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  #321  
Old 10-21-2008, 03:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
One facet that stands out among all the others is that Diana was a very loving mother. You can just see the sheer joy in her eyes in the photos of her with her sons. I think that after the difficult relationship she and her siblings had with her mother, who in turn did not have the best relationship with her own mother, Diana seemed determined to be the best mother that she could be to her own children and it showed. For all of her other strengths and weaknesses, this is the one aspect of her personality that impressed me.
It is strange how each of us can view a particular facet of Diana's life and "see" the complete opposite of each other.

For me, Diana's worst traits came to the fore in her behavior toward her children, who, when they were young, gave her all the unconditional love anyone could ask for. It's when they got a little older that things got a little more tricky.

I well remember the photo of Diana arriving back on board Britannia with her arms outstretched to her boys. She knew the cameras were all madly snapping away and it didn't really matter because the actions of all would have been just the same if they had happened away from the world.

But, and it is a big but, Diana was not above using or manipulating them to suit herself.

She insisted they be treated as ordinary children at ordinary schools (or at least as ordinary as it gets at Eaton) and yet, within weeks of having metaphotically turfed William out into harsh "real life", she followed it up with the most embarassing and hurtful Panorama programme that must have caused him a lot of pain and shame. Kids are cruel at school and he must have had his share of tears.

Polo. Both William and Harry play exceptionably well, and we could be forgiven for thinking that they had played it all their life. They didn't as Diana wouldn't allow it. Whether it was because she would have been obliged to attend their games when she hated it or, because she would have had to mix with the "country" set as opposed to the sophisticated London set which she far preferred is anyones guess. To me it was selfish to deny her sons their heritage.

Shooting/hunting. Ditto.

All in all it had more to do with Diana's preference than the boys love of sports. So we had Carribbean holidays in the sun and Skiing with the trendy set in winter. The boys mostly missed out on what their school contemporys were doing . . . . polo, hunting, shooting, fishing with a little international skiing to round out their education.

That last holiday on Dodi's yacht must have been really awful for them. Cruising with your mother's latest lover is not the sort of holiday that young boys dream of. I though Diana would have taken a lesson from her own childhood and done a lot better by her boys.
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  #322  
Old 10-21-2008, 03:48 AM
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Yes, but it's only those things that are beyond the pale; it doesn't mean that she had no good points at all. In terms of the way she and Charles used the press, she was a lot more cruel and ruthless. However, it's a bad misuse of inductive reasoning to say "this aspect of her personality was bad and therefore she was bad through and through, and she had no good qualities at all and never did anything good." You can acknowledge that she genuinely cared about children, old people, and little furry animals even though her dealings with Charles, Camilla, and the press left a lot to be desired. You can even acknowledge that she had some genuine reasons to feel aggrieved while saying that her methods of addressing those grievances were largely deplorable.

The thing that's really getting to a lot of people is that some members have decided that certain aspects of Diana's behaviour were deplorable (and the exact same thing goes for the people who feel this way about Charles and Camilla) and that therefore everything positive that's written about her must be challenged. Doesn't matter if it's in a thread in the Diana forum about whether she looked better in pink or purple, the Diana detractors have to show up and say she looked ghastly in both colours. Doesn't matter if it's a post in a current-events thread about Camilla visiting a riding school, some Diana fan has to show up to make a completely irrelevant joke about Camilla looking like a horse. I've sat here amazed sometimes by the lengths some people will go, and the mental contortions they'll put themselves through, to argue that Diana (or Charles/Camilla) has no good points whatever and it doesn't matter how many times you say "but she was so good with children" they're going to sit here and say NO SHE WASN'T!!!! until you give up and go away because they can't allow a single positive comment to go unchallenged regardless of what it's about.

And sometimes it looks to me (and I'm not the only one who's noticed it) that some of this is being done deliberately, again by fans of both sides. There are things being written that appear to have no other purpose than to set off the fans on the other side and then sit back and have a good snigger while watching them boil over. As if the genuine fighting wasn't bad enough, it's adding insult to injury for us to be having to deal with deliberate needling.

This is really damaging the forum - all the moderators have received complaints, often from people who don't have a dog in the Diana-Camilla fight, that they're fed up to the back teeth of pages of battles to the death over comparatively minor topics because one side can't admit that Diana (or Camilla) had any good points and the other side can't admit that she had any bad points. It's completely idiotic, and it doesn't say much for the common sense of the people who are fighting like this.
And this is surely one of the reasons why you are an administrator!!! Amen, E...
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  #323  
Old 10-21-2008, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
And sometimes it looks to me (and I'm not the only one who's noticed it) that some of this is being done deliberately, again by fans of both sides.
Coming from an administrator, I object to this sort of accusation. First in this thread the seemingly personal accusations from a moderator, then the personal comments from another poster were allowed, with not a murmer. The conversation was to me, going great guns and to some extent I was begining to understand, then suddenly the swoop. You apparently see the quest for information as deliberate needling.
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  #324  
Old 10-21-2008, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
Coming from an administrator, I object to this sort of accusation. First in this thread the seemingly personal accusations from a moderator, then the personal comments from another poster were allowed, with not a murmer.
We've been trying to let people express their opinions and feelings in the hopes of maybe coming to some sort of resolution, so in this thread we've left posts that we might not always leave. In the Sources thread, where the conversation is also going on, I deleted several posts by another moderator yesterday after a discussion turned personal in the heat of the moment.

Quote:
The conversation was to me, going great guns and to some extent I was begining to understand, then suddenly the swoop. You apparently see the quest for information as deliberate needling.
No, I don't. I hope I'm not that lacking in understanding. What I'm saying is that sometimes there are posts which seem to have no purpose other than to throw fuel on the flames. I'm not talking about the "now hang on a minute, exactly where is Charles supposed to have said that?" followed by "well, if Richard Kay is the source, you'll have to excuse me for not being impressed" followed by "so he got it from Morton's book, but is there any evidence that doesn't come from a Diana partisan?" sort of request for information. I'm talking more about the sorts of comments where Charles is being praised in the current-events or charity thread for something like his work with organic farmers or disadvantaged youths, and someone shows up with an off-topic and quite irrelevant comment along the lines of "what a pity he never showed a tenth of that interest in his first wife," or where Camilla's work with her regiments or charities is being discussed and someone lobs a grenade along the lines of "finally we have a Princess of Wales who isn't a total waste of space." I mean, you can just imagine what the result of those comments will be if the mods don't get to them first.
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  #325  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MARG View Post
It is strange how each of us can view a particular facet of Diana's life and "see" the complete opposite of each other.

For me, Diana's worst traits came to the fore in her behavior toward her children, who, when they were young, gave her all the unconditional love anyone could ask for. It's when they got a little older that things got a little more tricky.

I well remember the photo of Diana arriving back on board Britannia with her arms outstretched to her boys. She knew the cameras were all madly snapping away and it didn't really matter because the actions of all would have been just the same if they had happened away from the world.

But, and it is a big but, Diana was not above using or manipulating them to suit herself.

She insisted they be treated as ordinary children at ordinary schools (or at least as ordinary as it gets at Eaton) and yet, within weeks of having metaphotically turfed William out into harsh "real life", she followed it up with the most embarassing and hurtful Panorama programme that must have caused him a lot of pain and shame. Kids are cruel at school and he must have had his share of tears.
I have to disagree with you. Because of the very unique situation the Wales family has always found themselves in, I don't believe that we, as private citizens, can always truly grasp the intent and circumstances that they have had to deal with. However, with the enormous amount of divorces that occur everywhere everyday, I think it is reasonable to say that the children are always the losers in these situations no matter what their parents do.

I can't fault Diana for insisting that her sons be treated as "ordinary" at school. IMO, it would have been much harder on them in the long run to put on airs in an environment full of other privileged young men. Being treated as precious and not required to abide by the same rules as their peers would have won them no favors. As far as the Panorama interview goes, I certainly would have preferred it had she never given it but, that being said, the boys being at school may have actually have been the safer place for them during this time. Their friends at school were mostly the sons of members of their parents inner circle and would have already known about the goings on long before, unlike the rest of us as members of the public. I would also be willing to wager that some of them had already found themselves in the middle of the messy divorces of their own parents. Kids can certainly be cruel if not over this, then some other thing certainly if the children in question were so inclined to be cruel towards them in the first place.

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Originally Posted by MARG View Post
Polo. Both William and Harry play exceptionably well, and we could be forgiven for thinking that they had played it all their life. They didn't as Diana wouldn't allow it. Whether it was because she would have been obliged to attend their games when she hated it or, because she would have had to mix with the "country" set as opposed to the sophisticated London set which she far preferred is anyones guess. To me it was selfish to deny her sons their heritage.

Shooting/hunting. Ditto.

All in all it had more to do with Diana's preference than the boys love of sports. So we had Carribbean holidays in the sun and Skiing with the trendy set in winter. The boys mostly missed out on what their school contemporys were doing . . . . polo, hunting, shooting, fishing with a little international skiing to round out their education.
I think it is a little extreme to say that Diana "denied her sons their heritage" because she did not allow them to play polo, if that is even truly what happened. It may have been more a case of being fearful of her sons being on horseback than the boredom of the games. You may remember that she was thrown as a child. Ditto for the shooting/hunting. In my family of hunters, the boys (and girls) are not given their first guns until they are sixteen.

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Originally Posted by MARG View Post
That last holiday on Dodi's yacht must have been really awful for them. Cruising with your mother's latest lover is not the sort of holiday that young boys dream of. I though Diana would have taken a lesson from her own childhood and done a lot better by her boys.
Aside from what the tabloids have said, we don't really know if they enjoyed this holiday or not. As I mentioned earlier, divorce is always hardest on the children and I think you would be hard pressed to find children who do not spend time with one of their parents and the new person in their lives. It is a bit naive, IMO to think that they would be always shielded from the man in Diana's life. As she only had them during holidays and not regular Mondays through Fridays, that would most certainly include vacation time.
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  #326  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
---snipped---- I'm talking more about the sorts of comments where Charles is being praised in the current-events or charity thread for something like his work with organic farmers or disadvantaged youths, and someone shows up with an off-topic and quite irrelevant comment along the lines of "what a pity he never showed a tenth of that interest in his first wife," or where Camilla's work with her regiments or charities is being discussed and someone lobs a grenade along the lines of "finally we have a Princess of Wales who isn't a total waste of space." I mean, you can just imagine what the result of those comments will be if the mods don't get to them first.
Well, at least I can't be accused of comments like those! For the record, I don't believe Diana was a total waste of space now. She did bring a lot of much needed attention to a host of charities. My dislike of her as a person are for personal reasons and have very little to do with the C/C/D saga.
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  #327  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
I can't fault Diana for insisting that her sons be treated as "ordinary" at school. IMO, it would have been much harder on them in the long run to put on airs in an environment full of other privileged young men. Being treated as precious and not required to abide by the same rules as their peers would have won them no favors. As far as the Panorama interview goes, I certainly would have preferred it had she never given it but, that being said, the boys being at school may have actually have been the safer place for them during this time. Their friends at school were mostly the sons of members of their parents inner circle
Some perhaps, but by no means all. It is one thing to be teased because your parents have/are divorcing, as you say it is the norm but to have your mother appear on the BBC to inform the world how awful everyone was, must have been absolutely humiliating. I can't imagine the terrible distress that must have caused them. If you want your sons to be respected as members of the RF, you can't pretend they are normal rich kids, that is probably why so many in the UK are looking at becoming a republic.
Quote:
I think it is a little extreme to say that Diana "denied her sons their heritage" because she did not allow them to play polo, if that is even truly what happened. It may have been more a case of being fearful of her sons being on horseback than the boredom of the games. You may remember that she was thrown as a child. Ditto for the shooting/hunting. In my family of hunters, the boys (and girls) are not given their first guns until they are sixteen.
I was fearful of many of the things my children engaged in, but as a parent you just take a deep breath. 16 is pretty late to be given your first gun IMO, 9 is the accepted age here.
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  #328  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:53 PM
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Frankly, I don't think that anyone should be given a gun before they are too old to effectively hold the damn thing, thus negating the issue in the first place. But barring that, I think that it's ridiculous that a person would give a gun to someone who is too young to vote, drink, have a drivers license or be the military, whatever the family tradition is.
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  #329  
Old 10-21-2008, 12:59 PM
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That is just my point though, Skydragon. Diana made decisions for her children as she thought best, like most parents do. Perhaps 9 is an accepted age for you and your friends, but that does not make it accepted for Diana or a host of other people. It doesn't mean that you are wrong, or she was wrong, just that parents decide what they want for their own children and what is "accepted" does not necessarily have to apply. You would be hard pressed to convince me that Diana was not a loving mother because she did not allow her sons to participate in certain sports.

We are also never going to come to a satisfactory understanding about the effects of the interview. As I have already admitted that it was not the best decision she had ever made, it does not lessen my opinion that she was a loving mother. She was not perfect. Neither am I, nor are you.
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  #330  
Old 10-21-2008, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Empress View Post
Frankly, I don't think that anyone should be given a gun before they are too old to effectively hold the damn thing, thus negating the issue in the first place. But barring that, I think that it's ridiculous that a person would give a gun to someone who is too young to vote, drink, have a drivers license or be the military, whatever the family tradition is.
I should have said, the gun is sized down and I am talking mainly about shotguns for country shooting. If you teach and supervise the children, they normally have a better respect for it. Here it is illegal to have your guns, any guns in anything other than a government approved cabinet. These cabinets are normally checked by the police for security and althought they might not stop the criminal from getting hold of them, they certainly stop unsupervised youngsters. Your reasoning would be strange to many, as England and Scotland have different age limits for drinking and smoking and in the near future possibly voting. They can of course sign up to the British army at 16/17, they just won't be sent to fight. Cadets in all of the arms enjoy many a week learning to handle and fire a gun.
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  #331  
Old 10-21-2008, 01:09 PM
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I still don't think an immature (not in the attitude sense, but the growth sense) child should have a gun, even for sporting purposes. Voting, drinking and military acceptance ages aside, these children simply do not have the maturity level to understand the ramifications of a gun, no matter how much training they are given. Children should be playing with toys, not a lethal weapon.
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  #332  
Old 10-21-2008, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by kimebear View Post
---snipped---You would be hard pressed to convince me that Diana was not a loving mother because she did not allow her sons to participate in certain sports.
You would find it hard to convince me also as I don't believe allowing or disallowing has any bearing on being a loving parent. Diana was terrified of horses, the further away you kept them the better, which would have made it hard for the boys playing Polo, but it was a passion of their fathers and for that reason alone, she should have come to an understanding, IMO. She was brought up around shooting, so I can't quite see the problem there, but I am not Diana.
Quote:
We are also never going to come to a satisfactory understanding about the effects of the interview. As I have already admitted that it was not the best decision she had ever made, it does not lessen my opinion that she was a loving mother. She was not perfect. Neither am I, nor are you.
I too believe she loved the boys, but having been to boarding school, when the interview was aired, I wanted to get them and wrap them in cotton wool, away from the taunts. I don't know what it is about boarding school that makes some pupils so vicious!
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  #333  
Old 10-21-2008, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Empress View Post
I still don't think an immature (not in the attitude sense, but the growth sense) child should have a gun, even for sporting purposes. Voting, drinking and military acceptance ages aside, these children simply do not have the maturity level to understand the ramifications of a gun, no matter how much training they are given. Children should be playing with toys, not a lethal weapon.
We will, I hope, agree to disagree.
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  #334  
Old 10-21-2008, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Skydragon View Post
....Diana was terrified of horses, the further away you kept them the better, which would have made it hard for the boys playing Polo, but it was a passion of their fathers and for that reason alone, she should have come to an understanding, IMO....I don't know what it is about boarding school that makes some pupils so vicious!
Ah, in a perfect world. I can sympathize with the problem though. I love horror movies, which my husband can't stand and he loves to ride motorcycles which scare me to death. It remains to be seen which of these, if either, our children will be allowed to enjoy early on. I don't know how parents can bear to send their children away to school in the first place. Don't get me wrong. I'm not passing judgment. Charles and Diana sent their sons away to school although, by their own admissions, neither particularly cared for it. Personally, I'm a homeschool advocate, so I'm the last to cast stones for education preferences.
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  #335  
Old 10-21-2008, 02:20 PM
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I think that it's expected in Britain that people of "a certain standing" send the children to boarding school. That's where the children make early connections among their own peer group, which are useful later in their social and professional lives.

Of course, IMO this limits them from meeting other children from different backgrounds -- but I think most children's friends come from backgrounds similar to their own (hence, William and Harry are friends with the Van Cutsem children and not the children of "Joe the Plumber).

Of course, I'd prefer to keep my children at home, but then again I'm not a royal going on lengthy tours or a jetsetter.
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  #336  
Old 10-21-2008, 03:08 PM
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Prince Charles greeted the Princes warmly on that occasion as well, but those particular pictures were never printed at the time. I don't think that Diana had that much control over the press that she had them not print the pictures of her husband greeting his sons.

Another point is that I don't think that Dodi and Diana were an "item" during the holiday with the children. That seemed to be much more a family holiday and not a romantic cruise.
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  #337  
Old 10-21-2008, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by iowabelle View Post
I think that it's expected in Britain that people of "a certain standing" send the children to boarding school. That's where the children make early connections among their own peer group, which are useful later in their social and professional lives.

Of course, IMO this limits them from meeting other children from different backgrounds -- but I think most children's friends come from backgrounds similar to their own (hence, William and Harry are friends with the Van Cutsem children and not the children of "Joe the Plumber).

Of course, I'd prefer to keep my children at home, but then again I'm not a royal going on lengthy tours or a jetsetter.
Yes indeed, it is expected that they go to boarding school, not just for the connections, the teaching standards are higher and after school opportunities are better. Children who have been privately educated at recognised schools, are far more likely to get into the top universities.

It's a great pity that we can't go back to the children being taught at home, I remember crying my heart out on the way back from dropping them off. Heaven forbid that I embarrass them though!
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  #338  
Old 10-22-2008, 03:57 AM
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You would be hard pressed to convince me that Diana was not a loving mother because she did not allow her sons to participate in certain sports.
No, you missed my point there. Few would dispute that Diana loved her children. It was just always on her terms.

Prior to her marriage Diana frequented the Polo "set" along with her peers but, after her marriage she seemed to become allergic to all things "country", especially polo. When the boys were old enough she was disinclined to "put herself out" to allow them to join their family and friends in such pursuits.

Prince Charles moved in that set, and so did members of their extended family so, to me it seems that the "country" image she projected was just that. And, having caught her man, she promptly opted out of those pursuits.

If she was indeed worried that they might be injured she would just have to have bitten the bullet like almost every other mum. Games have rules and that is how we learn our personal parameters. Much as we may want to wrap those we love in cotton wool, it is not in their best interests.

She did not have to watch if she didn't want to. Hells teeth, I provided my youngest brother with a small fortune in Hockey sticks which, as he was playing in the Senior Mens team at 14, often came off the field as kindling. Not surprisingly I was sometimes I little less than enthusiastic about being a spectator. But, that did not make his mother and female relatives any the less supportive of him in the sport in which he learned to excel.
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  #339  
Old 10-22-2008, 10:07 AM
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Yes indeed, it is expected that they go to boarding school, not just for the connections, the teaching standards are higher and after school opportunities are better. Children who have been privately educated at recognised schools, are far more likely to get into the top universities.
Is boarding school still the only way to get a top degree? I thought 'normal' schools, where you go there the day and back home at night, were getting almost as good. Can someone explain me what is the difference between public and private schools in the UK? I've searched and both of them are defined as schools for which you must pay fees.
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  #340  
Old 10-22-2008, 10:15 AM
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We'll have to agree to disagree MARG. Not all parents are willing to "suck it up" when it comes to allowing their children to do things that they, themselves, are scared of.

As far as leaving the polo scene after marriage, it could just boil down to her being married and becoming her own person. For all we know, she never liked polo and outdoor sports. She attended because she was expected to, because that is what young ladies of her station did. Once given the liberty of deciding for herself, maybe she just didn't want to be around the horses and guns anymore and didn't want her children around them either.

I could play devil's advocate until I am blue in the face, but in the end, if one is inclined to see her in a negative light, that's all there is to it.
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