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  #201  
Old 06-16-2015, 01:48 PM
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Why do people make such a big deal out of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg marrying a countess when his own mother didn't come from a thousand year old family.

Stephanie doesn't appear to me at least she will make a 'better' Grand Duchess than Maria Teresa
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  #202  
Old 06-16-2015, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
Outside of the historical and traditional connections there really isn't any need for a monarchy anymore. Most of them are pretty much down to being goodwill ambassadors for their countries.


LaRae
Which underlines my point: when after the invasion of all these commoners "royals" hardly relate more to any royalty or aristocracy than you or me, the only "justification" for still having a royal family (their direct links to the nation's past, their many inter-relationships with other (former) royal families and with Europe's aristocracy. If all this is of no importance anymore, if Princess Catharina-Amalia marries a Mr Jansen from Utrecht and he becomes the father of a new fleet of "royal" offspring, it will become very hard, even for die-hard monarchists, to find any justification for funding around 100 million Euro per year to let her play "royal".
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  #203  
Old 06-16-2015, 01:52 PM
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In Britain marriage only requires the approval of the Sovereign. Whether royal, noble or commoner, if the Sovereign agrees to the marriage it goes ahead. There has never been a rule that British royals must marry other royals.

Nevertheless,


Henry VII married Elizabeth of York.

Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon.

Mary I married Philip II of Spain .

James I married Anne of Denmark .

Charles I married Henrietta Maria of France.

Charles II married Catherine of Portugal.

James II married Mary of Modena .

Mary II married William of Orange.

Queen Anne married George of Denmark.

George II married Caroline of Ansbach.

George III married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

George IV married Caroline of Brunswick.

William IV married Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen.

Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha .

Edward VII married Alexandra of Denmark.

George V married Mary of Teck.

Elizabeth II married Philip of Greece and Denmark.


All consorts above, as far as I can tell, qualify as members or descendants of sovereign families, hence "royals" in the broad sense. George VI married a British noble woman who was not royal, but he wasn't the heir to throne when that happened.
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  #204  
Old 06-16-2015, 01:53 PM
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My only point is some royal houses have laws requiring marriage to other royals. Never the case in Britain.
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  #205  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
When Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Prince of Nassau, engaged with the daughter of the Count de Lannoy et du Saint-Empire, he married a lady whose ancestor, Françoise de Lannoy became mother-in-law to William I of Nassau, Prince of Orange. We are talking about 1551 then. The family De Lannoy has 16 (!) Knights of the Golden Fleece in its centuries long history. The present Hereditary Grand-Duchess was raised on the Château d'Anvaing, deep in green and pastoral Hainaut (Belgium). Forget all the politcal correctness, deep inside everyone understands the point I want to make and that ladies as Stéphanie de Lannnoy at least connects with the social, politcial, economical and noble history of all three Benelux-countries. And that is all what they have got. That is the only "justification" for still having a royal family: their direct and visible link with the nation's past and Europe's illustrious families. Even when this is no longer the case, than there is no any ground for a monarchy anymore. It is as simple as that.
Stephanie is a bad example IMO because she might be a nice person but she doesn't have what it needs to become a great representative of her country. No personality, no elegance, no ability to really connect with people. I don't see her adding much to the popularity of the LRF (but on the other hand she probably will never be a disgrace either). Her m-i-l, the commoner Maria Teresa, was a much better choice.

IMO Mathilde of Belgium isn't so popular because of her noble family but because of her personality. In this case everything fitted together perfectly. She has what it needs, and the family is just a bonus.

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The institution can only survive as long as they are not the same as you or me.
I think that this thought is outdated.
In Spain we saw the people demanding that a born princess (the offspring of a union between 2 royal families actually) should be treated the same like everybody else. And in order to survive the institution had to go along with it.
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  #206  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:03 PM
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Why do people make such a big deal out of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg marrying a countess when his own mother didn't come from a thousand year old family.

Stephanie doesn't appear to me at least she will make a 'better' Grand Duchess than Maria Teresa
If Prince Guillaume can simply marry the daughter from the local butcher in Differdange and their son on his turn will marry a mama from from Echternach, whom has a child from a former relationship with a Portuguese wallpaper-hanger, and all this does NOT matter at all, if there are no any standards anymore and the doors of the palace are wide open: the Luxembourgians will scratch under their chin and think: "Wait a minute, what are we doing here, why have we a Palais Grand-Ducal here and a Château there and bow to Monseigneur here and Son Altesse Royale there? She is just the butcher's daughter next door. Come on...! End this travesty!

When Nicholas Medforth-Mills, later Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills and now also known as Prince Nicolae of Romania marries a lady "of standing" he will automatically climb in standing too and his "claim" will only become stronger. What is it that it is allowed to jump in the air when your son or daughter comes home with a nice young man or lady studying on Harvard, with parents who have a great social standing? But when we desire standards for royal families, oh nooooooo, how dare we to insinuate that royals are more than commoners????

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  #207  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:04 PM
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My only point is some royal houses have laws requiring marriage to other royals. Never the case in Britain.
Sweden had that law until not so long ago and it applied to all princes of the royal house who wanted to stay in the line of succession. The two most recent generations have now made a complete U-turn and married the Munich interpreter, the personal trainer, the glamour model, the American banker, etc. Has the Swedish monarch suffered because of that ? It's early to tell, but it doesn't seem to.
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  #208  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
The problem is that a lot of people here do not separate the institution from the persons. The institution can only survive as long as they are not the same as you or me. Quote shortened
An impressive pedigree does not make you more suitable for the role as royal. History is packed with stories about royals and nobles having the most impressive pedigree but who were walking disasters. Some of them brought about the end of their dynasty.
Most of them did their very best but were never more than mediocre rulers.

A couple of hundred years ago there was good sense in what you say, because nobles and royals were better educated than the vast majority of the population, they were used to be in command from early childhood and they were familiar with the peculiar "social rituals" at a court. And they were internationally oriented.
So naturally for practical reasons spouses were found among nobles and other royals. - And I haven't even touched the economic and political reasons for marrying.

That no longer applies. The modern (European) monarchies are now a part of democracies and the standard is way different than it was just a little more than 100 years ago.
Nowadays, royals are living and life-long role models. That's a tricky balance, because if they become too aloof they lose their relevance for the public. If they become too common in their behavior they also lose their relevance.
That's why so much depends on the current royal spouses, those who are or will become consorts.

Speaking for myself, I cannot see how a royal family who is so elitist that they can only marry select families based on specific genes, can be of relevance to me in this day and age. Even going so far as to marry and spend say 50 years with a partner who they don't love, but only for the purpose of breeding genetically pure heirs!
Such people have their dynasty as their primary interest, not their country and such people cannot expect my loyalty.

The royals serve their country and they owe their position, titles, respect and privileges to the people, because they devote their entire lives to the service of their country.


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Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
Outside of the historical and traditional connections there really isn't any need for a monarchy anymore. Most of them are pretty much down to being goodwill ambassadors for their countries.


LaRae
In that you just listed one of the absolute most important roles of royals.
Joe and Jolene Average don't really care that much about the pedigree of the royals.
They like to have the monarchy because it provides an historical, cultural and national anchor, not least when the world is changing, is confusing or scary.
It's good to feel comfort in something that has always been there. Persons who are around for decades. Traditions that were enacted when you were children.
It's entertaining to follow a life-long royal soap opera.
It feels good that your royals are doing better than other royal families when they screw up.
You feel pride when your royals are doing a good job and you feel pride when your royals are more tolerant/progressive/traditional/modern/etc. than other royals.
It feels good to stand with other members of your tribe and defend your royals against members from other tribes. - Even if you deep down have to admit your own royals screwed up big time!

To look at royalty with objective eyes is to not understand what it really is about, and what it really means, nationally, historically, culturally and personally.
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  #209  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:29 PM
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Stephanie is a bad example IMO because she might be a nice person but she doesn't have what it needs to become a great representative of her country. No personality, no elegance, no ability to really connect with people. I don't see her adding much to the popularity of the LRF (but on the other Hand she probably will never be a disgrace either). Her m-i-l, the commoner Maria Teresa, was a much better choice.
Heu... the Tageblatt or the Luxemburger Wort describe Erbgroßherzogin Stéphanie as the Beliebtesten Mitglied, Le Quotidien writes that le Prince Guillaume et la Princesse Stéphanie jouissent d'une grande popularité but apparently "she does not have what it needs to become a great representative for her country. No personality, no elegance, no ability to really connect with people...." Wow, wow, slash! Slash! Slash! And one more stab in the back...

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  #210  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:41 PM
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You mean you are allowed to stab all commoners in the back, especially Sofia, Letizia...., but I am not allowed to have a critical opinion of Stephanie? Will the 16 knights of her family now haunt me?
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  #211  
Old 06-16-2015, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
[...]
The royals serve their country and they owe their position, titles, respect and privileges to the people, because they devote their entire lives to the service of their country.
[...]
Why not make one of Denmark's war heroes King of Jutland or something? Hasn't he shown the utmost dedication to Denmark? Really, from the left and from the right things are dragged to prove that it does not matter at all. Note that all monarchical systems are delivering the head of state by hereditary succession. Usually that was ultimately and only the most important, most powerful, most illustrious family, the royal family. But I understand now it can be the butcher's daughter, a real life soap star or even the lady who reads the news every night. There is no better advert for ending all this and campaign for republicanism. It has nothing to do with elitism. If you want a monarchy anno 2015, if you want people to go down their knees and bow their head to mumble "Your Royal Highness" please... can we still expect some standing, some decorum, some dignity without all the talk about being elitist? I am willing to play the game. As long as the royals themselves stick to the rule of their very own game too.
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  #212  
Old 06-16-2015, 03:14 PM
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What?!?

I don't know about you. But I prefer a system where people bow because they want to, because they genuinely respect the people who has a position within an institution that means something to them.

You, in contrast, apparently want people to bow to a pedigree. Their other qualifications are, I must presume, secondary to their family line?
That will be the death of the monarchies.

In my eyes, you salute the rank, not the man. The man however has to earn your respect. The same thing with monarchies.

Impressive pedigrees have not protected monarchs in the past. Monarchs have been toppled, killed, executed, blinded, imprisoned, replaced, exiled countless times in the past.
Royalty has always been a balancing act. Royals have always had to adapt to the changing times - or else...! Nothing has changed in that respect, only the conditions.

The butcher's daughter you suggest somewhat contemptuously. Why not? If she is qualified, if she is respectable, if she is made of the right stuff.
A dynasty has to start somewhere.
Being a butcher is an honest trade, many a noble family started from a much less honorable beginning.
I'll turn it around: Why should I bow to someone who earns his position due to an ancestor being a successful robber baron? While my ancestors were say honest hardworking peasants.

No, it's not the pedigree that matters, it's the institution you represent and the person you are.
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  #213  
Old 06-16-2015, 03:31 PM
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What has Margrethe actually done then when she became Queen of Denmark in 1972? On what any other qualification other than purely her descendance as daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid born Princess of Sweden, as granddaughter of King Cristian X and Queen Alexandrine born Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as great-granddaughter of King Frederik VIII and Queen Louise born Princess of Sweden, etc. etc. did she became Denmark's Queen?

When the Queen and her son suddenly die. What has Prince Christian, a young boy, done "to earn respect" to become King Christian X of Denmark? Nothing. It is purely because of who he is by his descendance. And when all this goes on and his grandparents would have been "just the Nielsens-, the Hansens-, the Pedersens- and the Jensens-next-door" then it becomes just laughable that he takes a ride in a gilded carriage to the New Year's Cour, his equal commoner spouse loaden with stunning royal jewels form Rosenborg Castle and see a Countess Wedell-Wedellsborg going down her cracking knees... come on... I am willing to go along a long way, but there are limits. Make Prime Minister Mrs Helle Thorning-Schmidt Queen of Denmark. She is as stylish as Crown Princess Mary if that is an argment...
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  #214  
Old 06-16-2015, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Sweden had that law until not so long ago and it applied to all princes of the royal house who wanted to stay in the line of succession. The two most recent generations have now made a complete U-turn and married the Munich interpreter, the personal trainer, the glamour model, the American banker, etc. Has the Swedish monarch suffered because of that ? It's early to tell, but it doesn't seem to.
Eh... despite all the many "happy tidings" (weddings, births, baptisms) and despite the royal family having young and glamorous Princesses and Princes and despite Sweden being "a modern monarchy" the approval rating is nothing compared with an "oldfashioned monarchy" as Britain. So we can not conclude either that the Munich interpreter, the personal trainer, the underwear model, etc. have rocketed the popularity of the Swedish monarchy. On the contrary I would say.

Monarchy is all about dignity, history ánd -of course- having a relevance to the nation. Even the most blueblooded monarchy will loose it when they have no relevance anymore. But I think you can upheld standards in a modern monarchy. Who claims that a Doña María Cristina Osorio y Malcampo, daughter of the 18th Duque de Alburquerque, Grande de España would not be more popular than Letizia Ortiz? There is no any proof for that. But the Spanish royal family would still be firmly rooted and connected with the most illustrious families, via her becoming connected with figures of great historical importance as Beltrán de la Cueva or Ambrosio Spinola. In the longer term, in modern society, this link as a living embodiment of the glorious past, is the only "justification" for maintaining a monarchy.
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  #215  
Old 06-16-2015, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
What has Margrethe actually done then when she became Queen of Denmark in 1972? On what any other qualification other than purely her descendance as daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid born Princess of Sweden, as granddaughter of King Cristian X and Queen Alexandrine born Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as great-granddaughter of King Frederik VIII and Queen Louise born Princess of Sweden, etc. etc. did she became Denmark's Queen?

When the Queen and her son suddenly die. What has Prince Christian, a young boy, done "to earn respect" to become King Christian X of Denmark? Nothing. It is purely because of who he is by his descendance. And when all this goes on and his grandparents would have been "just the Nielsens-, the Hansens-, the Pedersens- and the Jensens-next-door" then it becomes just laughable that he takes a ride in a gilded carriage to the New Year's Cour, his equal commoner spouse loaden with stunning royal jewels form Rosenborg Castle and see a Countess Wedell-Wedellsborg going down her cracking knees... come on... I am willing to go along a long way, but there are limits. Make Prime Minister Mrs Helle Thorning-Schmidt Queen of Denmark. She is as stylish as Crown Princess Mary if that is an argment...

Ah, I'm glad you are beginning to understand my point.

Well, QMII has her position because she was the firstborn and because the Constitution was changed in 1953.
But the tremendous respect people have for her, also from republicans, that is something she has earned and she has worked hard to earn that respect.
Back in 1971 only 50-60 % was in favor of the monarchy. It was a bit old fashioned, a bit irrelevant to most people. Now 75-85 % are in favor of the monarchy. The monarchy genuinely means something to people, myself included.
That change didn't come with the title. That came because QMII is so very qualified for her role and because she has dedicated her entire life to her role. - And not least because she brought up her sons well and not least because our Crown Prince found the right woman as his wife.
There have been setbacks, they have sometimes screwed up, they have sometimes made less than fortunate choices but first and foremost they are humans.
Human beings people, we the rest of the tribe, can relate to. People we respect and show respect, because we want to. Because they have earned our respect.
Each and every New Years Eve almost half the entire population watch QMII give her speech. Not because of her position, not because she can trace her lineage back more than a thousand years, but because we genuinely respect her, because we wish to learn what she has to say, because what she has to say is relevant to us and because it's part of the things that brings the tribe together.

If QMII did not possess these personal qualities backed by her lifelong dedication, she would not year after year have viewer ratings politicians can only dream about.

QMII pedigree is something we may bragg about to members of other tribes, but what really matters is what we feel about her. That she and the institution she represents is relevant to us.

Christian has not yet earned respect. That may come, or he may throw it all on the floor. Time will tell.
His father Crown Prince Frederik has earned his respect the hard way! Despite misgivings about his qualifications, despite him not being comfortable in his job and despite flaws. But he has worked for it and he is sincere, of that few are in doubt and that earns respect.
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  #216  
Old 06-16-2015, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
Which underlines my point: when after the invasion of all these commoners "royals" hardly relate more to any royalty or aristocracy than you or me, the only "justification" for still having a royal family (their direct links to the nation's past, their many inter-relationships with other (former) royal families and with Europe's aristocracy. If all this is of no importance anymore, if Princess Catharina-Amalia marries a Mr Jansen from Utrecht and he becomes the father of a new fleet of "royal" offspring, it will become very hard, even for die-hard monarchists, to find any justification for funding around 100 million Euro per year to let her play "royal".
I wouldn't. If they want to play royal they can do so on their own money with a much smaller stipend when the government requires their presence. If the government doesn't have the money well...you can see where that will end up.


LaRae
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  #217  
Old 06-16-2015, 04:38 PM
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While I think that most of the married-in, former commoner members of royal families are doing a great job, I do take Duc_et_Pair's point. In order to be successful long term a monarchy must have a function that can't easily be replicated by either elected government officials or celebrities. It has to be seen as unique. One of the ways royal families have done this in the past is by maintaining a sense of separation from their non-royal subjects, (including in who they were able to marry). Once the sense of exclusivity and mystery is gone it becomes easier for people to think about monarchy logically, and that's the beginning of the end, IMO, because monarchy actually doesn't make much sense in modern life.
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  #218  
Old 06-16-2015, 04:54 PM
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You mean you are allowed to stab all commoners in the back, especially Sofia, Letizia...., but I am not allowed to have a critical opinion of Stephanie? Will the 16 knights of her family now haunt me?
Stéphanie has made an entrance in Luxembourg, according newspapers I referred to she is the most popular member of the famille grand-ducale but you slash her, not once, not two, not three but four times:

- wham! - "no suitable representative for her country"
- wham! - "no personality"
- wham! - "no elegance"
- wham! - "no ability to really connect with people"

Wow... the lady has done nothing and you already have backstabbed, crucified, beheaded and buried her as a sort of hopeless failure...



But my point is clear. If all this does not matter at all, the erosion of the monarchy from within is already crumbling its foundations. Why would Prince Henry of Wales marry a Lady Montagu-Douglas-Scott? Come on... pffff.... wouldn't it be spectacular to see him engaging with Her Royal Highness Princess Conchita? I believe Frau (Herr) Würst has "personality", "elegance" and possibly has "ability to really connect with people". What you want has nothing to do with centuries old monarchy. It is just celebby-dom. Take your mobile and vote for 1, for 2 or for 3 (and make chance to win a week holiday on Tenerife!).

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  #219  
Old 06-16-2015, 04:57 PM
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Muhler, thanks for explaining but I still don't get your point.

If monarchy and a royal family is what defines a country, does that mean that the countrymen don't have anything in common more than having the same monarch as head of state? What is the point being a country if the only thing that stands the country united is its royal family? Surely Danes have more in common - an history, a culture, a language - than being all Margrethe II's subjects.

You also wrote : "An impressive pedigree does not make you more suitable for the role as royal. "
Indeed, but royal are made royals by their pedigree or a wedding with someone who has a pedigree. I agree that a head of state has to earn respect and he/she can't allow himself/herself to be lazy and dictatorial. But then, a royal who has deserved the respect he earned is a royal only for he or his/her spouse has been born into a special family and has a pedigree, an history, more notorious ancestors. I don't deny at all the danish people do highly respect queen Margrethe II, but her and all her royal fellows wouldn't have even been in position to have to earn respect as a crown princess first and a queen then had she not been into a family with a special position and a special lineage. That she, as every modern royal, has to work hard to keep her position, will never obliterate that they are who they are for something they did nothing, i.e. being born in a special family.

A Margrethe Andersen, born 16th april 1940 in Copenhagen, may be a nice lady, worth knowing, dedicated to her work, her family and the poors asking her parish for help, she may have all the qualities queen Margrethe does have, she still differs from queen Margrethe II by being born into a commoner family and not having ever been in position to access the danish throne. A Margrethe Andersen may have deserved respect from her fellow countrymen as much as queen Margrethe II, she will never be watched by a whole country each and every New Year Eve, and all the difference is made by her or her spouse's lineage. That is why royals are special. It does not mean they can slack and enjoy taking advantage on the taxpayer's money. But that is the reality : their birth or the birth of their spouse has given them a special position. That goes with hereditary monarchy.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:59 PM
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Many good and bad arguments. Those who decried Stephanie of Luxembourg, she is highly intelligent and her quiet personality, is who she is. It is no matter what some forbear did. Fear and money, with big swords won the day back then, which is how these regal lines came into being. Monarchies, today, are anachronistic, in Western society. Everyone (most) are literate, work, run businesses and can act as ambassadors for whatever. There are no peasants. The Royals who were left after WWI, have endeavored to be more open and many actually work. They have married "Commoners" , many more appealing than their families. They know they exist, because those they represent allow it. Although, the European monarchies are small and often delightful, you also see problems as they do in Spain and Carl Gustav's alleged philandering. But, I digress. In England you have a monarchy that has help, especially as the head is a very popular and an elderly woman, for whom all have great respect. I, believe, that will change when she is gone. You saw the people's anger at the monarchy during the Diana death. The monarchy did what the people wanted. Forget about mass hysteria or anything like that. Monarchs must follow their nation's leaders choices. They do not rule. They are window dressing. Sometimes very appealing window dressing. Many think I dislike royalty. I don't. I, too, am fascinated, by their lifestyles, and long histories. The new Princess Sophia, has taken all kinds of flack for her past. But the Bernadottes are parvenus, so to speak. Desiree Clary was a silk merchant's daughter. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was a Marshall in Napoleon's army and a son of an lawyer from Pau, France. Their son Oscar, married the granddaughter of Josephine De Beauharnais, Napoleon's first wife. It all doesn't matter. Maxima and Matilde are now queens and are lovely and intelligent. Letizia is queen of Spain and seems to be doing a very nice job. Beatrix of Holland is a most charming woman and lives under the burden of the death of her son. They are all human. Sonja was a seamstress. Just enjoy their charm and don't let their "royal status", get in the way.
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