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  #41  
Old 09-23-2012, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by olebabs View Post
I absolutely give her credit as a working mother, but that does not changes my opinion. As you said she had no choice but to have children and to be queen, but that does not make her a maternal woman. Which is also OK and not meant as a critiscism, but as an observation and possible explanation to the distant relationship with esp POW
I think she may seem distant if she's compared to the popular ideal we have of middle class/upper middle class mothers today. The fair comparison, though, would be between Elizabeth and her peers. I guess the closest thing she would have to peers would be women of the British aristocracy raising children in the 50s and 60s and I suspect her attitude to raising children would be much closer to the norm when viewed within the context of this group.
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  #42  
Old 09-23-2012, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
I think she may seem distant if she's compared to the popular ideal we have of middle class/upper middle class mothers today. The fair comparison, though, would be between Elizabeth and her peers. I guess the closest thing she would have to peers would be women of the British aristocracy raising children in the 50s and 60s and I suspect her attitude to raising children would be much closer to the norm when viewed within the context of this group.
And of course today the model is working mothers sending their children off to day care first thing in the morning, picking them up at the end of the work day, exhausted mothers and fathers getting meals etc and putting the kids to bed. Now we talk about quality time with our children versus quantity of time with children.
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  #43  
Old 09-23-2012, 04:41 PM
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I think calling Her Majesty a 'distant mother' is a bit harsh. In reality, we really don't know how she brought up her children on daily basis, and have no way of knowing what went on, and what didn't. However, any mother who makes time to come and see her children during bath time while also trying to make preparations for her Coronation is anything but 'distant' in my eyes. I think anyone of us would be overwhelmed if we were handed her destiny, along with young children and a relatively new husband, and she was no different. People tend to forget that she's only human, and not Wonderwoman, so yes, she's bound to put something on the back burner while trying to figure out her own wisdom in balancing her life and work. We should also remember that every child is different, and reacts differently to major changes in his/her life. I have no doubt that Prince Charles was overwhelmed as well, and maybe even missed his 'Mama' when she had to spend long hours taking care of state business and relatively short time playing with him after her accession and Coronation. That alone may have influenced him in feeling as if he were being abandoned, and since he was so young (only four/five years old), he may not have been able to really put words to his feelings at the time, but was able to label them when he got older. I think, generally speaking, Her Majesty likes children. It's visible from her interactions with her own children and grandchildren, as well as with the ones that greet her at various engagements. If she had a chance, she would probably have no issues reading books on a 'Story-Time Rug' in a nursery school classroom. I remember when she visited a nursery school last February, and the kids were showing her their reading nook, which looked like a castle. The smile on her face was full of delight, and I swore I could see a twinkle in her eye, which indicates to me that she really wanted to get into that nook and read a few fairy tales .
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  #44  
Old 09-23-2012, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
And of course today the model is working mothers sending their children off to day care first thing in the morning, picking them up at the end of the work day, exhausted mothers and fathers getting meals etc and putting the kids to bed. Now we talk about quality time with our children versus quantity of time with children.
I was thinking more of the expectation that today's parents will be overwhelmingly involved in the minutiae of their childrens' lives, so as to attempt to protect them against every conceivable danger or moment of unpleasantness, (bullies, kidnappers, mediocre colleges, any form of nut product, etc), but I guess my overall point was that what's considered normal and ideal changes according to time and place. I'm sure some child rearing practices that seem obvious and ideal to our society today will seem ridiculous to people fifty years from now.
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  #45  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
I was thinking more of the expectation that today's parents will be overwhelmingly involved in the minutiae of their childrens' lives, so as to attempt to protect them against every conceivable danger or moment of unpleasantness, (bullies, kidnappers, mediocre colleges, any form of nut product, etc), but I guess my overall point was that what's considered normal and ideal changes according to time and place. I'm sure some child rearing practices that seem obvious and ideal to our society today will seem ridiculous to people fifty years from now.
I understand your point. My mother used to laugh whenever she heard about new parenting practices and rules saying "its a wonder any of you survived to adulthood", although given that my eldest brother is 19 yrs older than me I am sure she made some adjustments over time. I also recall a piece on 60 Minutes a couple of years ago about the current generation entering the workforce being the most coddled and over protected in history. A Fortune 500 CEO used an example of a mother coming to the office and complaining that little Johnnies performance review wasn't good enough and needed to be redone. I would have fallen through the floor had my mother ever come to the workplace let alone complained to my boss about anything.
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  #46  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:41 PM
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It is very hard to tell how people are in private when you only see them in public, when their role forces them to be guarded all the time.

I think these family films may well be the first time we’ve ever had access to absolutely genuine material about how they interacted which each other : it is neither a film which they knew was going to be broadcast (like the royal family film in 1969), nor a documentary based on other people’s recollection. It was absolutely never meant to be made public.

What they show is that the Queen and Prince Philip at least did try to spend some quality time with their children, have fun and give them happy childhood memories, the way “normal” families do, without formality. I didn’t expect to see Prince Philip cycling in a tiny bicycle, or sliding down a toboggan on Britannia! (That last scene oddly reminded me of the one with Princess Diana, William and Harry at a theme park). The kids did wear jeans, were allowed to get all wet, got buried in the sand, ... The Queen may not be seen taking an active part in this, but for a “distant mother”, she has spent quite a lot of time sticking photos into albums and making films (I guess no one has any doubt on who is behind the camera when you see the corgis on screen!).

These films did change my vision of the Queen and Prince Philip as parents, and in quite a good way. As Prince Philip once said : they “tried to do their best”, even if that doesn’t mean they always succeeded.
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  #47  
Old 09-23-2012, 06:04 PM
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But still she pushed him to that side..just to counteract Mountbatten..
I know its very easy to blame someone in hindsight.

Actually it was the Queen's idea to match-make by inviting Diana up to Balmoral in late August 1980 not the Queen Mother. See Ben Pimlott's authorised biography of the Queen (circa 1998). That's why she dragged her feet so much before agreeing to Charles divorcing Diana in 1996.
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  #48  
Old 09-23-2012, 06:56 PM
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As Prince Philip once said : they “tried to do their best”, even if that doesn’t mean they always succeeded.
I also think this has something to do with the nature of the child. Each of the children in a family sees their mom and dad differently - at least this is true in my family and seems true of the Windsors. No one is at fault - it happens because we all have our own personalities, proclivities, sensitivities and strengths.

Parents do tend to reinforce what they want to see in themselves and tend to not reinforce the rest. In this family - honor and duty was clearly a value drilled in to the kids - but like all families - the drilling eased with each child. Yet another reason each of these siblings react to the world so differently.
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  #49  
Old 09-23-2012, 08:09 PM
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The parenting style back in the 1950's and 1960's was very different than today. What would have been considered distant today would be considered the norm back in the day.

When Queen Elizabeth came to the throne back in 1952, there was no booklet or manual which told one how to combine being a Queen and a working mother. There probably wasn't anyone she could talk to who could relate to this (not many women in history have been both monarch and mother). Throughout history most women have been the supporting role of the monarch (wife of the monarch, mother to his children).

The Queen has a maternal side which is more private and then there is the monarch role which is a very different role. In more recent times she has showed the maternal side with her grandchildren. Being a mother and being a grandmother are two separate roles.

Some of the parenting today would be consider babying you're children or coddling them too much. I would have wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out if my mother had called a potential employeer and asked about the job interview. Or if she called and complained about an job review I received. That just wasn't done back in the 1980's.
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  #50  
Old 09-23-2012, 08:24 PM
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Nascarlucy - I agree completely. Now imagine how hard it would be to have your Mom train you from childhood for the job you would hold - knowing the only way you would get that job would be for her to die. It's really creepy and depressing on its premise. While Charles in not the royal I would pick to sit next to at a dinner party, I do understand why he seems so burdened.

That would make a good forum - which royal would you want to sit next to at a dinner Party and why? Or which royal would you most like to speak with your children and why?
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  #51  
Old 09-23-2012, 08:31 PM
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Actually, it is Charles who used "distant" in his biography. He felt these things, you can debate your heads off, as to what is distant or not. It is Charles who made the claim in his "Offcial Biography", that his parents were not warm. It is what he felt, not what we think. Camilla filled that bill from the get go.
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  #52  
Old 09-23-2012, 09:46 PM
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I used to buy into the idea that EnP were cold parents. But if u have 4 kids and 3 of them think u did a good job I tend to think thats a success.
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  #53  
Old 09-23-2012, 10:31 PM
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Princess Anne said the same thing Prince Charles said in describing their childhood. They were not the priority. The press took is as Princess Anne had a lonely childhood & Prince Charles was complaining about his ’neglectful’ mother. (Jubilee tribute vs Dimbleby book)

I thought the video of Queen tickling Charles was the Queen’s way of getting rid of Charles. Charles had brought a book for her to read to him & instead she tickled him. (She missed an opportunity to cuddle with while she read to him.) Maybe that is while he felt she was distant.

The Queen’s priority was Phillip then her royal duties which she had taken on before her father died. Her children were a distant 3rd.

I believe the Queen was not prepared to be a mother so soon after marriage. Her mother had her 1st child 3 years into the marriage and IMO the Queen also expected not to conceive so quickly and was unprepared.

I think the family videos surprised Charles that Prince Phillip was more loving than he remembered.
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  #54  
Old 09-26-2012, 08:03 PM
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Thank you for all the interesting posts. It seems that the relationship between Charles and his mother is much better now than it was in the mid-90s. Part of it is because Charles just seems happier with himself now. But I also think that the healing began when the Queen accepted Camilla into the family.

When Charles cooperated with the Dimbley book, their relationship was at a low ebb. I tend to sympathize with Charles because while his parents were apparently very supportive of both Anne and Andrew when their marriages broke up, they really pressured Charles to stay with Diana--even though he was obviously miserable. Even after it became obvious that Charles and Diana wouldn't stay together, they apparently wanted him to give up Camilla because their relationship was so unpopular.

Frankly, I don't know how he and Prince Philip get along. It wasn't too long ago that Philip referred to Charles as "precious." I hope that it has gotten better over the past few years.
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  #55  
Old 07-08-2013, 05:15 PM
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I was rewatching Prince Charles' Tribute to his mother on YT and I am struck by the warmth he seems to feel for his parents, but especially his mother. He even seemed a bit surprised, as if he hadn't remembered the time before she was queen.

I think HM was like so many parents of her time and station, which was probably a bit distant. Charles seems to be the type who needed reassurance and demonstrative love; HM was not given to emotional pleas and, given the time period, likely subscribed to the antiquated theory that an overly demonstrative mother would lead to homosexual tendencies in a boy. Charles, however, was much younger when he made the "distant" statement about HM. He has likely -- having been a parent for some time now -- reevaluated his assessment.

On another note, one great thing about the passage of time and the loosening of societal "rules" is that Charles seems much more open and happy. I'm sure that some of it is Camilla's presence in his life, but also that he can be more expressive. He doesn't have to be that aloof Prince Charming that he once was (or tried to be). His commentary during the video was adorable, with his constant references to "my mama." He just chuckled the whole way through watching the footage.
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  #56  
Old 07-08-2013, 05:30 PM
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Charles seems to be the type who needed reassurance and demonstrative love...On another note, one great thing about the passage of time and the loosening of societal "rules" is that Charles seems much more open and happy.
My reaction after watching this show was much like yours. Given each's emotional needs, the Charles-Di marriage was doomed to fail and the Charles-Camilla marriage a sure success.

I break with you and your opinion on this, and I admit this may have been done in the editing. Prince Charles gets smiley when he is talking about himself in the movies OR it may be that he gets smiley when he remembers good family moments that he shared.

He does appear to be thrilled to see himself as a child. What we will never know is if this is due to narcissism or good editing. It could very well be that it stirred up lovely memories of Mum and Dad and Anne and caused those smiles.

It's just my opinion. I do think Charles is a very complex person.
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  #57  
Old 07-08-2013, 06:13 PM
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I think Charles opinion may have changed over the last few years. As he has become happier himself his view of the past has also become happier.

When he was going through a very unhappy time in his life (the breakdown of his marriage) it was very easy for him to cast around and blame the people he thought pushed him into that unhappy situation whether in actual fact they did or did not. It was also easy to look back on his life and see the negatives rather than the good points. He may or may not have been going through a period of depression (I'm not making a clinical diagnosis here) when everything looked bleak.

Now, as he is happier in general, I think he is able to appreciate the postives from his life much better. I think anyone who saw the warm tributes he gave to both his parents during the jubilee year can see how close he feels to both and that he does have warm and happy memories of his childhood.

Just my opinion of course and I don't pretend to be an expert.
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