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  #1  
Old 07-24-2007, 05:20 PM
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Social Norms: Diana and staff

i'm sure someone out there could answer this.

some of you may recall the story about Diana being set straight about popping into the kitchen (at BP prior to the wedding and i believe it happened again on Brittanica although i could be wrong about the that one)and being told that it wasn't appropriate.

would something like this actually happen(telling her it was inappropriate)? i would think that the average person would be thrilled that a future princess/queen would take the time to come and meet people that run the household.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:24 PM
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As I understand it, a one-time pop-in to meet & greet was fine.

Unexpected frequent appearances made the staff feel uncomfortable.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by selrahc4 View Post
As I understand it, a one-time pop-in to meet & greet was fine.

Unexpected frequent appearances made the staff feel uncomfortable.
i suppose at first you'd be nervous, but given time i'd think they grow to be more comfortable with it. perhaps not happy...but more comfortable.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:54 PM
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Really? Hmm...thinking over it, yes, I can see where it would make them feel uncomfortable. Did she really? I mean, pop in and out of the kitchen just to meet with staff??? Had never heard of that.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:09 PM
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Really? Hmm...thinking over it, yes, I can see where it would make them feel uncomfortable. Did she really? I mean, pop in and out of the kitchen just to meet with staff??? Had never heard of that.
i can't remember exactly when it happened (either just before the wedding while she was living at BP or while on honeymoon aboard Britannica). whenever it was she was politely told that it inappropriate.
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:09 PM
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can anyone enlighten me as to the relationship between servant and master/mistress?
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Old 07-24-2007, 06:56 PM
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Did she really? I mean, pop in and out of the kitchen just to meet with staff??? Had never heard of that.
Yes, she did. I think it's in the Sarah Bradford's book, Diana. She was very lonely in BP and Charles was gone most of the time (don't get me wrong, I don't blame him for that). She was borred so she went to meet some of the staff. She often came after tea time and have a chat with a few people there. One person (refered as : "A senior member of the Queen's mother household") wasn't okay with the idea and she had heard about it. One day he came into the kitchen where she was and she said (I have Sarah's book beside me so ) : "You don't approve me being here, do you ?"
"No, Your Royal Highness, I don't. Not at all. This is servants' quarters, you should be in the saloon learning your crafts."

(From Sarah Bradford's book, Diana, all rights reserved lol. Don't want any problems with the law )

I don't think it was an enormous problem that Diana (who wasn't, by the way, already princess) had a little chat with the staff which continued to do the job properly so why being fussy about it ?!
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:01 AM
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Apart from anything else, it stops the staff from doing what they are supposed to be doing, it can really delay them and of course it will be the staff that get into trouble when they are late.

It is always wise to keep a distance, however small, between you and your staff. IMO. They would look on you differently, if you are too familiar, how can you respect your employer if you have seen them 'mucking' about in the kitchen or listened to them being indiscreet about others in the household?
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:21 AM
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I think Stephen Barry mentioned in his book Royal Service that on her honeymoon on the Britannia Diana had the habit of going below decks to the servants quarters and the crew begged her not to bring Charles because if Charles were around, they would have to act formal and on their best behavior.

I don't remember if Barry mentioned anyone disapproving of Diana's actions though I would imagine their bosses might be concerned just for the sake of appearances about the crew spending that much time with Diana by herself on her honeymoon. Other than that the only objection I can see if they feared that the crew would get so comfortable being informal around Diana in private that they would forget and act the same way towards her in public.

However, when Sarah Barnes was Diana's children's nanny, one of the reasons stated for her departure was that Barnes was used to being treated as a family friend at her former family and felt uncomfortable that Diana treated her as a servant.

So its hard to know what to believe.
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Old 07-25-2007, 07:48 AM
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I think Stephen Barry mentioned in his book Royal Service that on her honeymoon on the Britannia Diana had the habit of going below decks to the servants quarters and the crew begged her not to bring Charles because if Charles were around, they would have to act formal and on their best behavior.
You do have to wonder where Charles was during all these visits to the servants quarters on board, most honeymoon couples are hard to part. I would say I have not read Barry's book.
Quote:
I don't remember if Barry mentioned anyone disapproving of Diana's actions though I would imagine their bosses might be concerned just for the sake of appearances about the crew spending that much time with Diana by herself on her honeymoon. Other than that the only objection I can see if they feared that the crew would get so comfortable being informal around Diana in private that they would forget and act the same way towards her in public.
The main worry would be if there was an emergency and as you say appearances.
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However, when Sarah Barnes was Diana's children's nanny, one of the reasons stated for her departure was that Barnes was used to being treated as a family friend at her former family and felt uncomfortable that Diana treated her as a servant.
Back to the point I made in the Chronicles thread.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:10 AM
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You do have to wonder where Charles was during all these visits to the servents quarters on board
Perhaps reading some van der Post books
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:15 AM
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at least he read books

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Perhaps reading some van der Post books
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:20 AM
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at least he read books
Could have take a break on his honeymoon don't you think ?

(just kidding )
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:16 PM
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Apart from anything else, it stops the staff from doing what they are supposed to be doing, it can really delay them and of course it will be the staff that get into trouble when they are late.

It is always wise to keep a distance, however small, between you and your staff. IMO. They would look on you differently, if you are too familiar, how can you respect your employer if you have seen them 'mucking' about in the kitchen or listened to them being indiscreet about others in the household?
of course...i hadn't thought of those things. thanks for the input.
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Old 07-25-2007, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
I think Stephen Barry mentioned in his book Royal Service that on her honeymoon on the Britannia Diana had the habit of going below decks to the servants quarters and the crew begged her not to bring Charles because if Charles were around, they would have to act formal and on their best behavior.

I don't remember if Barry mentioned anyone disapproving of Diana's actions though I would imagine their bosses might be concerned just for the sake of appearances about the crew spending that much time with Diana by herself on her honeymoon. Other than that the only objection I can see if they feared that the crew would get so comfortable being informal around Diana in private that they would forget and act the same way towards her in public.

However, when Sarah Barnes was Diana's children's nanny, one of the reasons stated for her departure was that Barnes was used to being treated as a family friend at her former family and felt uncomfortable that Diana treated her as a servant.

So its hard to know what to believe.
that's it...it was the Barry book. thanks.
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Old 12-08-2007, 03:51 PM
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It's rather like the Government and the Civil Service. Both know that the other one exists but that doesn't mean they ever want to meet or exchange ideas for the better.
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Old 12-08-2007, 04:30 PM
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This is sort of on topic I guess....... I know a guy who was in the household cavalry in the late 90s and he was an equerry to the Duke of Gloucester. But he and Lady Davina kind of...... dated I guess, and the Duke and Duchess didn't like it because it was crossing a line between professional and personal, so he was dismissed. But the relationship with Davina didn't survive the ordeal. But apparently he still left on reasonably good terms, and holds the highest respect for the Gloucesters. He just calls it "not seeing exactly eye to eye" with them. He talks fondly of his experience, brief as it was. He had a room in KP overlooking Princess Margaret's garden, and he knew Paul Burrell, haha.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:14 AM
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-I can count three servants who waited on Diana who wrote books....Stephen Barry (valet to HRH Prince Charles), Wendy Berry (domestic staff at Highrove, her son worked at Buckingham Palace) and Paul Burrell. I guess I could include Patrick Jephson on that list too.

Then there were the massive number of staff who either left of were dismissed during the Diana years....
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:01 AM
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-I can count three servants who waited on Diana who wrote books....Stephen Barry (valet to HRH Prince Charles), Wendy Berry (domestic staff at Highrove, her son worked at Buckingham Palace) and Paul Burrell. I guess I could include Patrick Jephson on that list too.

Then there were the massive number of staff who either left of were dismissed during the Diana years....
Didn't that "lady clerk" work during the Diana-years as well?
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:46 PM
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Prince William and Harry's grief for their nanny Olga Powell after she died of heart attack aged 82 - Mirror Online
Princes William and Harry mourn the loss of their Nanny | Darren McGrady : The Royal Chef
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