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  #381  
Old 03-10-2008, 12:15 AM
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True. I read the one today about how Camilla was "lazy" and skipping functions on their current trip. When you read between the lines all I could really see them proving was (a) its warm in the islands, (b) a 60 year old woman can get tired and (c) it takes a woman longer to get ready for a formal event than it does a man.

Real geniuses they are at the DM!
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:24 AM
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The sad part is that we even discuss this today. She is dead, he is happy, so what's the difference?
The difference is that the monarchy isn't as stable today as it used to be. He may be happy personally, but Diana thought she could manipulate the press skillfully enough to attack Charles without damaging the monarchy, and she couldn't. That might not mean as much to you as the personal side of things, but it means a great deal to a lot of British, Australian, Canadian, and other people who live with this monarchy.
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  #383  
Old 03-10-2008, 12:36 AM
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Isn't it as stable? I'd say it is. The hysteria passed, we're back to normal. Or as normal as the British can get.
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  #384  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:05 AM
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Well I thought kimebear brought up a good point when she said she felt sympathy for Diana as a wife but she felt disgusted at what was being done to the institution. It is conceivable that Charles and Camilla could make themselves very sympathetic to the public but by the very same actions convince the public that they are not right for the throne.

Actually I think Diana somewhat realized this even as she did the Panorama interview. She actually said she would never be Queen of this country. It was as if she knew that despite making a sympathetic portrayal of herself as a person, doing the Panorama interview would kill her ability to represent Britain as a nation as their Queen because Queens just don't do those types of interviews.

So Charles and Camilla must walk a very thin line; they need to make themselves as people more sympathetic to the general public but they can't do it in such a way that would make people think they are unsuitable to represent Great Britain as the country's monarchs.
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  #385  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:16 AM
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That's exactly it, ysbel. There are probably a fair number of people who favor Diana's memory right now because Camilla has not made enough of a positive personal impact on them. She could well manage that with a steady-as-she-goes approach. Unfortunately, I don't think last years memorial service fiasco helped matters any. Not really well thought out or executed by the advisors IMHO.
  #386  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:53 AM
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Isn't it as stable? I'd say it is. The hysteria passed, we're back to normal. Or as normal as the British can get.
No, I don't think it is. When you saw how easily the Mail managed to tap into a reservoir of anti-Charles and anti-Camilla feeling and turn it into a deluge at the time of the Diana memorial concert, I don't think it bodes well for the future of the monarchy. Especially when people in Australia are saying that they'll wait with the republic till the end of this reign but they don't want Charles.

When you see TV snippets of Camilla doing her royal rounds, she seems to come across as very warm, natural, and basically nice. It's sort of a Duchess of Windsor effect - people expect her to be some sort of monster because that's all they've learned about her in their reading, and they're surprised when they meet her to find that she isn't. In that case, the royal advisors should be trying to give Camilla more public exposure, and even if she doesn't like it, she should be getting out more among the people and giving speeches every so often.
  #387  
Old 03-10-2008, 02:16 AM
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Isn't it as stable? I'd say it is. The hysteria passed, we're back to normal. Or as normal as the British can get.
IMO I agree with Elspeth. Compare a pre-Diana and a pre Rupert Murdoch press Monarchy with today's, I'll grant you the times were different, but the difference is noticeable. Diana and the Murdoch press changed how people viewed the Royals and unfortunately that damage can't be undone.
  #388  
Old 03-10-2008, 02:54 AM
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No, I don't think it is. When you saw how easily the Mail managed to tap into a reservoir of anti-Charles and anti-Camilla feeling and turn it into a deluge at the time of the Diana memorial concert, I don't think it bodes well for the future of the monarchy. Especially when people in Australia are saying that they'll wait with the republic till the end of this reign but they don't want Charles.

When you see TV snippets of Camilla doing her royal rounds, she seems to come across as very warm, natural, and basically nice. It's sort of a Duchess of Windsor effect - people expect her to be some sort of monster because that's all they've learned about her in their reading, and they're surprised when they meet her to find that she isn't. In that case, the royal advisors should be trying to give Camilla more public exposure, and even if she doesn't like it, she should be getting out more among the people and giving speeches every so often.
But the Daily Mail is a comic. It isn't reflective of the British public or we'd be a fascist dictatorship by now.
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  #389  
Old 03-10-2008, 03:25 AM
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It's reflective enough that Camilla had to back down from going to that service because of the depth of public feeling it managed to generate. Don't underestimate the power of the popular press to influence the populace.
  #390  
Old 03-10-2008, 05:32 AM
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I've noticed that too.
Here's a question. How long was it, after marrying Diana, before Charles started seeing Camilla again?
Depends on what you call "seeing again". Due to Diana's discomfort with his old circle of friends, he seem to have cut most of them out of his life for a while, including the Parker Bowleses. But at a later point, when his marriage really hit the rocks, he turned back to them for comfort. Probably including Camilla. That was after Harry's birth when already rumours were out that Diana looked for comfort elsewhere, too. It seems that at one point after Harry's birth, Charles and Diana started having each their own circle of friends and all else followed from that, IMHO. It stated like that in both the Dimbleby-book (with Charles' cooperation) and the Morton-book (Diana's side) so I guess that's what really happened.
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  #391  
Old 03-10-2008, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
What are some other ways that Charles and Camilla can neutralize some of the damage that Diana caused to their public reputations (and no I don't mean abdicate from the throne )
Ignore them and show the people two people in love doingt heir duty together for the people they care for and feel responisble for. And let historians deal with their image in the afterlife.
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  #392  
Old 03-10-2008, 06:11 AM
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It's reflective enough that Camilla had to back down from going to that service because of the depth of public feeling it managed to generate. Don't underestimate the power of the popular press to influence the populace.
I believe the way the media writes about Charles and Camilla will change the moment he becomes king. The media dares to make fun of a pronce and heir, they won't do that to His Majesty the King and his wedded wife, be she known as Princess Consort or Queen then. I don't even think it is in reality such a personal thing, it's more that like in Soap Operas fixed position must be filled and that the Royals are sort of audition material to be written into the position they have the most potential. OKay, the soap opera's storybook changed when Diana came on the scene - she was casted as the wonderful next queen at first (like Alexandra or May before her) - beautiful and untouchable, then she was slandered a bit for her money spending habits, ok, but still she stayed a girl right out of a Mills & Boon-novel till the Morton-book came out and she herself had rewritten the storyline of the part: The Heir and his wife. But none-the-less the storyline of The Matriarch/Patriarch does a good job runs sucessfully and runs and runs, no matter what the storylines of second son ("The Nuisance and his much too common wife"), the daughter ("She would have made a great man, but, alas, she's a girl") and the third son (THe Incapable Bore, but has a nice wife he loves, at least that!") plus the other minor roles, ähmmm, minor Royal relatives... It's the Forsyth-Saga all over with as much of Upstairs, Downstairs thrown into the mix.

But once "The Heir" becomes "The Patriarch" of the soap opera, his characterization will change immediately and his wife will no longer be the witch of the play, but "The Supporter at the Heart of the Family". I bet it'll happen that way.
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  #393  
Old 03-10-2008, 06:22 AM
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Ignore them and show the people two people in love doingt heir duty together for the people they care for and feel responisble for. And let historians deal with their image in the afterlife.
I hate to say it, Jo but as much as I'd like to believe you, ignoring them is precisely what Charles did when Diana first began to wield her devastating hate campaign and as kimebear so wisely noted, their silence made them appear as the aggressors. Just ignoring your enemies in this situation gives them a wide berth to paint whatever picture they want of you and you are left appearing like the fools or the ogres that your enemies paint you as being.

I'm not convinced that Charles and Camilla just showing the world how much they love each other is going to change anything. People already see how much Charles and Camilla love each other and the fact that they should have been together, but it doesn't make a difference to them. COUNTESS sees their love, knows that they were always meant to be together but this simple fact rather makes her more compassionate to them actually hardens her heart against them and makes it easier for her to cast off names like witch and ogre to describe them. I suspect that a lot of people are like COUNTESS and they aren't impressed by the fact that Charles and Camilla are truly in love.

The fact that Charles really loves Camilla probably makes them despise him even more because it makes it clearer that he could not love Diana.
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  #394  
Old 03-10-2008, 07:35 AM
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We should all thank Fayed, by making his allegations and demanding a full, if prolonged inquest, some of Diana's affairs were confirmed to the general public and that will help change peoples perception of Diana the victim. Some of those that dismissed her affairs and put all the blame on Camilla have been able to see how manipulative she was and how she treated her friends. I even heard one staunch Diana supporter saying 'if she treated Charles like that, I'm surprised he stayed with her so long'.

Meanwhile the younger ones, who now have children at school, can see how devastating the Morton book would have been to William and Harry, bad enough when mummy & daddy separate, but to write about it for the whole world to read, is abhorant. How could she have done that to the children she said she loved.

Camilla on the other hand has been seen to try to protect her children and that does earn her points with many people.

The only way Camilla can change some people's opinions, would be to do a Diana and start telling tales, projecting the 'I'm a victim' to the likes of Kay or she can just do as she is doing, continue to retain a regal and dignified silence. Lets not forget also, that Diana was not popular with everyone in the UK and putting it bluntly, it doesn't really matter what those in the US think of our future Queen Consort.
  #395  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:05 AM
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Well al Fayed succeeded in hurting Diana's reputation with the masses but I think that Diana's reputation as a victim couldn't hold for long for the majority of the public who didn't care about these things. I mean when she cultivated the types of friends that she did, James Hewitt, Simone, Paul Burrell, the al Fayed's and they continue to show their true character through their words and actions, it becomes much harder for the disinterested person to remain sympathetic to Diana who would consort and become friends with such sleazy characters. Its far easier for someone to cast her off as a crazy and a sort of Glenn Close in every man's worst nightmare the same way that COUNTESS cast off Charles as the ogre and Camilla as the witch.

But I don't think that trashing Diana in the minds of the general public is really going to mean that Charles and Camilla appear sympathetic by comparison. I think that most people's natural reaction is to throw their hands up and say the whole lot of them are screwed up and close the door on Diana, Charles, Camilla, the Queen, Andrew, Prince Philip, William, Harry, etc. It is possible to think both that Diana was a manipulative conniving psychotic nitwit and still think of Charles as the loser and the ogre and that Camilla was the ugly evil stepmother.

On a last note, I think that while non-British opinions don't matter as much as British opinions, for a future head of state and his wife they do matter somewhat since the monarch and his consort undertake some responsibilities of representing their country abroad.

I think the question boils down to how comfortable people are with Charles and Camilla representing Great Britain and the Commonwealth? Will they be seen as a detriment or an asset? This question can be answered by both Brits and non-Brits.
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  #396  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:29 AM
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I agree with anyone who thinks that the monarchy is less stable due to what happened and I see hard times ahead for a King Charles and Queen Camilla or whatever her title will be. If Charles & Diana had been a love match and great team until this day Britain would have the most stable monarchy we can imagine. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be and given Diana was unique in her impact on people Camilla cannot / does not want to / should not fill this gap. I don't have any objections towards her but she is not a people person who will make Charles sparkle and catch peoples' interest or imagination with a positive impact on the institution. They might be a happy couple in private and I like them and wish them well but they will certainly have a tough time as reigning couple ... at least until Wills will get married to a girl who brings along some of the qualities that made his late mother so special (and sorry, I am not talking about Kate).
  #397  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:36 AM
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I think the question boils down to how comfortable people are with Charles and Camilla representing Great Britain and the Commonwealth? Will they be seen as a detriment or an asset? This question can be answered by both Brits and non-Brits.
I wonder how many people are still interested in Heads of State? I wonder how many could name their own if he/she is not head of the government as well?

So I think that monarchs are still a rare breed and get much more public interest than any "common" Head of State. But I think it's a current trend to cut down on public expenses and thus monarchies will suffer, probably even more than other democracies.

Ceremonial functions and the people performing it need to give the people they are aiming at with their ceremonies something in return. It has to do with the subconcious value of rituals.

That's why I think the fact that Camilla does not attend as much events as Charles doing their trip is so important for some - because Royal visits are some sort of ritual. But while one can be unhappy about a performance at a certain ritual, it doesn't necessary mean that all rituals are not longer doing their magic charm. Once Camilla is anointed and crowned as Charles' queen, she, too, will be surrounded by that magic charm of rituals, ancient rituals transported into our modern world. The magical transformation will happen in the mind of most people - because she then will be a symbol for the fact that there are some securities in our ever-changing world. Thus I doubt that whatever Charles and Camilla are doing now, as long as they are not doing something to force Charles to give up his claim as the Heir to the Throne, will seriously endanger their future as king and queen of Britain.

And believe me, the media knows that and will act accordingly as soon as the "The Queen is dead! Long live the King!". Diana's death for example is IMHO proof of that: death makes people run for cover and look out for securities. But as no new beginning happened when Diana dies, they (represented by media, but at their own as well) stroke out against those who are responisble to offer this security, but couldn't and didn't.

What I find interesting is that the inquest and the media coverage of it, while it refocusses public interest of Diana, is not able to create that public interest that some people had hoped. The masses are over the fact that Di's dead, they look forward, not back. Which seem to surprise some media outlets.
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  #398  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:42 AM
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If Charles & Diana had been a love match and great team until this day Britain would have the most stable monarchy we can imagine. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be and given Diana was unique in her impact on people Camilla cannot / does not want to / should not fill this gap. I don't have any objections towards her but she is not a people person who will make Charles sparkle and catch peoples' interest or imagination with a positive impact on the institution. They might be a happy couple in private and I like them and wish them well but they will certainly have a tough time as reigning couple
Truly, I doubt people want a sparkling king. They want a reliable king, one to offer security in an unstable world.

Diana was so sucessful because she re-introduced medieval/supersticious methods into modern royality (being touched by her meant redemption or salvation for a lot of her fans). I wouldn't be surprised if Charles has its own way to reintroduce values aimed at the subconcious wish of his subjects to feel safe and well-guided once he is the one to put his mark on the way monarchy works.
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  #399  
Old 03-10-2008, 11:13 AM
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The difference is that the monarchy isn't as stable today as it used to be. He may be happy personally, but Diana thought she could manipulate the press skillfully enough to attack Charles without damaging the monarchy, and she couldn't. That might not mean as much to you as the personal side of things, but it means a great deal to a lot of British, Australian, Canadian, and other people who live with this monarchy.
I agree that, unfortunatelly, Diana has damaged monarchy by her interviews against Charles.
I used to dislike Camilla, considering her home wrecker. But I began to appreciate her after a while. She is very supportive to Charles, she lets him shine, what is very smart. There is no doubt her role is more difficult than Diana's. Many people hated Camilla, being the former misstress, not young not as attractive like Diana, blamed for divorce, it was difficult for Camilla. But she handled this very well. She is clever woman. I like her behavior during official trips, she is very dignified, knows her role. I consider her asset to British monarchy. The more I know her, the more I appreciate her.
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  #400  
Old 03-10-2008, 11:16 AM
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Well al Fayed succeeded in hurting Diana's reputation with the masses but I think that Diana's reputation as a victim couldn't hold for long for the majority of the public who didn't care about these things. I mean when she cultivated the types of friends that she did, James Hewitt, Simone, Paul Burrell, the al Fayed's and they continue to show their true character through their words and actions, it becomes much harder for the disinterested person to remain sympathetic to Diana who would consort and become friends with such sleazy characters. Its far easier for someone to cast her off as a crazy and a sort of Glenn Close in every man's worst nightmare the same way that COUNTESS cast off Charles as the ogre and Camilla as the witch.

But I don't think that trashing Diana in the minds of the general public is really going to mean that Charles and Camilla appear sympathetic by comparison. I think that most people's natural reaction is to throw their hands up and say the whole lot of them are screwed up and close the door on Diana, Charles, Camilla, the Queen, Andrew, Prince Philip, William, Harry, etc. It is possible to think both that Diana was a manipulative conniving psychotic nitwit and still think of Charles as the loser and the ogre and that Camilla was the ugly evil stepmother.

On a last note, I think that while non-British opinions don't matter as much as British opinions, for a future head of state and his wife they do matter somewhat since the monarch and his consort undertake some responsibilities of representing their country abroad.

I think the question boils down to how comfortable people are with Charles and Camilla representing Great Britain and the Commonwealth? Will they be seen as a detriment or an asset? This question can be answered by both Brits and non-Brits.
See, I actually think (as you acknowledged) that people's opinions of Charles and Camilla, and Diana, have changed significantly since Diana's death. Though I admit, this is just as a casual observer living in a Commonwealth country outside Great Britain, reading comments on news stories, and hearing that pollled support for Charles and Camilla has gone up. I don't have hard facts to prove how much the public mood has changed. But basically what I see in the media is that while Diana was once typically portrayed as a heroine and a victim, nowadays she's more commonly portrayed as emotionally disturbed and manipulative. Likewise while Charles and Camilla were once criticized harshly for their affair, there seems to be more of a grudging tolerance or even romantic potrayal of them as a couple. When people comment on news stories about C&C I see mixed reactions. Some people still loathe the two of them for "what they did to Diana." Others find their story romantic. And a lot of people just say "get rid of the whole lot altogether" (like you said ysbel).

Actually that latter reaction seems to be pretty common. I have a professor who recently came over from Britain and he was saying that while his whole family are royalty fans, he has no use for the monarchy. He said basically, "All the queen's children are messed up, none of them could keep their marriages together." And that statement is true. Sure, I think Diana did some damage to the monarchy by painting Charles as a villain. But in the end, I think Charles, Diana, and Camilla did the biggest damage to themselves. Diana's ugly side has now come to light, but that doesn't wipe away the reality of Charles and Camilla's less-than-admirable behaviour. The personal lives of the queen's children during the late 1980s/early 1990s were just disastrous, even if you look at the bare facts and ignore rumour/imbellishment.

So of course people have lost respect for the monarchy. I think more people do support Charles and Camilla than once did. But support isn't the same thing as real respect and admiration, the way people once felt about the monarchy. I guess now that the mystique has been lost and the royals have shown themselves to be ordinary people with glaring faults like anyone else, it will be nearly impossible to win back real esteem for the monarchy.
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