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  #201  
Old 07-25-2011, 03:22 AM
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Cordelia, I have to agree with you on this one. A story that immediately comes to mind is that of "The Prince and the Pauper" and how by switching roles, the real Prince came to see a lot more hardship than he otherwise would have seen. Diana made a statement by getting out into the public and being a people's Princess. I think that William, despite of his privileges, has realised that this type of exposure is very necessary which, long term, will also make him a wise and popular King. As I always say, to be a successful monarch is NOT just about wearing flashy jewels and tiaras at State functions. Rather get to the grass roots level. King Harald and Queen Sonja's reaction to the Oslo crisis is a good example of how true royalty should behave.
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  #202  
Old 07-25-2011, 06:14 AM
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Cordelia, I have to agree with you on this one. A story that immediately comes to mind is that of "The Prince and the Pauper" and how by switching roles, the real Prince came to see a lot more hardship than he otherwise would have seen. Diana made a statement by getting out into the public and being a people's Princess. I think that William, despite of his privileges, has realised that this type of exposure is very necessary which, long term, will also make him a wise and popular King. As I always say, to be a successful monarch is NOT just about wearing flashy jewels and tiaras at State functions. Rather get to the grass roots level. King Harald and Queen Sonja's reaction to the Oslo crisis is a good example of how true royalty should behave.
Plus he has a wife who actually sees when people need help. Remmber the man in a wheelchair in Canada who stood in the full sun when William and Catherine arrived? Catherine immediately noticed that he can't be comfortable in that position - which he probably was given by someone not thinking that far and was told not to move in order to keep the receiving line in proper position. And she went to work to make the man more comfortable by getting him into the shadfe before talking to him - that's what compassion is in truth. Seeing someone suffer and trying to help spontaneously. William and Catherine can't save the world, but they can teach people that no matter how high your social position is, you still can care and do something for others. Princess Anne comes to mind who is despite her somewhat gruffy way is known to be hands on and compassionate as well. So with his father, and mother as long as she lived), aunt and wife William is surrounded by family who one way or the other actually care for their people and have a real ethical approach to their role.
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  #203  
Old 07-25-2011, 06:21 AM
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To take what I said as a statement about the moral superiority of the US vs the UK is to miss the point entirely. I certainly did not mean it that way and I understand that would be incorrect, but the relative status of people of color in the two countries IS remarkably different.

As for monosyllabic answers and such, the woman discussed in the article was entirely qualified for her job and had more than sufficient credentials for the position to which she wished to be promoted. It is unfair to dismiss all members of a class or a race as simply unqualified without taking a moment's pause, and that is what the education secretary was addressing. I have interviewed people of all races and many of them have been kind enough to prove unworthy whether regardless of their race

Finally, it would be better not to make assumptions about who my "illustrious ancestors". If you had any idea, you would probably assume I could manage to do no more than grunt in monosyllables and bang on a keyboard.

Sincerely,
Cargo
Since your article about Prince William's Suitability to be King included defamatory and unsubstantiated accusations against his father, and his adverse affect on his son, I felt compelled to point out that, in my experience, he was not entirely wrong in the instance you quoted.

That you saw fit to use this thread to editorialise and imply that I am a racist colonial I find that there is really little that can be either constructively or sensibly added to the subject covered by this thread, or any other with you without inciting another totally off topic rant.
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  #204  
Old 07-25-2011, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by MARG View Post
Since your article about Prince William's Suitability to be King included defamatory and unsubstantiated accusations against his father, and his adverse affect on his son, I felt compelled to point out that, in my experience, he was not entirely wrong in the instance you quoted.

That you saw fit to use this thread to editorialise and imply that I am a racist colonial I find that there is really little that can be either constructively or sensibly added to the subject covered by this thread, or any other with you without inciting another totally off topic rant.
Conjuring a personal squabble when one is unable or unwilling to rationally discuss substantive points is one approach, yes.

However, what is important, I believe, is whether William has taken the appropriate steps to familiarize himself with people of different backgrounds so that it makes sense for his expenses to be paid by a diverse public. If British taxpayer dollars will, in the future, fund his upkeep and travels, his PUBLIC events and activities should reflect the modern diversity of the British people. If their are social and cultural impediments to him doing so, he will have to work to overcome them.
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  #205  
Old 07-25-2011, 12:20 PM
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Ok I think this thread is a little off topic. The point is whether he is suitable not the diversity of his friends or the ethnic diversity of the UK which is very different from the US. Plus even looking at the US, the diversity in Congress doesnt equally reflex the population and proportion of race(not just Blacks, but the numerous cultures in American society). Just look at the race of our presidents and their social status and the individuals they surround themselves with. Plus how many politicians, or even our President or the most recent former presidents for that matter, can actually speak spanish and chinese or japanese or portuguese or french. Let's be for real 'First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye' (not you specifically).

Anyway i do think that Prince William is hard to judge because of the stage of life he is in and also his proximity to the throne. I would love to see him as Duke of Cornwall/Prince of Wales. i think he will be beloved and great both as heir and monarch. We will have to see. Right now I think he has had a good start.
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  #206  
Old 07-25-2011, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by fascinator View Post

However, what is important, I believe, is whether William has taken the appropriate steps to familiarize himself with people of different backgrounds so that it makes sense for his expenses to be paid by a diverse public. If British taxpayer dollars will, in the future, fund his upkeep and travels, his PUBLIC events and activities should reflect the modern diversity of the British people. If their are social and cultural impediments to him doing so, he will have to work to overcome them.
And, did he in your opinion?

In my opinion this young man (sorry, he could be my son), while born to the highest social station, has had his own personal tragedies to cope with and has his very own set of difficulties in life. Okay, he might be reasonably assured not ever to starve (but that's what Marie Antoinette thought as well) and he might hope to die one day in his sleep (as an active pilot and target for terrorists, this is not necessarily the outcome). But I see enough things he experienced that should have shaped him - I'm from a reasonably affluent family but still I vividly remember the lessons taught to me at the "schlechte Zeiten" "the bad years" in post-war Germany, when eg owning a piece of chocolate was personal richness which I tried to prolongue as long as I could stand it. I still do this, even today when I could buy daily the stuff chocoholic's dreams are made of.

Thus I believe William has had many experiences which have been important for him, but even more important is that he knows that out there is such a diversity of fates, lifes, chances, luck or ill luck. As an RAF-pilot he knows first hand how fast a destiny can change: healthy, rich guy falls off a cliff. Will he be saved or not? Will he get healthy again or might he be forced into a wheelbarrow? Quite some of my relatives are active volunteers with the Maltese knights in rescue services and it's not as if they come home after their hours of service and switch on their happy, carefree part of their personality after they've helped people who suffered great misfortune. Some thoughts stay with them and are only very slow in moving from their mind. I believe it could be the same with William - he is after all only a future king, not God. And thus a frail human being like all of us. And I'm sure he knows that's what he is.
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  #207  
Old 07-25-2011, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
And, did he in your opinion?
No.

But what I am describing is part of a lifelong evolution- it is wisdom. He may have some beyond his years, but this type of character development is something one achieves either in youth when they are truly extraordinary or in the twilight of a very long life if they have the courage for introspection. With William, it would be the latter. I think he may get there.
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  #208  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:24 PM
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Well, with William's wealth, privilege and background, he'll never be one of the guys. I actually find comments like these to rather demeaning. Maybe it's because I'm an American, but your comment seems to imply that those who come from humble, working class backgrounds are ignorant and unfit to run a country. A claim I find baseless and insulting. William will never experience poverty. He won't know what it's like to struggle to pay bills or live from paycheck to paycheck. He lives in a bubble. Yes, that bubble is filled with tradition and history, but look how often it has backfired against TRF. Diana's legacy might be controversial, but she did something important: she forced TRF to step outside their bubble and experience the real world.

What I like about William is that he has tried to continue Diana's legacy by stepping outside that bubble. By admitting that he lives in one, that's he's privileged in ways many of his subjects will never be. That wisdom and knowledge is what will make him suitable to be king. It's sort of like how TRF was forced to leave the bubble during WW 2.

Also, I think Elizabeth is such a good monarch partly because of World War 2. Whatever the differences between the classes, WW 2 served as a leveler in many ways (death, poverty, etc).

I'd like for you to point out which part of my post touched on, in any way shape or form, the notion that people from humble backgrounds are ignorant or unfit to run a country, (not that William will ever actually be running the UK)?? Due respect, but I think you're projecting way too much into what I wrote - if you don't agree with what I wrote that's fine but I'm not going to be drawn into defending something that I never said. Whether William is suitable to be king isn't a class issue to me but rather part of a larger question of what the point of monarchy is in a modern world. IMO it's important for a modern monarch to be capable of showing kindness and empathy towards people with whom they have very little in common, as well as to those whose situations are more familiar to them but it's equally important for them to not go too far in the direction of becoming just another normal, albeit wealthy, family.

WWII was certainly a leveler in some ways and the royal family experienced parts of it just like normal British citizens but the then Princess Elizabeth and her sister were extremely sheltered during this period of time; I would argue that they were more in a bubble than they would have been had the war not occurred. And yet, Queen Elizabeth has managed to be a very sucessful, (not perfect), monarch.
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  #209  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by fascinator View Post
Conjuring a personal squabble when one is unable or unwilling to rationally discuss substantive points is one approach, yes.

However, what is important, I believe, is whether William has taken the appropriate steps to familiarize himself with people of different backgrounds so that it makes sense for his expenses to be paid by a diverse public. If British taxpayer dollars will, in the future, fund his upkeep and travels, his PUBLIC events and activities should reflect the modern diversity of the British people. If their are social and cultural impediments to him doing so, he will have to work to overcome them.
I think that William's professional activities have been quite diverse, in terms of the issues they address and the diversity of people they deal with. He certainly doesn't seem to be limiting himself to only one segment of British society. I've seen him with kids, veterans, homeless people, former addicts, athletes, aristocrats... and I would expect there will be even more of a range as he becomes a full time working royal over the next few years. What more do you think he should be doing, (genuinely curious)?
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  #210  
Old 07-26-2011, 03:46 AM
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I do think William is one of the most diverse members of the royal family around. He has certainly proved that he is passionate about many aspects not to mention his numerous visits to Africa. This is largely because Diana had wanted her son to grow up in the "real" world and not behind closed palace doors. With Kate firmly by his side I think we will see a lot more from this very gracious yet fun couple. I do agree that HM has been a successful monarch from the "old" order. However, times have changed radically and I think William definitely has the requirements to be a highly valued monarch of the "new" order.
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  #211  
Old 07-26-2011, 08:57 PM
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But William is NOT just one of the guys. By accident of birth he has a life full of unique privileges and unique limitations. The royal family is well situated to act in ways that benefit the British people because of, not in spite of, this degree of separation. Take away the degree of separation, the sense of history and tradition, the privileges and the limitations and yes, you'll have a normal, one of the guys King. Lots of places have those - we call them politicians!
If I read too much into this sentence, I am sorry. However, after rereading it, I'm stumped as to how you thought I could interpret it any other way. It does seem to imply that William and TBR know what best due to living in a champagne bubble, due to their elitism and unparalled luxury. And that someone who doesn't come from that wouldn't be good enough to run a country.
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  #212  
Old 07-27-2011, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
I've seen him with kids, veterans, homeless people, former addicts, athletes, aristocrats... and I would expect there will be even more of a range as he becomes a full time working royal over the next few years. What more do you think he should be doing, (genuinely curious)?
"I've seen him with kids, veterans, homeless people, former addicts, athletes, aristocrats..."

It’s curious that anyone other than his own group of aristocrats-- “kids, veterans, homeless people, former addicts” are people in need of charity, not his equals, or his betters?


The assumption (not yours) that he would primarily interact with diverse peoples in the context of charity is flawed.

If you're genuinely curious, I honestly think he should seek out diverse people of SIGNIFICANT accomplishments. Surround himself with Pakistani poets or accomplished African artists, great Indian philosophers or celebrated musicians. This may take him out of his depth, but I think he would be enriched by seeking out great minds and creative people. Jackie Kennedy was an incredible model for this. She surrounded the Kennedy's with the world's best cultural contributors. I think it would be wonderful for Kate & William to undertake such a thing. They themselves are not geniuses, but how wonderful it would be to surround themselves with such people. The problem, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is that William's posture in relation to diverse peoples is one of charity. He can find his betters among diverse groups of people.


I am reminded of a quote by David Amram about Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter, a patron and a friend of the great genius Thelonious Monk : "It's easy to just dismiss her — to say this was just some wealthy, sophisticated, privileged person doing what they used to call 'slumming' ... "That was not the case. She was elevating herself by being with these musicians.”
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  #213  
Old 07-27-2011, 01:39 AM
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"
If you're genuinely curious, I honestly think he should seek out diverse people of SIGNIFICANT accomplishments. Surround himself with Pakistani poets or accomplished African artists, great Indian philosophers or celebrated musicians. This may take him out of his depth, but I think he would be enriched by seeking out great minds and creative people.
As William is his father's son and grew up at St. James's Palace/Clarence House after his mother's death, I guess he has been surrounded by such interesting people constantly, for this is the company Charles and Camilla keep when they invite to their private dinner parties. Charles already started that tradition at Kensington Palace when still married to Diana and I've read that the children were encouraged to mingle with the guests from an early age. Plus William has an academic degree - so I guess he is well up to the challeneg of interact with educated people on a level both sides have fun with their conversations.
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  #214  
Old 07-27-2011, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by CordeliaFitzgerald View Post
If I read too much into this sentence, I am sorry. However, after rereading it, I'm stumped as to how you thought I could interpret it any other way. It does seem to imply that William and TBR know what best due to living in a champagne bubble, due to their elitism and unparalled luxury. And that someone who doesn't come from that wouldn't be good enough to run a country.
This can't be resolved here. There is a reason why England still has a monarchy and why then colonies waged and won the Revolutionary War. There are intractable cultural differences. It's best, I believe, for Americans to enjoy the things we like (pageantry, cute accents, etc.) and leave unruffled the underlying values that are in truth repugnant to many of us. There is no right or wrong and thinking too deeply unveils a schism that cannot be broached.
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  #215  
Old 07-27-2011, 02:01 AM
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As William is his father's son and grew up at St. James's Palace/Clarence House after his mother's death, I guess he has been surrounded by such interesting people constantly, for this is the company Charles and Camilla keep when they invite to their private dinner parties. Charles already started that tradition at Kensington Palace when still married to Diana and I've read that the children were encouraged to mingle with the guests from an early age. Plus William has an academic degree - so I guess he is well up to the challeneg of interact with educated people on a level both sides have fun with their conversations.
Pity that none of this ethnically diverse group of geniuses he met a KP and at St Andrews were able to attend his all-white wedding ceremony.

William clearly has an extremely homogenous group of social contacts. I am of the opinion that engaging a more diverse social group will make him better suited to be the king of a modern British public that is extremely diverse. A failure to do so may, in the future, cause the diverse modern British public to question why they are paying for the upkeep of someone with such a limited experience of British culture and society. I do not count charity as substantive engagement with a group or a culture.
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  #216  
Old 07-27-2011, 02:54 AM
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Pity that none of this ethnically diverse group of geniuses he met a KP and at St Andrews were able to attend his all-white wedding ceremony.
Do you have a link to a complete guest list? For I seem to recall there were people from all kinds of ethnical groups at the wedding. They even invited the Indian grocer and his wife (wearing a very beautifiul sari) from Kate's village.... And I don't think these two needed their charity. AFAIK there were in addition a lot of people from the cultural scene invited. And how come you know so much about William and Catherine's friends when they seem to be extremely discreet?

Plus William started out to study "history of art" at university. Hardly a topic for someone not interested in culture and cultural diversity...
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  #217  
Old 07-27-2011, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Daisiesforever View Post
I do think William is one of the most diverse members of the royal family around. He has certainly proved that he is passionate about many aspects not to mention his numerous visits to Africa. This is largely because Diana had wanted her son to grow up in the "real" world and not behind closed palace doors. With Kate firmly by his side I think we will see a lot more from this very gracious yet fun couple. I do agree that HM has been a successful monarch from the "old" order. However, times have changed radically and I think William definitely has the requirements to be a highly valued monarch of the "new" order.

I think the credit for raising royal children in the 'real' world - as opposed to behind palace walls has to go back a generation before Diana.

The present Queen and Duke of Edinburgh insisted that their children attend schools (and less posh ones than Diana insisted on for her sons - although not necessarily the case now back in the 60s Gordounstoun wasn't the elitish school it is now).
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  #218  
Old 07-27-2011, 03:19 AM
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Do you have a link to a complete guest list? For I seem to recall there were people from all kinds of ethnical groups at the wedding. They even invited the Indian grocer and his wife (wearing a very beautifiul sari) from Kate's village.... And I don't think these two needed their charity. AFAIK there were in addition a lot of people from the cultural scene invited. And how come you know so much about William and Catherine's friends when they seem to be extremely discreet?

Plus William started out to study "history of art" at university. Hardly a topic for someone not interested in culture and cultural diversity...
Misrepresenting what someone has said and giving an absurd counterargument is a frequent response when one is unable to present a cohesive alternate point of view, yes.

However, I would hazard that is perhaps beneath you.

In case you simply misread, I never said he was not INTERESTED in cultural diversity.

I am hoping that your reference to Kate's Indian grocer and his wife was intentionally ironic.

If you think that William has a socially and economically diverse social group, as evidenced by the appearance of the grocer's wife's lovely sari at the wedding, that is absolutely fine.
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  #219  
Old 07-27-2011, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by fascinator View Post
Pity that none of this ethnically diverse group of geniuses he met a KP and at St Andrews were able to attend his all-white wedding ceremony.
Are you able to substantiate your point with facts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fascinator View Post
William clearly has an extremely homogenous group of social contacts. I am of the opinion that engaging a more diverse social group will make him better suited to be the king of a modern British public that is extremely diverse. A failure to do so may, in the future, cause the diverse modern British public to question why they are paying for the upkeep of someone with such a limited experience of British culture and society. I do not count charity as substantive engagement with a group or a culture.
You are right, it is possible that as of now, William's social set-up will be limited, and possibly homogeneos. IMO, that will be as a result of;

a) having attended University in a remote part of the country, as opposed to the London based Uni's and the Oxbridge colleges which are a lot more ethnically diverse in their in-take

b) joining the armed forces, which again are largely ethnically white in their make-up.

In time as William takes on full time royal duties, I would expect W&C, quite like C&C, to become patrons of the arts, spend a lot more time in London, and increase their social networks, which will then include people from all walks of life.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:13 AM
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Misrepresenting what someone has said and giving an absurd counterargument is a frequent response when one is unable to present a cohesive alternate point of view, yes.

However, I would hazard that is perhaps beneath you.

In case you simply misread, I never said he was not INTERESTED in cultural diversity.

I am hoping that your reference to Kate's Indian grocer and his wife was intentionally ironic.

If you think that William has a socially and economically diverse social group, as evidenced by the appearance of the grocer's wife's lovely sari at the wedding, that is absolutely fine.
It's .like back then when so many people assumed that because they didn't see Catherine do something she must be of course lazy. Or that she was not really in love with Williuam but just "waiting" to become the future queen... because we didn't see pics that proved otherwise.

What you are doing here is the same: you simply state that William has only friends from a certain circle and that this is not by chance but by his personal choice. Take eg the Indian grocer: Catherine lived very quietly in Bucklebury pre-wedding. She is know that she likes to cook, especially things that are fast and simple. She obviously knows that grocer and his wife. Could it be that this Indian woman taught Catherine to cook Indian food and on doing that they became something like friends? And that the Indian woman is a discreet friend who when asked talked about her dress but not about details of her relationship to Catherine? I just want to point out that ´we don't know enough to judge William and Catherine in a negative way. But we know enough to say that he does a lot to help and support others.

Why not leave it at that? And please: it is common on these boards to be asked for proof if you state something as a fact. So where is the list of invitees to the "all-white wedding" without cultural diversity because bride and groom do not know about cultural diversity?
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