points you mentioned:
1. As long as there is a well defined difference between head of state and head of government, I'm not sure people will care that much that the head of state isn't elected. As discussed before, monarchy requires a suspension of belief, and a lot of people are willing to do this because they like the pageantry and idea of public service behind a monarchy.

2. Criticism of Mette Marit was largely confined to the period right after she and Haakon were first together and engaged. Royal houses weather storms and ups-and-downs. You can't throw the baby out with the bath water.

3. Again, criticism of Letizia has largely been from the yellow press, and Spain has a history of brutal journalism. Again, there goes the baby.
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