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  #21  
Old 01-24-2008, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by judith14011 View Post
There is something very bizarre and hypocritical (in my opinion) of the acceptance of extra marital relationships in the British aristocracy both historically and presently.
I object to the constant suggestion that adultery, infidelity, cheating etc, is rampant within the aristocracy, it isn't and hasn't been for many years. There are probably less affairs/divorces within the aristocracy than in any small section of people in any town!.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:29 AM
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No - don't think so. There is something very bizarre and hypocritical (in my opinion) of the acceptance of extra marital relationships in the British aristocracy both historically and presently.
I don't like using labels like "The British aristocracy" to describe the misbehaviour of a whole group of people born into that group. As a German, I'm reminded of our terrible history where such labelling of a group of Germans (those of Jewish origins)and connection to the character of all of them led to a crime beyond camparison. IMHO such labelling leads to nothing but prejudice and injustice for the single member of that group.

Especially historically seen when there were always different groups within the aristocracy with a different codex. It even happened within the same family: the first duke of Sutherland and his wife, who had been the countess of Sutherland in her own right were notorious for the way they dispersed his tennants off their lands and thus forced them to emigrate in order to not die of starvation while their daughter-in-law, the next duchess, was an activist against slave trade and influenced queen Victoria to keep a firm stance when it came to abolishing slavery....
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:43 AM
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I think historically that extramarital affairs in aristocratic families was more accepted because it was generally assumed that marriages were arranged to secure the bloodlines.

I remember a 60 Minute special on the British aristocracy shortly after Charles and Diana married and one aristocratic expert said (and probably exaggerated) that all aristocratic marriages follow the same pattern: first marriage to a good family to secure the bloodlines, second marriage for love.

I think she exaggerated but there must have been enough of this in Diana's environment for her to reasonably expect that an affair could happen. And in truth, she seemed very supportive of some affairs of some of her friends. So it seems that she didn't oppose affairs on principle.
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  #24  
Old 01-24-2008, 07:57 AM
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Historically being the operative word, IMO. Among my friends, there are less affairs, separations or divorces, than among our staff.

The evidence of affairs, separation etc came from Diana's family, where her mother thought it was OK to bedhop, IMO. That is what people tend to base their own expectations on.

Anyone can have an affair and to suggest that it is only in one section of society that it is rife, is insulting and untrue.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:05 AM
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I wasn't implying that only the aristocrats fool around, skydragon. I know its more common in the world today.

If the attitudes in aristocratic circles towards extramarital affairs changed then when do you think it did?
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  #26  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:27 AM
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If the attitudes in aristocratic circles towards extramarital affairs changed then when do you think it did?
I am not sure when it changed, my own father (c1920-30) was less than faithfull shall we say, but it was kept hidden because it was made clear to him, that it was not acceptable. Of all his children only one has wandered, because we saw the problems and were all determined that our marriages were going to work. My grandpapa (c1880-90) openly kept a mistress for many years. My gt. Grandpapa (1860-70) also kept mistresses (!) I am told.

The change has come about, I think, with the acceptance that women actually also have brains. When I was a young woman, I was not expected to look for employment, if I had ever had a thought in my head about earning my living, my parents would probably have disowned me. I don't believe any of my friends married their husbands with the acceptance that they would have a mistress, nor did my mama, my grandmama on the other hand, knew of the woman and the only time I can recall her mentioning her, was when I said I had seen grandpapa with ?? and she said, she was his friend and men 'had a need to get the dirty water off their chest'. I had no idea what she meant, as you can perhaps imagine!
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:40 AM
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Historically being the operative word, IMO. Among my friends, there are less affairs, separations or divorces, than among our staff.

The evidence of affairs, separation etc came from Diana's family, where her mother thought it was OK to bedhop, IMO. That is what people tend to base their own expectations on.

Anyone can have an affair and to suggest that it is only in one section of society that it is rife, is insulting and untrue.
Maybe people getting this ideas have read too many of Nancy Mitford's books...
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  #28  
Old 01-24-2008, 11:13 AM
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The British Aristocracy's Attitude towards Extramarital Affairs

Originally Posted by judith14011
No - don't think so. There is something very bizarre and hypocritical (in my opinion) of the acceptance of extra marital relationships in the British aristocracy both historically and presently. I don't like using labels like "The British aristocracy" to describe the misbehaviour of a whole group of people born into that group. As a German, I'm reminded of our terrible history where such labelling of a group of Germans (those of Jewish origins)and connection to the character of all of them led to a crime beyond camparison. IMHO such labelling leads to nothing but prejudice and injustice for the single member of that group.
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The evidence of affairs, separation etc came from Diana's family, where her mother thought it was OK to bedhop, IMO. That is what people tend to base their own expectations on.

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Jo - as a docent and educator here at The Florida Holocaust Museum, and a therapist in private practice, I think that you are trying to make an analogy between labeling of people because of their behavior andmy comment on the British aristocracy having affairs as commonplace, but this is like comparing apples to oranges and does not and cannot be an accurate or objective comparison. People engage in behavior that their societies condone or condemn. Nazi Germany was and is something that very few events in human history that can compare. Hitler's War was less about behavior amd more about race and anything we may say on the "Charles and Tiggy thread" cannot compare in any way, shape or form. Who people are and how they behave are two different things. Based on my reading of history (Bristish and otherwise) there does indeed seem to be rampant infidelity among the upper classes in Britain, with much of it sanctioned as long as it was "discreet" (that word again.) My point is - discretion, which seems so highly valued in the British aristocracy, seems a bit bizarre given that the underlying behavior is so destructive to both self and others. In my little world, I have never seen a happily married couple who have other partners.


Skydragon - none of my asumptions are based on Frances Shand Kydd. Rather, they are based on British history dating back to Henry VIII and on up. You will remember King Edward's affairs, esp. with Lillie Langtry and Alice Keppel, Jennie Jerome (Winston Churchill's mother,) Edward VII's affairs with the married Thelma Furness, among others, Edwina Mountbatten (with both men and women) Sunny, The Duke of Marlborough, Vita Sackville -West and Harold Nicolson, Camilla and Andrew Parker-Bowles and yes Jo, pretty much all of the Mitford sisters. The list goes on and on. So Diana and her family don't have much to do with how I see what appears to be commonplace and socially sanctioned behavior as long as discretion is the operative word. Again, I stand by my position that this is bizarre behavior in my world but not in theirs so.........back to the original discussion, it does not seem so off base to me that Charles and Tiggy would have had a fling, other partners not withstanding.
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  #29  
Old 01-24-2008, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by judith14011 View Post
Originally Posted by judith14011
Skydragon - none of my asumptions are based on Frances Shand Kydd. Rather, they are based on British history dating back to Henry VIII and on up. ......The list goes on and on. So Diana and her family don't have much to do with how I see what appears to be commonplace and socially sanctioned behavior as long as discretion is the operative word. Again, I stand by my position that this is bizarre behavior in my world but not in theirs
My reply to your post was thus - it isn't and hasn't been for many years. - I have said if you read on that whilst it may have been acceptable in the past, times have changed and had started changing for most members of the aristocracy, many years ago.

Therefore it was not an accepted happening at the time of Charles' 1st marriage. Nor do I think it was accepted by Camilla as inevitable, when she married Andrew.

Discretion isn't just about keeping quiet about an affair or accepting quietly your spouses infidelities. It is about not feeling the need to air your dirty linen in public, whether it is an affair or your spouse's habits. To be able to dine, shop or any of the normal things without drawing undue attention to yourself.
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  #30  
Old 01-24-2008, 12:01 PM
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Discretion isn't just about keeping quiet about an affair or accepting quietly your spouses infidelities. It is about not feeling the need to air your dirty linen in public, whether it is an affair or your spouse's habits. To be able to dine, shop or any of the normal things without drawing undue attention to yourself, as the Desiderta says 'to speak your truth quietly and clearly'.
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  #31  
Old 01-24-2008, 12:03 PM
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Skydragaon - I believe you are confusing "truth" and "discretion." Two very different qualities and attributes.
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  #32  
Old 01-24-2008, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by judith14011 View Post
Skydragaon - I believe you are confusing "truth" and "discretion." Two very different qualities and attributes.
Actually not, discretion can be applied to all aspects of your life. The person that sits in a restaurant or cafe and tells her friends loudly about her love life is not discreet. The person who writes a book and tells their version of events (some true, most not) is not discreet, the person who yells loudly across a crowded room is not discreet, etc, etc. Truth has very little to do with 'discretion', it is, to me, more the way in which one behaves. So, as I said - Discretion isn't just about keeping quiet about an affair or accepting quietly your spouses infidelities. It is about not feeling the need to air your dirty linen in public, whether it is an affair or your spouse's habits. To be able to dine, shop or any of the normal things without drawing undue attention to yourself, - perhaps my quote from the Desiderta was confusing, so I have removed it.
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  #33  
Old 01-24-2008, 01:26 PM
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Who people are and how they behave are two different things. Based on my reading of history (Bristish and otherwise) there does indeed seem to be rampant infidelity among the upper classes in Britain, with much of it sanctioned as long as it was "discreet" (that word again.) My point is - discretion, which seems so highly valued in the British aristocracy, seems a bit bizarre given that the underlying behavior is so destructive to both self and others. In my little world, I have never seen a happily married couple who have other partners.


Skydragon - none of my asumptions are based on Frances Shand Kydd. Rather, they are based on British history dating back to Henry VIII and on up. You will remember King Edward's affairs, esp. with Lillie Langtry and Alice Keppel, Jennie Jerome (Winston Churchill's mother,) Edward VII's affairs with the married Thelma Furness, among others, Edwina Mountbatten (with both men and women) Sunny, The Duke of Marlborough, Vita Sackville -West and Harold Nicolson, Camilla and Andrew Parker-Bowles and yes Jo, pretty much all of the Mitford sisters. The list goes on and on. So Diana and her family don't have much to do with how I see what appears to be commonplace and socially sanctioned behavior as long as discretion is the operative word. Again, I stand by my position that this is bizarre behavior in my world but not in theirs so.........back to the original discussion, it does not seem so off base to me that Charles and Tiggy would have had a fling, other partners not withstanding.
Judith, you're right that these people probably had affairs and they were members of the British aristocracy. But still it is IMHO impossible to say that "the" british aristocracy is this or that. There are unwritten laws about behaviour there and one surely highly praised is discretion. But - if somebody is involved in trysts or not is a thing of one's character and not of the class in which the person was born or was bred.

It's a bit like saying that communists are the better people because their concept of society has the better ideas about behaviour when in fact it doesn't matter at all if someone is a communist or an aristocrat when it comes to conscience and the way you personally view morals.

Just anexample: in Thai society (influenced by Buddhism) sleeping with various partners is no moral problem. The idea of "Madonna" and "whore" does not exist there. But I doubt that the Thai are different from other people when it comes to being faithful. I don't subscribe to the milieu-theory, I think people are as they are, no matter how they were raised. IMHO, of course.

And I never came across a book on manners of polite society in which cheating or adultery was thought of as acceptable.
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  #34  
Old 01-24-2008, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by judith14011 View Post
People engage in behavior that their societies condone or condemn. Who people are and how they behave are two different things. Based on my reading of history (Bristish and otherwise) there does indeed seem to be rampant infidelity among the upper classes in Britain, with much of it sanctioned as long as it was "discreet" (that word again.)
The point that Judith mentioned above that I have bolded, I believe she means the upper classes in any society that condone discete infidelity, not just Great Britian. As an American this seems to us as bizarre behavior. Our society has infidelity, but we do not condone discrete infidelity. I think we have the highest divorce rate in the world.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:45 PM
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Sorry, but that is sounding so arrogant to me! As if the fact that Britain has not so many divorces is based on the fact that they condone infidelity, while the US-Americans with their higher morale doesn't do that and thus are more worthy.

And you know what: Bill Clinton had "no sexual relationships" with Ms. Lewinsky because of the society he lived in... Doesn't that tell you something? Clinton-Lewinsky could have happened in any society, but it need not have happened only because they have lived in that society. So of course Charles could have had an affair with Tiggy, but to say so with the only proof in his and her heritage is simply annoying.
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  #36  
Old 01-24-2008, 06:12 PM
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Sorry, but that is sounding so arrogant to me! As if the fact that Britain has not so many divorces is based on the fact that they condone infidelity, while the US-Americans with their higher morale doesn't do that and thus are more worthy.

Can we please stop talking about groups of people in such generalizing terms? I find that that tends to lead to really bad feelings. Thank you.
I am sorry if I came across as arrogant. I am not saying Americans have higher moral or more worthy. Oh not at all. Look at a lot of our young stars and their problems. I just think Americans are "what you see is what you get in our actions. " I don't know Europe's divorce rate, but I believe our is higher. Sorry again, Jo if I offended you.
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  #37  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:19 PM
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What Georgiea was really saying and correct me if I am wrong, Georgiea, was Americans do not have an aristocracy, in which discreet infidelity is an acceptable situation. Sure, we have plenty of infidedity, no different than anywhere else. It just isn't one of these upper class, hush, hush type of things. Not only may Charles have had one of those type of situations with Tiggy and I don't know or care either way, but, her certainly, did with Camilla and until it really spread itself out in public, was it unacceptable. Had no one spoken, Andrew would have continued with his life and Camilla with hers. Bill Clinton came from a poor background, he had no upper class pretentions. Of course, that does not make that accpetable, either.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:41 PM
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Actually I don't see any difference. As I recalled, if not sufficent evidence presented to Bill Clinton, I doubt he would not admit his relationship with Ms Lewinsky or other women. Hillary and him certainly have denied all these allegations for years since he was the governor of Akansa.

I don't think anyone can truly accept the occurrence of infidilities in their own marriage. However for the children's sake, for the social face/position's sake, I do think discretion is still very important even beneficial in its own way for keeping the infidenties under the wrap. If I could choose, I would rather Diana had her own discretion to deal with Charles' infidenlties and carried her affairs with other men with more discretion. You can call it hypocritical, however I would rather Diana had enough discretion to deal with the situation and play a guarding role of the monarchy rather than a rebelling role to destory the monarchy. Of course this is my own view.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:01 PM
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Of course not, people don't publicly acknowledge their infidelities. That is why they are called infidelities. What happened when he was governor of Arkansas, is another issue. I am sure things happened. Lots of talk and inuendo. Believe me, it happened.

Many think that Diana should have kept her own counsel and looked the other way. They may be quite right. Others, might say, why should she have put up with his philandering. It is up to the person. A woman scorned is a very mighty thing. One can neither laud nor blame Diana, as no one really knows how she felt, nor has her personality, with all its pluses and minuses.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:24 PM
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upper classes in America have had discreet infidelities and the wives have looked away. One need look no further than JFK and Jackie and FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt.

FDR and Eleanor were particularly incompatible and FDR had affairs but Eleanor stayed with him because she shared his political ideals and she thought what he was doing for the country was important and worthwhile and she wanted to support it regardless of what she saw in him as a companion.

Jackie Kennedy likewise was born for the role of First Lady and she had a lot of cross thoughts about Jack's infidelities and his worth as a husband but she welcomed his giving her the stage that she so dazzled the world with and was very staunch in the defense of her husband.

Oddly enough, Jackie said that towards the end of his life, JFK and she became closer because with the demands of the Presidency and the heightened security, the family became isolated but in that isolation they became closer and towards the end of his life, he had more of a real marriage with Jackie than ever before.
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