I found the following article to be really
surprising. Is The Australian
a reputable source for information or is this just sour grapes on Jacquelynne Willcox's part??
Jacquelynne Willcox: Bringing down bloody Mary
March 04, 2005
WITH a little more than two weeks left of the Danish royal tour, there are worrying signs that the nice Tasmanian girl who met her sailor prince at the Slip Inn could slip up.
<SPAN class=bodytext>Princess Mary might be hogging headlines and hearts, but she should heed the advice of another local uppity aristocrat, Dame Edna Everage, and mind she does not get too grand. For it is a truism that despite bold attempts at internationalism, Australians remain uncomfortable with success and will readily cut someone down should they get above themselves.
Already newspapers are complaining about her highfalutin' ways, driving fast getaway cars Diana style, swanning around in posh frock shops or hiding away in a zillion-dollar harbourside penthouse having her portrait painted. In a sure sign lips are thinning, they have published embarrassing pictures of the old, gauche Mary (and her nipples) with extra kilos squeezed into a skimpy polyester top. There was a toe-curling years-old snap hinting that Mary might have harboured a penchant for fame, all wide-eyed - with face to match - securing an autograph from fashion princess Sarah O'Hare.
Articles have appeared claiming Mary demanded a local charm school remove from their website gushing references to her as their most successful student (she enrolled after that night in the pub). And we've learned that she lived with a Melbourne lad for seven years before she dated a footballer, then moved on to the prince. Neither chap has blabbed yet.
Now, the normally sycophantic Danish press appears to be tiring of Mary's pomp. This week, headlines urged her to step out from behind the plush veil of exclusivity and get among the people. They meant the people on the street, not the toffs in their yachts on Rushcutters Bay.
It might be the influence of my Methodist Marxist upbringing in a parched city that frowns at the tarty ways of Australia's lush east coast, but I first started worrying about the new posh Mary when she became engaged. Being from Adelaide, I forgave her the elocution lessons that wiped any trace of Aussie accent, yet by the wedding day the transformation was too much. Even for me.
"This is no blushing bride," I snapped to my gentleman caller, a passionate Sydney republican who quaintly manages blind devotion to the Glucksborgs while remaining trenchantly scornful of the Windsors. "It's like she's done this before."
Perhaps the European chill had frozen more than her tonsils, but Mary appeared extra rigidly royal than those born to it. Contrast her regal bearing with the human charm of her soon-to-be mother-in-law Queen Margrethe, when the dear mum planted a lipstick kiss on her son at the church altar. Then there was the groom's nervous, clenched-teeth mumbling to his princely brother and, sigh, his subsequent blubbering.
Not even the Sharon Stone moment of Mary's kilted father or the sight of her jolly stepmother's - surely unnecessary - wristwatch, when she frantically waved her sweet, chubby arms from the palace balcony, or even a flowergirl niece named Maddison, shattered the nascent princess's imperious demeanour.
Unlike Britain's crown prince consorts, Camilla and the beatified but aristocratic Diana, Mary's main attraction has been that she was not born to poshdom. She was one of us. That's the Sydney us - an autograph hunter. And Sydney is the city that has, Statue of Liberty-like, brazenly carried a beacon proclaiming itself Australia's opportunity capital.
Indeed, as a Sydney resident too, I can boastfully reveal a brush with minor royalty. Not long after Mary met her nobleman in a pub, I was introduced to a minor kingdom's prince in a ritzy bar and briefly enjoyed being royally wined and dined. His Highness even sent me a personally inscribed book (about the liberation of Berlin) in a move that prompted the more hysterical among my royalist friends to wonder how I might cope with a title.
So you see, I empathise. I understand that what Mary's good marriage says to women embarking on the golden pathway of success is that any law graduate can make her way to the emerald city, wangle a career in the quintessential Sydney profession - real estate - go for a drink at the Slip Inn, then slip into Europe's oldest royal family. It's a no-brainer. While the much warmer, but certainly dimmer and odder, Diana gave hope for uneducated earls' daughters, clever clogs Mary inspires career girls on the make. Ambitious law graduates need no longer set their sights on a managing partner when they can put all those turgid constitution tutorials into practice and seduce a kingdom.
But it's not just about her. Until Mary's dreamy reality, Denmark was for most Australians a small country largely known for producing that great pedlar of fairytales, Hans Christian Andersen, most of Europe's disparate royal families, herrings and a supermodel who made it (in our eyes) only when she became the consort of an Australian rock prince, Michael Hutchence. But, then, that was a fairytale. And it ended in tears. Jacquelynne Willcox is writing a book about men and women who abandon their religious vocations.