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  #661  
Old 06-30-2012, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Queen Penelope View Post
In regards to William sleeping rough for a night, IMO I think most saw that for what it was - an opportunity for him to get an idea of what it's like to sleep on the street like a homeless person, not necessarily to recreate the homeless experience. He did this to raise awareness for homelessness, and that, to me, is all he needs to do. I don't think he or Kate need to take any post grad courses or anything of the like to prove sincerity. Nice if they would, but I probably wouldn't give much thought to it even if they did. To me, they have loads of requests for patronages and demands on their time (William more so), and the fact that they have selected these charities (after what I can only guess would have been some careful deliberation) is enough for me. I don't expect them to know everything. I just expect them to surround themselves with good liasons within the charities to help them know what they need to know. If the charities are happy with their patronage, there's not much more to be asked of them.
This exactly was the point I was trying to convey with my post. I totally agree with your post Queen Penelope.
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  #662  
Old 06-30-2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
Be honest with yourselves, before this topic came up how much time did you spend even thinking about the homeless or possible solutions/aid for the homeless?
Presumptuous. My experience is daily and very much am involved in looking at the solutions. That's why the dilettantes annoy me - a lot. I abhor 'celebrity' that uses the poor and destitute to raise their 'empathic' and 'involved' meter.
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  #663  
Old 06-30-2012, 11:07 PM
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Well then what William and Kate are not sincere? I suppose if you see it that way with William and Kate then you'd have to apply it to all other members of the royal family both past and present.
  #664  
Old 07-01-2012, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
Presumptuous. My experience is daily and very much am involved in looking at the solutions. That's why the dilettantes annoy me - a lot. I abhor 'celebrity' that uses the poor and destitute to raise their 'empathic' and 'involved' meter.
And I would normally agree, but the Royal Family aren't celebrities- the Queen and her family are national symbols. Their primary job is to be empathic and involved and to represent all citizens, including those who are marginalized.

You mention graduate courses in social work, etc... which is the right background for someone who is going to administer programs and work in the trenches. That's not what William and Kate are ever going to do- moreover, it's not what they CAN do. Their job is to represent all, and that means being able to cover many, many organizations.

They can't do that if they work on any one cause exclusively, as you seem to suggest they should.
  #665  
Old 07-01-2012, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
But then how do you get them to leave?
Remember Grammercy Park?

If you call the police, it looks like you are strong-arming poor desperate people.
If you don't, think of the mess.

The RF would be smart not to try this, imo. It's a lose-lose situation.
Agree completely. It'll always be a catch twenty-two for these people. They do something, they get criticized, they don't do something, they get criticized as well. Their best bet is to follow their conscience.

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Originally Posted by LadyGabrielle View Post
Well Im not saying to do it everyday. Im saying maybe do this once a week. Let the homeless know that they have a comfortable place on the palace lawns in a designated area to go to where there will be good food and maybe comfortable cots to sleep on. There could be homeless volunteers who would be there to make sure no one wanders or gets in trouble. Rope an area off that is far enough away from the palace. You cant tell me there isnt enough room on the palace grounds to do this once a week. To me it would feel more sincere if it was done on a consistant basis. Anyone can sleep on the streets once. I think if the people knew this would be available to them on a weekly basis there would be less of a chance they would get out of hand. I dont know. Its just a thought. I just think it would be a great move on the part of the BRF who live in a palace where they are separated from the real world. They have so much and the place is so huge I dont see why they couldnt do this just once a week. Just my opinion.
This would be a bad move politically, not to mention, it would more than likely hurt tourism. Let's face it, the Royal residences are tourist attractions. Even if people can't go inside or on the grounds of the said residences (unless it's the time of year when it's open to the public), they still may want to pass by and see what it looks like. If a word gets out that there are homeless people on the palace grounds, not too many people would want to go near there. I know that many tourists who come to visit New York City choose not to take the metro, because of the fact that there are so many homeless people using the stations as a shelter. Those of us who live here know it's not the case, but tourists go by what they hear on the news or see on TV. It gives certain places and areas a bad vibe, and I don't think UK would want that. As to the issue of homelessness in general, it happens everywhere; even countries that have more socialist form of government/social programs. I lived in USSR for the first ten years of my life, and was told how lucky I was because I was living in a country where everyone had enough to eat and a place live; we were all equal, and no one was rich or poor. Yeah, all one had to do was step into a bar, and they'd see plenty of people addicted to alcohol or drugs that had nowhere to go. Getting rid of monarchy or changing the system is not going to solve this type of problem, but educating people on the evils of addiction and alcoholism at an early age very well might. That's all I'm going to say on the issue, because otherwise it'll get political, and my views may tick quite a few people off (let's just say I'm not a fan of what I had to live with growing up).

I don't think William and Catherine are doing any of their charity work to get attention. If they wanted attention, they'd be going to glamourous events several times a week, and living it up in London, but instead, they're leading a quite and relatively modest life in Wales, and doing what they can to help those who are less fortunate. They cannot go and work at a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter, because that will definitely attract photographers, and in my opinion, they won't like that (and it won't be fair to those who are using the shelter to get help). I personally give them lots of props for really getting involved with their charities, and making themselves known not just as patrons who come once in a while and hand a check, but real supporters that are not afraid to get their hands dirty.
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  #666  
Old 07-01-2012, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ghost_night554 View Post
Well then what William and Kate are not sincere? I suppose if you see it that way with William and Kate then you'd have to apply it to all other members of the royal family both past and present.
No - I wouldn't say that. HRHHermione gave some clarity and some additional context regarding how the BRF is viewed in their own domain - which remains an on-going learning for me. I have a particularly high regard for the work Prince Charles has done and continues to do. Significant impact at the level he is able to work.

I have no wish to see celebrities or the flashy crowd trailing cameras coming into the hard-luck world - when it happens its excruciating. If you understand why there is a hard-luck world one would never-ever do that - especially to children. Never to children.

That said I know well-known people that in the anonymity of their private lives, in the silence and the dark of a profound personal commitment, when and where no one is aware - and will never be aware - do roll up their sleeves and work 'in the trenches' when they can - as well as give the big check. Everyone should - and if you do you will realize that it's not about the big checks. They are bandaids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HRHHermione View Post
And I would normally agree, but the Royal Family aren't celebrities - the Queen and her family are national symbols. Their primary job is to be empathic and involved and to represent all citizens, including those who are marginalized.

You mention graduate courses in social work, etc... which is the right background for someone who is going to administer programs and work in the trenches. That's not what William and Kate are ever going to do- moreover, it's not what they CAN do. Their job is to represent all, and that means being able to cover many, many organizations.

They can't do that if they work on any one cause exclusively, as you seem to suggest they should.
Understood. I stand corrected - and am better informed.

However, I will say that certain members of the BRF function as though they see themselves as celebrities. In fairness, its not their fault. The issue is a lot larger and too complex - and off-topic.

Also, I wasn't recommending courses in social work - but in sociology - even Cultural Anthropology. Certainly economics. Makes sense to me. But then I am not British and while I have an interest in all things royal I have a very clear view of every human being being life-long learners. Royalty does have social entre - to use that in significant ways as with the United Nations - as an example - requires knowledge of what you speak, background experience, work in the field. That's what makes for credibility.

I do think they are sincere - or I think Kate is in her heart - though she has a hard time 'selling' her comfort level with it all right now imo. For some reason, and I can't say exactly why, William does not strike me as sincere.

I would counsel them not to presume to come to a foreign country that has no formal ties to them as future monarchs and decide to do a 'poverty tour'. I won't go on about it only to say that that little bit of grandstanding they engaged in last year in the US to prop up William's 'brand' had me steamed. Always will.
  #667  
Old 07-01-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Lumutqueen View Post
What would be a better idea for William and Catherine would be to create initiatives for homeless people to get off the streets, find job and lives for themselves with the help of the government.
Isn't this what Centrepoint does? Perhaps with William and Kate being out there for a night, it spreads the word that Centrepoint is there and available for those that need their services. As much as it seems that in doing this, they'd draw attention to Centrepoint for the public and build up donations, the other side of the coin is actually going out there on the streets and talking with those people that perhaps don't have access to the internet, the papers and media and let them know what is available.

I'm trying hard to remember just which documentary it was that I saw not too long ago (perhaps leading up to the Jubilee Thames Pageant) where William went to Africa for a week for his Tusk foundation and with him he took three teens from Centrepoint.

The main point to me is that when these royals get involved in something they believe in, they really do get involved hands on and its kind of laying the old adage "cutting ribbons and opening hospitals" stereotype of royal patronage to rest.
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  #668  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyger View Post

The system isn't working - bare bald fact of it. There is no excuse that some of our number are forced out onto the streets to live, to panhandle, to beg. As long as we are in societies whose rationales are based on ownership - we will have the dispossessed - and the conundrum of what to do with them when they no longer are of use to anyone.

Well, what can you do?
There is nothing anyone can do!

It's not a question of making excuses; it's a grim fact of life on the streets.

So many people think if you can get the homeless into housing and get them jobs, the problem will be solved.
BUT- they can't hold jobs. Many can't even function at all; they are hardcore addicts and/or mentally ill.

It's against the law to institutionalize anyone against his will, or to force them to take medication.

Locally we have people who go out in vans on cold nights to try to persuade the homeless to go to shelters. Mostly they refuse, and they can't be forced.
So then what?
  #669  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Well, what can you do?
There is nothing anyone can do!
There is - different thread.....
  #670  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:05 AM
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The Duchess raises money for charity in her own way. As a Patron, she meets with representatives of the various organisations and meets those affected. Because of her high public profile, she can draw attention to issues that need our attention. That's the whole point of having a royal patron, the unique position can be used for good. But I'm not sure why spending a night on the streets would make her any more keen on helping a homeless charity, surely she's doing that already? If she had to prove her interest for every cause, the poor girl would never have a day to herself.
  #671  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirabel View Post
Well, what can you do?
There is nothing anyone can do!

It's not a question of making excuses; it's a grim fact of life on the streets.

So many people think if you can get the homeless into housing and get them jobs, the problem will be solved.
BUT- they can't hold jobs. Many can't even function at all; they are hardcore addicts and/or mentally ill.

It's against the law to institutionalize anyone against his will, or to force them to take medication.

Locally we have people who go out in vans on cold nights to try to persuade the homeless to go to shelters. Mostly they refuse, and they can't be forced.
So then what?
Yes, there are those who don't want to come back into society in exchnage for a warm place to sleep. But there are others who due to circumstances have lost their home, their work, don't have family and simply cannot afford to stay in rented accomodation and prefer to sleep "rough" as long as they can in the hope that they get another chance tomorrow because going to shelters mean in a way accept life on the street, at the bottom of society, they get registered and regulated etc., somnething you need time to accept.

Especially in times of recession, lots of people loose their home, people who never knew how homeless people live and have no idea to inquiry where they can find help for fear to be marked fro life. (I read in a book taking place in the Uk that it is impossible to remove certain information from your social services papers, even after you got out of trouble and no longer need help. Not sure if this is true, but go figure! )

So when Catherine goes sleeping rough in order to help Centerpoint getting more attention, she does two things: highlight the fact that there is Centerpoint at all and that's an acceptable way to look for help. But much more important is highlighting that sleeping rough as a woman is different than doing it as a man. Sure she'll be protected, but I guess her protection officer will only intervene if something threatens to happen actively, not clearing the place in advance and cordon it off with the help of police collegues. It will be an important experience for Catherine and I wonder if she will sleep at all for feeling insecure and threatened at night, outside, on a pavement in London. I'm sure it will be an experience that gives her an insight into the fact that poor women are at the bottom of it all.

And that might change her whole view on life and on her duty to help. IMHO, of course.
  #672  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:45 AM
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I think royals have very specific roles they can play, and very specific things they can do when it comes to charities and social issues. What people like William and Catherine have to offer that's unique is the level of public attention that's focused on them no matter what they're doing. People pay attention to them when they go to the movies or take their dog for a walk. When they become involved with a charity or social group then some of that public attention gets diverted to the cause. William and Kate both seem like sensible people - I doubt they'd take any offence at the notion that the main thing they bring to the table for these organizations is publicity. Publicity is not a dirty word!

In other ways I think they're much more limited than most of us in terms of how involved they can get with any particular organization or issue. Royalty is a great job for generalists but I imagine it would be frustrating for someone whose interest or passion was more focused on one particular issue.
  #673  
Old 07-01-2012, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
Yes, there are those who don't want to come back into society in exchnage for a warm place to sleep. But there are others who due to circumstances have lost their home, their work, don't have family and simply cannot afford to stay in rented accomodation and prefer to sleep "rough" as long as they can in the hope that they get another chance tomorrow because going to shelters mean in a way accept life on the street, at the bottom of society, they get registered and regulated etc., somnething you need time to accept.

Especially in times of recession, lots of people loose their home, people who never knew how homeless people live and have no idea to inquiry where they can find help for fear to be marked fro life. (I read in a book taking place in the Uk that it is impossible to remove certain information from your social services papers, even after you got out of trouble and no longer need help. Not sure if this is true, but go figure! )

So when Catherine goes sleeping rough in order to help Centerpoint getting more attention, she does two things: highlight the fact that there is Centerpoint at all and that's an acceptable way to look for help. But much more important is highlighting that sleeping rough as a woman is different than doing it as a man. Sure she'll be protected, but I guess her protection officer will only intervene if something threatens to happen actively, not clearing the place in advance and cordon it off with the help of police collegues. It will be an important experience for Catherine and I wonder if she will sleep at all for feeling insecure and threatened at night, outside, on a pavement in London. I'm sure it will be an experience that gives her an insight into the fact that poor women are at the bottom of it all.

And that might change her whole view on life and on her duty to help. IMHO, of course.

On top of that, there is more of a chance of being knifed in a shelter than on the street. It is just a fact and those who have been homeless for a while know it. That is a greater incentive to stay on the street.

I don't know if it is still a policy in New York or if something is similar in effect in the UK but there are sometime limits to stays in shelters. It was about 3 months in the 1990s. And yet you were arrested for sleeping in public parks... giving you an unnecessary criminal record. Again, I don't know if something similar is in effect in the larger cities in Britain.

What bothers me is that being homeless is not merely sleeping in the cold at night. It is hunger with pain. It is not being able to have a warm shower and clean clothes on your body. You get physically sick and your self-esteem is close to zero. It is an experience that can not be fully understood by one night on the street for Catherine and William (even without protection). And that is just from working with a homeless charity for a few months. I can't imagine what those who did speak with me didn't tell me.

Hopefully Catherine and her office can think of a much more useful way of tackling the problem of homelessness, especially for children, families, and the elderly.
  #674  
Old 07-01-2012, 06:38 PM
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We all need to be more realistic in terms of what royals can and should do for charities they become involved with. Lots of people say, the royals should pick a charity and actually work for them 9-5, get qualifications, become an expert and dedicate their lives to that issue. This is just not realistic. The royals have the power to shine the light of publicity on people and organisations who do wonderful things tackling a whole range of social problems. They have what Prince Charles calls 'convening power'. Any of the senior royals can get the movers and shakers in almost any arena into one room to try and make things happen. They can see the relevant government minister, or the PM, or high-ranking civil servants anytime they want.

It would be sad if the royals only used that power in one particular area. Would Kate make more of a difference working in an office job stuffing envelopes for EACH, or by bringing the world's press to their hospice, wearing their campaign bracelet and telling the world about the wonderful work they do? I think the answer is obvious. On top of that, it gives Kate the opportunity to offer the same benefits to lots of other charities and campaigns.

Surveys have shown that those charities who have a royal patron are more well thought of by the public than those who don't. The royal connection gives them a certain cache, and suggests that they're trustworthy and capable. That's why the royals spread their patronage around.

I don't think William and Kate went on a 'poverty tour' when they were in LA last year. They attended a swanky party at the British consulate and a black-tie Holywood dinner with lots of famous people to try and boost the careers of up and coming British talent. The events with the US military and the charity introducing kids from tough backgrounds to art were entirely in keeping with the themes that Will and Kate have focused on here in the UK. Harry has also undertaken public duties in the US which concentrated on veterans and their welfare. To me, there was absolutely nothing to the LA visit that anyone could find fault with.
  #675  
Old 07-02-2012, 02:32 PM
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Well now that we have all said what we have had to say regarding the Duchess sleeping in the streets it turns out it was just a rumor? So we now know she will not be doing this according to the palace? Well at least it was quite a lively conversation. :)
  #676  
Old 07-02-2012, 02:44 PM
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Kate Middleton mocked as a gold digger in Chinese tourism video | Mail Online
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  #677  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:21 PM
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Are they serious? Im sorry but I find that insulting and in very bad taste. What is the reason for this mocking? What has the BRF done to China that warrants this offense? Or is it that whoever did this is just an idiot and has no class whatsoever?
  #678  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:09 PM
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The Chinese city got exactly what it was looking for - publicity. Had they produced a standard tourism advert with some government official encouraging foreigners to visit their city does anyone think it would've made it onto the most visited newspaper site in the world?
  #679  
Old 07-03-2012, 12:13 PM
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Off with their heads!!
  #680  
Old 07-03-2012, 01:10 PM
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This is a riot - along the lines of Monty Python, wouldn't you say? There is some cutting-close-to-the-chase dialog. The actors are doing a great job - I assume the guy playing William has cotton balls stuffed into his cheeks. The actress playing Kate has her mannerisms down to her even doing her signature 'fiddling with her hair'.

Since when do advertisements have to be 'relevant' to what is being advertised? At least in the US it's become very disconnected - cave men and car insurance? Funny as all heck, though - as is this. Want a cab? Even the BRF uses Panda Cabs and gets to the Jubilee on time, no less. Ha!
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