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  #461  
Old 07-27-2017, 04:08 PM
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The Queen is a servant of the Government. If Tony Blair wanted the Queen to have her grandsons march behind their mother's casket, she'd be obligated to do it.

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Originally Posted by Dman View Post
You guys do know the Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household and his office is what arranges the royal funerals. The Earl of Airlie at the time. Tony Blair had nothing to do with it.
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  #462  
Old 07-27-2017, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by wyevale View Post
To me the idea of the Princes 'walking behind the Coffin' has ALL the hallmarks of Tony Blair's 'Sofa Government'.. {Democratic, down with the kids, approachable, 'Peoples Princess' populist baloney}
Are you sure ? I thought "walking behind the coffin" was actually a standard tradition for members of the Royal Family.
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  #463  
Old 07-27-2017, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
a standard tradition
Not for children and 'young teenagers', and emphatically NOT through a crowd seething with resentment and [not a little] anger.

These were not the conditions at George VIs' Funeral..
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  #464  
Old 07-27-2017, 04:26 PM
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This whole situation of "walking behind the casket" has been overblown and the blame game of who's idea it was and whatnot has gotten to be nit picking.

When a tragedy like this hits two young boys and affects them in a life changing matter, the last thing to be expected is that the boys would be able to take in and digest things like an adult and in a rational manner. It is also preposterous to believe that in this situation, should the government of the day have "insisted" on two young boys doing what the government wants that the Queen would meekly order them to do so. These are human being and not puppets on strings.

As an adult and facing the death of a loved one, there were many issues that were up in the air what to do, how to handle this or how to arrange this that I had to deal with and needed counsel and advice from others. Not walking behind Diana's casket for her boys was most likely at first met with a resounding "no" because in their state of shock, all they probably wanted to do was hide under a blanket and hopefully wake up and find that this was all a dream.

To be honest, I don't remember if I've read it or where I get this idea from but I think that it was Philip that was instrumental in counseling the boys on what would be the best way to handle this. I don't think that Philip ever intended to walk that walk himself until he realized that in doing so, it would give his grandsons the courage to walk with him. This was the prime example, for me, of the importance the family played in supporting Will and Harry at this time by remaining at Balmoral.

While the press, the government, the courtiers and the masses of people were focusing on the death of Diana and how to handle her funeral, the family was focusing on the two boys that had a life changing tragedy hit their young lives with the sudden death a mother that was their have all and be all in their young lives.
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  #465  
Old 07-27-2017, 04:47 PM
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If Phillip did suggest or even encourage the boys to do it I am quite sure there's no way he would of done it if he thought it would hurt them. If someone wants to say Phillip (being not known for his sensitivity) urged them to do it then okay, but he wouldn't of done it knowing it would cause hurt.

My guess is the idea was floated by the grey suits or Blair etc due to the massive outcry at the perceived lack of reaction of the BRF to her death.


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  #466  
Old 07-27-2017, 04:48 PM
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I'm afraid I disagree Osipi..
In the febrile atmosphere of that strange period it is all too conceivable to me that Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell [ever confident that THEIR'S were the 'fingers on the pulse' of Public opinion] might have suggested to a Monarch [already pressured and disoriented by her sudden unpopularity] that 'the boys' walking behind the coffin would calm the anger and focus attention upon them [whom EVERYONE had sympathy for] rather than the wider Family,whom many resented for their [perceived] maltreatment of the deceased.
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  #467  
Old 07-27-2017, 05:25 PM
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Harry never mentioned anything about being forced or persuaded to walk during the programme which really was a wonderful tribute to his and William's mother. I think it was a great idea, and I enjoyed seeing it. I'm glad it was made. Harry's remark happened before this tribute aired.

As for Earl Spencer, he specifically stated that it was 'a courtier' who told him that 'It was all arranged' that the boys would walk. If it had been Tony Blair's office, or any Blair aide or any politician at all then the Earl would surely have said so or hinted at it. He would have heard that it was Blair's doing at some time during the past 20 years one would think!

Instead he has said unequivocally that it was a courtier at BP who told him, during discussions about the funeral with those at BP, (and he would hardly have been speaking to underlings.) We don't know who persuaded them to walk, but it seems from what we have that the impetus did not come from Downing St but from BP/adults in the Royal Family.

All this criticism, implied and otherwise, because two men decided to honour their mother and pay tribute to her charity work (which was considerable) and the joy of having Diana as a mother, something they obviously feel deeply about! IMO they had a perfect right to do this on such an important anniversary of her death.
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  #468  
Old 07-27-2017, 05:29 PM
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I'm not in disagreement with you at all wyevale. I do believe it was Charles, himself, that was in communication with Blair and his people from the get go on how things should be handled. Blair, himself, was at the airport when Diana's body was returned to the UK by Charles and Diana's two sisters.

Charles, it is believed, was in opposition to his mother's opinion that Diana's funeral should be a private affair with the Spencer family calling the shots. Charles pushed for a more public funeral. With Charles and Blair in cahoots over how things should be handled and all the back and forth of communication between 10 Downing Street and Balmoral, with the decision to have a very public almost state type of funeral for Diana, I'm sure the "walking behind the casket" issue came up. IIRC, it was decided that instead of the military band regiments that follow the casket during a state funeral (such as the Queen Mother's), the casket would be followed by representatives of Diana's charities and patronages during her lifetime.

This is most likely where the subject of the boys walking behind the casket came up. I think both Charles and Blair were in agreement that this would be an advisable thing to do. It was suggested to the boys and eventually it was Philip that said "if I walk, will you walk with me?" which may have clinched the deal and the boys walked.

There was a whole lot of communication going on during the time Diana's death was first announced and the actual funeral between Balmoral, 10 Downing Street and the offices of Buckingham Palace and the Queen's advisors. Although the public tends to believe that during this time the royal family was "isolated" and "separated" from what was going on in London, there was a lot of behind the scenes machinations going on that resulted in the funeral that was held for Diana.

So, I cannot say that Blair was totally responsible for how things went nor was Charles nor was the Queen and her advisors or the Spencers. It was, as ended up, joint decisions made by all of them.
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  #469  
Old 07-27-2017, 06:11 PM
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No link, but...

...I have a vague memory of having read that the boys walked in order to make sure that Charles was not booed. This is something that I remember from 20 years ago; I don't remember the source; I have no opinion on the truth of it; but I do remember reading it.
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  #470  
Old 07-27-2017, 06:21 PM
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I remember reading something along these lines too. It was a credible thing that should Charles have just walked behind the casket by himself (with Charles Spencer), it may have looked like he was a sitting duck for not only boos and hisses and signs of disapproval but perhaps also an assassination attempt. As he was Diana's ex-husband, it may have been seen as Charles being hypocritical to walk behind the casket of a woman that he was divorced from.

Walking with his sons and his father gave the impression that it was "familY" walking behind Diana's casket.
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  #471  
Old 07-27-2017, 06:27 PM
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Let's not forget that the Queen's Private Secretary at the time was Robert Fellows who is married to Diana's sister Jane. Charles Spencer didn't need to talk to a low level palace flunky. His Brother in Law was the Queen's right hand man.

The Duke of Kent was 16 when he walked behind his uncle's coffin in 1952. William and Harry were teenagers not really little kids like JFK Jr and Caroline Kennedy
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  #472  
Old 07-27-2017, 06:43 PM
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The Lord Chamberlain's department organises funerals of that nature though, not the Queen's Private Secretary, and we don't know how close Robert Fellowes and the Earl were.

Harry was twelve, 13 in a few weeks. As someone who lost my mother at the same age (from cancer) I can say that at twelve you're still a child and feel lost, hurt and bewildered at what has happened in almost the same way as a younger child would.
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  #473  
Old 07-27-2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippyboo View Post
The Duke of Kent was 16 when he walked behind his uncle's coffin in 1952.
My point exactly. It looks like a RF tradition to me, and I'm pretty sure the idea to have the boys walk behind the coffin came from the RF themselves and/or their courtiers and probably had nothing to do with politicians like Tony Blair.
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  #474  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:12 PM
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One wonders whether it might have been Robert Fellowes, Earl Spencer's brother-in-law.


[QUOTE=Curryong;2006140]

As for Earl Spencer, he specifically stated that it was 'a courtier' who told him that 'It was all arranged' that the boys would walk./QUOTE]
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  #475  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:17 PM
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I was 20 when my father died suddenly. It was horrible and I was in a fog for weeks. Losing a parent was vastly different than losing my grandparents, aunts or uncles. As bad as it was when I was 20 I can't imagine it happening when I was 12 or 15.

I said this earlier this year--William and Harry were in shock and vulnerable to persuasion. I doubt they really knew what to expect when they agreed to walk.

I don't care if a 16 year old walked behind his uncle's coffin in 1952--it wasn't his mother.
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  #476  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:26 PM
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[QUOTE=Mermaid1962;2006157]One wonders whether it might have been Robert Fellowes, Earl Spencer's brother-in-law.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curryong View Post

As for Earl Spencer, he specifically stated that it was 'a courtier' who told him that 'It was all arranged' that the boys would walk./QUOTE]
We have to remember that at the time Robert Fellowes was not only private secretary to the Queen but he was also Diana's brother in law and involved in things from the family angle as well as from the royal household angle. Most likely he had been in discussions with Charles, Blair, The Queen, the people working on planning the funeral at BP and whomever else was involved in all of this.

I don't think in this scenario that any one person had the power to make a definitive decision of what would be but most likely if Fellowes told Charles Spencer that the boys had decided to walk, it was after all had been said and done and the boys had agreed to walk on that day. Fellowes is the most likely candidate too that would be the mediator between the different departments involved in the funeral planning and the Spencer family and was able to also be a spokesperson for the wishes of the Spencer family such as their wish that Diana would be interred in a private ceremony at Althorp following the public funeral service.
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  #477  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyevale View Post
I suspect if one asked four or five members of ANY Family to recall the feelings or motivation of any one of them during a MAJOR Family crisis 20 years past, one would get MANY varied versions.
I think this is true for many people--memories often become distorted in time, not always remembering things accurately or clearly. And is especially true when events are happening that are emotional and stressful.
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  #478  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denville View Post
Exactly Wyevale. It was a bad idea, the documentary It cuodl have been doene without dragging up old upsets and quarrels - it could have been a tribute to Diana as a mother and as a charity worker, and they could have spoken of their love for her, their grief and how they wnantted to continue with her work for people in need but they seem to have gone into sadnesses that are best left in the past..and left it open to others to bring up old issues that wold probably be best left behind for many more years.
The documentary was done as a tribute to their mother. William and Harry did not bring up old upsets or quarrels in the documentary at all. Saying they still mourn their mother and miss her cannot (and should not) be left in the past.

Other people with their own agendas are bringing up old issues...and those same people would have been doing it at this time anyway.
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  #479  
Old 07-27-2017, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cepe View Post



There are more and more negative articles being written in the UK.

.
Could you elaborate on that? I am in the US and don't have access to those articles. I often wonder how things like those interviews are perceived in the UK compared to how they are in the US.
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  #480  
Old 07-27-2017, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cepe View Post
Dman, You are tweeting as an American, talking about how this all looks in America.

I'm not - I read 90% of British press, listen to British radio and watch British news.

Its not all good news for the monarchy. I'm not talking about it disappearing tomorrow or even in the next 5 years. I'm talking about it being undermined.
I have started reading books on certain members of the British Royal Family. I have read about the Queen Mother, Diana, and am just about done with Ziegler's book on King Edward VIII. I have learned a lot about the way things used to be, and I wish things could go back a little to how they were when the Royal Family maintained a little more mystery about themselves. They are turning themselves into celebrities in many ways.
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