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  #41  
Old 01-24-2008, 10:39 PM
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Oh my God I didn't know FDR had affairs.
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  #42  
Old 01-24-2008, 10:48 PM
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Oh my God I didn't know FDR had affairs.
Yup, and so did Eisenhower during WWII.
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  #43  
Old 01-24-2008, 11:00 PM
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Yes, FDR kept a mistress in the White House. It wasn't easy for him to get around. Jackie loved Jack and as you said Ysbel, he gave her the stage and wasn't upset by her having the stage. She was used to infidelity, as her father Jack Bouvier was a master at it. So, you are right, the American "uppercust" did the same thing. But, her mother left her father because of it. Diana might have acted differently, had Chalres not been intimidated by her popularity. Maybe not. They were and are very insecure people. By the way, there is still an argument as to whether Kay Summers was Eisenhower's mistress or not. I have no opinion one way or the other.
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  #44  
Old 01-24-2008, 11:55 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.
Hmm...the Kennedys (JFK, RFK, Teddy, Joe Kennedy, etc.), the Fords (meaning Henry, who apparently had more than a few OTHERS), FDR (who actually DIED with his mistress present), Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson - while not titled, they're certainly upper class, and it was certainly hush-hush (I recall reading of JFK's exploits in the White House pool with Fiddle and Faddle - Jackie knew, the aides knew, EVERYBODY knew - but no one talked about it). The elder Kennedy men raised it to a higher art form.

I would put my neck out there and say there seems to be some sort of connection between money and this sort of thing, but then the poor working folks would have neither the time nor the resources to pursue it to the lengths the wealthy could. I don't know if that's the connection there or not - that the independently wealthy would have had the ways and means to do such things.

I'm not CONDONING anything, by the way - I've personally wondered what the connection is there for a long time. Because there DOES seem to be one.
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  #45  
Old 01-25-2008, 12:12 AM
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Ah - I posted without scrolling all the way down - which I thought I had done - so my last post crossed! Sorry about that...
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  #46  
Old 01-25-2008, 12:23 AM
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The British Aristocracy's Attitude towards Extramarital Affairs

Well technically Thomas Jefferson was a widower when he began his relationship with his wife's younger half-sister Sally Hemings. She was his concubine until the day he died.
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  #47  
Old 01-25-2008, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by COUNTESS View Post
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.
Infidelity is no more acceptable to any of the classes in the UK, than it is any other country.

Discreet or not. Diana would not have married believing she would have to accept Charles' affair, nor did he marry expecting his wife to have affairs.

Far from believing Diana or Charles should have 'put up with it', As a 'I'm one of you' woman, Diana should have filed for divorce. If Charles was unable to cope with Diana and her problems, so much that he turned to his friend Camilla, he should have applied for a divorce, both of them before having affairs. Then again, I believe they should have had a much longer courtship and we could have been saved all the 'drama'!
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  #48  
Old 01-25-2008, 08:43 AM
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I agre with the above posts - there is something about the "upper crust" British and American. If you look at the history of the wealthy in New York at the turn of the last century - the Astor's, Vanderbilt's etc - much of the same re:infidelity. Money, power, opportunity - all tremendous aphrodisiacs. Add to that a lack of personal and relationship boundaries = affairs. The question again of discretion and tolerance of the offended spouses comes into play. Eleanor offered to divorce FDR if he wanted to be with Lucy Mercer but he declined and kept her secret from Eleanor. Eleanor was devastated when she learned that Lucy had been with him in Warm Springs at the time of his death, although FDR has polio and was very disabled. There was argueably no intimate contact between them given his health, but the emotional betrayal was just as painful for Eleanor.
My point - affairs are painful for those who are betrayed, no matter how "discreet' the offending partners are, which is why I find discretion as a quality is highly overrated.
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  #49  
Old 01-25-2008, 04:35 PM
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It seems to be very easy to 'blame' the upper crust for all manner of things, most as Jo says based on stories from Mills and Boon.

I would imagine a lot of people would be offended if I made the statement that historically, evidence shows that the one parent family is normal and only happens within the poorer classes. (Something I do not believe). The only reason anyone knows about the affairs that happened in the upper classes is because nobody bothers too much writing about what the poorer classes get up to!
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  #50  
Old 01-25-2008, 06:03 PM
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I am sure infidelities occur in all walks of life. To think otherwise is foolish. That the "uppercrust" have more or less, is hard to judge. Of course, what often sets these apart, is that they are people of prominence. Nobody wants to hear about Joe the janitor and Jane the housewife. But that exists, too. And, yes, I am sure that having a spouse like Charles was painful for Diana. And, Skydraggon, is right she should have divorced him. Her alternative was poor.
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  #51  
Old 01-25-2008, 08:02 PM
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Skydragon and Countess have made the points which occurred to me while reading this thread. The perception that aristocrats or people who are socially prominent have more affairs than others probably arises because knowledge of these people and affairs are in the public domain. They are persons who are known of, though not personally known, and written about and spoken about by others who find them and their lives interesting. Celebrity gossip, in other words.

I've lived the majority of my life in a small village. No aristocrats. No millionaires. Believe me, infidelity and affairs occur here (and in the past), probably at around the same rate as anywhere else or among any other level of society. (Not me, though )
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  #52  
Old 01-25-2008, 10:44 PM
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I think part of the perception that aristocrats and royals have had more affairs in the past is that the aristocrats and royals are the ones whose lives are documented in more detail, so we know about their infidelities while we don't know what their less prominent contemporaries were getting up to. And it's more important (and interesting to people) if the heir to a dukedom or a monarchy is thought to be illegitimate than if someone from the middle classes or working classes is thought to be illegitimate - in the former case, the heir has to inherit the title and property whereas most people can, if they wish, leave their property to someone else.

However, there's also the perception that among rich and landed families, and especially royal families, marriages were made (until fairly recently) for reasons of property or dynasty, not because the individuals concerned had any feelings for each other. So the stage is set for arrangements of the sort where the husband and wife have sexual intercourse for the purpose of producing heirs, and the husband looks for affection (and maybe more regular sex) elsewhere while the wife either does likewise or consoles herself with her children and her possessions.

Although this is something of a cliché, there have been enough examples in history to back it up. Nowadays, when it's more acceptable for aristocrats and even royals to marry pretty much whoever they want to, and when divorce is much easier to come by, there's less incentive to stay in a marriage for the sake of appearances, so unfulfilling marriages can be ended rather than continuing while the participants look elsewhere for their soulmates and sex partners.
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  #53  
Old 01-26-2008, 08:55 AM
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I remember reading about the daughters of the late Duke of Westminster. One married the Duke of Roxburghe, the other married the Earl of Lichfield (photographer of Charles and Diana's wedding).

I remember reading where both couples divorced. The Duchess of Roxburghe said at the time that gentlemen couldn't be stopped from finding their little amusements on the side.

I don't know when the marriages and divorces took place and on the contrary I think the marriage of their brother the current Duke of Westminster is still going strong but I did think it strange that these two sisters who married British aristocrats from different families had similar experiences.

Does anyone know more about them?
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  #54  
Old 01-28-2008, 10:07 PM
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No, I don't, but your comment earlier, Ysbel, about the two marriages, reminded me of Alva Vanderbilt who said to marry for money the first time, then marry for love the 2nd. Though she did quite well both times and denied poor Consuelo her love.
There are certain people who will just have affairs. I don't think this whole thing judging the British upper class is really fair. I remember reading a book about Elsa ---oh her name escapes me! She was around during the turn of the century and had many adventures and was friends with the Prince who married Rita Hayworth. Anyway, she used to say that the French had it right, if the marriage didn't work, have your dalliances on the side but keep the family together.
Interesting, I wouldn't subscribe to it, but interesting none the less.
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  #55  
Old 01-28-2008, 10:09 PM
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Aha! Found it! "R.S.V.P.: Elsa Maxwell's own story." That's it!
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  #56  
Old 01-28-2008, 11:32 PM
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When I was 16, I left school to escape an abusive alcoholic and for sins took a job as a maid-of-all-work (grandly advertised as a butler) in a stately home. Over the subsequent two years I visited some very grand houses indeed (which gave me my taste for all things ducal but the salary of a workhouse gin girl) and witnessed first hand the depravity of the upper classes. One very decadent house I spent a weekend in seemed to be infested by pairs of slippers outside bedroom doors - when I knocked and asked, "Did Your Lordship mean to leave these slippers here", I was greeted by several expletives followed by a rather detailed explanation by the cook of what it all meant. If a house guest had taken someone's eye or regularly had a bit of a ding dong with a fellow guest, they left their slippers outside their bedroom door and waited. What happens, I enquired innocently, if they get the wrong person. "More's the fun", replied the cook who's unfortunate looks meant that half of Imelda Marcos's collection outside her quarters wouldn't have brought in a man on heat.

One Christmas was spent in a draughty Castle and I was quite suprised to see amongst the wrinkly dowagers, a gorgeous posh thing with glittering eyes and silky black hair in curtains. I gave him a glass as instructed and as he took it, he quite deliberately touched my hand, looked up and winked. He must have been about 21 and as his parents chatted away, he became more and more bored. Well, it came to present time and he was dispatched to get the presents from his parents' landrover. "I'm not sure I know my way back down", he said. Now, he could have been being honest because it was a vast place but I'd like to flatter myself and think he was telling porkies. On cue, the lady of the house said, "Oh Sam'll show you down".

He said nothing all the way down the maze of stairs, until we passed a small corridor that led to the changing room the corporates used when they'd returned from a shoot. He suddenly turned, pushed me against the wall and proceeded to snog the face off of me for about 3 minutes. Then we popped along to the aforementioned facility and did what humans do so well. I never saw him again after that day and I don't even know his name. But I wish I did. On another occassion, I was given short shrift by a cocky chap with vowels that could only have been polished at Eton and a wife who reeked of Chanel Number 5 and sadly hadn't been blessed with a chin. For the entire weekend he shouted and bellowed, ordered and commanded and reduced me to tears in the pantry. How shocked was I when, in the middle of the night he appeared at my bedroom door with a bottle of pink champagne and made it clear he required domestic service for the rest of the night.

Of course it went on just as much amongst the staff and I had a 2 month affair with a Lithuanian farmhand illegally employed on the estate to help with the walnut harvest. It was all thoroughly debauched but just as upstairs turned a blind eye to morally questionable activities to us, so we turned a blind eye to their extra-marital relations. Though I think I was the only one to join in. The moral? Birds do it, bees do it and the British aristocracy have made an industry doing it - it only becomes a problem when they do fall in love. I knew of at least 2 regular guests who's husbands didn't satisfy and they'd found a buddy in a friendly face. It was all part of the weekend's entertainment and were you to get the working classes drunk and put them in a grand house with things like Oysters, they'd probably rut for England too.

The key in it all however, is that it's unspoken. Nobody mentions it, nobody argues about it and nobody reveals it's been going on. And that's where the whole caboodle became a problem for Diana. Charles and Camilla are more jolly hockey-sticks, "that's the way it is" types and so phone sex on a Friday and a quick fumble at Glynebourne is perfectly acceptable. If anything, I think they'd see Diana was abnormal for not finding a nice Major or Diplomat to do the same with. She was pretty, she'd have no trouble, why wasn't she taking part in country house shinanigins? Because Diana wasn't as grand as Charles and Camilla. There's a saying amongst the aristos, "Never marry a Spencer" - perhaps thats the reason. Diana looked down on wife swapping in an arena where it's a perk of the job. And so she got her heart broken. In that situation, I'm afraid one joins in with the band or you get your triangle bent.

Do the upper classes condone extramarital affairs? No more than the working classes is my answer, they just have greater opportunity to put it about.
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  #57  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:05 AM
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Well the moral of the story is, that every class has extramarital affairs.
This is a touchy subject.
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  #58  
Old 01-29-2008, 12:11 AM
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I don't see why it has to be though sirhon, it goes on and has been going on since man worked out what to do. It's a fact of life and sweeping those under the carpet and pretending it's cake crumbs never helped anyone.
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:46 AM
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Well I guess because, the subject of extramarital affairs is somewhat taboo.
Its has always been swept under the carpet.
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  #60  
Old 01-29-2008, 07:38 AM
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And that's where the whole caboodle became a problem for Diana. Charles and Camilla are more jolly hockey-sticks, "that's the way it is" types and so phone sex on a Friday and a quick fumble at Glynebourne is perfectly acceptable. If anything, I think they'd see Diana was abnormal for not finding a nice Major or Diplomat to do the same with..... ....Do the upper classes condone extramarital affairs? No more than the working classes is my answer, they just have greater opportunity to put it about.
Sorry Sam, I have to say I am horrified that you were subjected to that type of misuse and that if any of that went on at our weekends, I would know about it and put a stop to it, at once. I do know one of the persons you have spoken about and have told you exactly how he and his 'friends' are thought of.

Charles and Camilla's affair was not a quick fumble, nor was it acceptable behaviour, which of course is why it was kept under wraps, except from some close friends. The same way it was unacceptable for Diana to have her liasons, hence sneaking men into KP in the boot of her car.

From personal experience I do know that it became unacceptable behaviour and not something one had to put up with.

In every class of society you are, as you say going to have people having affairs, I don't believe it is more acceptable to people within the upper classes or aristocracy though. With divorces so easy to come by and the reminder that you could lose half of everything if it is proven that you are the adulterer.
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