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  #1  
Old 07-29-2008, 12:50 AM
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Diana and Attitudes to Marriage



Prince Charles' marriage to an apparently highly suitable bride was unhappy almost from the start and ended in a high-profile and acrimonious divorce. How did the failure of this marriage affect the marriage prospects of the European crown princes at the turn of the 21st century? This article explores the Wales marriage and its possible effect on the attitudes of the European monarchs when their heirs started dating women who might have been considered unsuitable crown princesses a decade or two earlier.

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Old 07-29-2008, 02:47 AM
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I respectfully disagree when you say that the children of Joachim and Alexandra "were not used as public bargain chips." That is exactly what they were used for. The only reason Alexandra today enjoys a lifelong taxpayer funded "special allowance" is because of her two sons.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Villemann View Post
I respectfully disagree when you say that the children of Joachim and Alexandra "were not used as public bargain chips." That is exactly what they were used for. The only reason Alexandra today enjoys a lifelong taxpayer funded "special allowance" is because of her two sons.
Well and I respectfully disagree with you on that. What would the public opinion towards the Danish RF have been if the RF had "dumped" Alexandra with a lump sum and no title, like what happened to Diana??
She is no longer an HH, but her sons will always be and must have the means to be raised accordingly. I hardly call that a public bargain chip.
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:57 AM
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Well, any time a woman who marries into a royal family wants to separate from her husband, her position is automatically stronger if she has children, because they form a connection to the royal family which means that she can't be cast off completely as though she'd never existed.

In that respect, the very existence of royal children is a bargaining chip, but it's not exactly the same thing as having the children being used by the parents as such. In this case, biographers on both sides of the Diana-Charles story have agreed that Diana was starting to be difficult about letting Charles have access to the boys, and I think we all knew about the way she used them to give the impression that she was a wonderful parent and he was a distant and uncaring one.

I've never heard that Joachim and Alexandra did that sort of thing with their sons, especially since their estrangement wasn't really public knowledge until very late in the day.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:24 PM
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I really enjoyed this article, TheTruth. Thank you for it.

But - don't you think that queen Margrethe was in a much better position than queen Elizabeth, because Denmark knows the title "Highness" whereas in Britain the Act of 1917 explicitely tells who is a Royal Highness and who isn't and abolished the title Highness once and for all - so radically was that Act that Great Britain had to sign a treaty with Sweden when their king wanted to marry Lady Louise Mountbatten, for she did not longer fulfill the requirements of the Swedish constitution valid back then. Lady Louise had been born a "Highness" - Her Serene Highness Princess Louise of Battenberg. In 1917 this German title had to be renounced and she was plain Miss Louise Mountbatten till the king created her father Marquess of Milford-Haven the same year, which made her into Lady Louise.

But for Sweden she was not longer a Highness which was required by their constitution - so Great Britain had to make a treaty with Sweden, officially declaring Louise a member of the British Royal family. Here's the text: http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/swe-mt-19231027.html

So quite tough rules in Britain. To go against this Act and against tradition for the sake of Diana (and Fergie) was nothing the queen wanted after the Panorama-interview while queen Margrethe could grant Alexandra the lower title of Highness. Plus there is a tradition in Denmark to create ex-members of the Royal House into counts (without political influence) once they fall out of the line of succession - something which doesn't exist in Britain where personal elevation to a peeress in her own right would have then given Diana the right to a seat in the House of Lords: not something Elizabeth wanted as well, I think.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:38 PM
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Great article TheTruth I really enjoyed that.

But Jo, I do agree with you, Margrethe was in a much easier position than Elizabeth.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:59 PM
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I wonder what Queen Margrethe would have done if Alexandra had set herself up in opposition to the royals in the way Diana did, and as publicly. Even the lower title of Highness might have been seen as too much of a reward for someone who went public with her opinion that her husband was unfit to rule.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:28 PM
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Excellent article, thank you. I think the other royal families were anxious not to go down the Windsor path and, in the end, it's best for all parties.
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:39 AM
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Queen Margrethe was not faced with the very public "marriage of the heir gone bad" (TBTG) played out so very acrimoniously on the world stage by the media.

For Queen Elizabeth there was literally no place to run, no place to hide from the humiliation of her daughter-in-law publicly slamming the entire BRF and more than hinting that she believed that Charles was unfit to become King.

The fact that Diana believed that she would, as the "mother of the King", become the power behind the throne, was not lost on an astute
interviewer nor the public at large.

I think "The War of the Wales's" stands as a cautionary tale for any royal marriage aspirant.
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Old 07-30-2008, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by sneeuwklokje View Post
Well and I respectfully disagree with you on that. What would the public opinion towards the Danish RF have been if the RF had "dumped" Alexandra with a lump sum and no title, like what happened to Diana??
What "no title"? She was Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce. Looks like a title to me--and, indeed, to everyone else. She lost the style of Her Royal Highness--per the usual UK rules about divorced peeresses & royals--, that's all, not the title.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:01 PM
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Perhaps Diana too felt she had no place to run when she was humiliated by a public situation that was sanctioned by the royal family. If the Queen had not buried her head in the sand when it came to Charles' activities, and supported her daughter-in-law, Diana might not have felt so helpless and there wouldn't have been the need to stand up for herself in that manner. Instead, Diana was faced with the P-B's being included in the royal circle as always.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:20 PM
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Andrew Parker-Bowles has been a friend of the RF forever, they would never drop him because of his wife´s behaviour. I am a little lost here, who committed adultery? Charles did, Camilla did, but Diana certainly did and it wasn´t with just one man, her true love, was it? There is quite a long list and although I am sure she wasn´t the first female member of the royal family to do this but I am fairly sure she was the first one to appear on TV and publicize it. That sad demure look with the really heavy mascara was a sight to see, but not a sight any member of the RF would or could be pleased about.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:32 PM
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Honestly, I don't believe this. This article is about the way the Wales marriage affected attitudes toward marriage in other royal families. It isn't an article about laying blame over the breakdown of the marriage. TheTruth worked really hard on this article - I know, because I'm the editor who was working with her. It's a pretty sad commentary on the attitudes of some of our members that this thread is also turning into a battleground over the Charles-Camilla-Diana eternal triangle and the article itself is being ignored.

If you people would kindly show a bit of consideration toward a member who has put a lot of time and effort into writing her article, and stop this endless and fruitless bickering in this thread at least, it would be very much appreciated.

Good grief...
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:53 PM
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Mea culpa. Sorry. I didn´t see the first part. On the question I think that the other royal families understood the lesson but didn´t act on it. Or perhaps they decided it would be better for their heirs (and heiresses)to marry for love and for them to stay together.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:06 PM
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This article contained a lot of food for thought, and I appreciate all the time and effort that went into writing it. I hadn't necessarily made the connection before between Diana and the current "crop" of Crown Princesses, although there seems to be a logical progression from the failure of a marriage "for duty" (at least on one party's part) to the number of marriages that happened later because two people met in all sorts of different circumstances and fell in love. Hopefully this will lead to the establishment strong marriages between people who will be on thrones in the coming years.

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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Honestly, I don't believe this. This article is about the way the Wales marriage affected attitudes toward marriage in other royal families. It isn't an article about laying blame over the breakdown of the marriage. TheTruth worked really hard on this article - I know, because I'm the editor who was working with her. It's a pretty sad commentary on the attitudes of some of our members that this thread is also turning into a battleground over the Charles-Camilla-Diana eternal triangle and the article itself is being ignored.

If you people would kindly show a bit of consideration toward a member who has put a lot of time and effort into writing her article, and stop this endless and fruitless bickering in this thread at least, it would be very much appreciated.

Good grief...
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:28 AM
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What "no title"? She was Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce. Looks like a title to me--and, indeed, to everyone else. She lost the style of Her Royal Highness--per the usual UK rules about divorced peeresses & royals--, that's all, not the title.
Her being "Princess of Wales" was just a sort of surname. It doesn't mean anything (just like Sarah, "Duchess of York"). Every woman Charles would divorce would be called that way. They might as well have called her "Jones" after the divorce. She had no Royal title whatsoever anymore, only could call herself Lady, because she was a Spencer.
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:10 PM
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All posts about Diana's title and style were moved to the Diana's Titles thread. Here, we would like to hear your opinions about the TheTruth's article on Diana's Attitudes to Marriage.

Thanks!

Mandy
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:54 AM
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I think the article, similar to a large part of press reports both before and since her death, has given too much credit to Diana. For example, "Diana has also influenced many couples in the royal circle, especially the Queen's children. After all, wasn't she the one who introduced Sarah Ferguson to Prince Andrew in 1985?" I distintly remembe seeing photo of Sarah and Andrew playing together as children, in the company of the Queen. Her father, Major Ronald Ferguson, was the polo manager for both Prince Phillip and Prince Charles, long before Diana met Charles.

If Diana had any influence on royal marriages after her divorce, Sarah, Duchess of York, should be given her share of credit as well. Sarah's divorce from Prince Andrew, which took place first, set an example as to how two people who decide they can't live together can be civil in separation. The way they have remained a united front for their two daughters have my admiration. If anything, Charles and Diana only set an example of "What Not To Do In A Divorce".

While I agree most royal families, particularly those in Europe, have had to deal with the consequences of marriage in the age of MySpace and iPods. However, I don't believe their experience is any different from their subjects. Princes and princesses grow up as young adults and looking to define who they are and where they fit in the world. Destiny or not, they have their individual thoughts and feelings, and ideas on who they want to share their lives. Like most families, their attitude toward marriage and divorce are more than likely to be influenced by experiences from within their own family.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:28 AM
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Thanks for your review, Incas.

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Originally Posted by Incas View Post
I think the article, similar to a large part of press reports both before and since her death, has given too much credit to Diana. For example, "Diana has also influenced many couples in the royal circle, especially the Queen's children. After all, wasn't she the one who introduced Sarah Ferguson to Prince Andrew in 1985?" I distintly remembe seeing photo of Sarah and Andrew playing together as children, in the company of the Queen. Her father, Major Ronald Ferguson, was the polo manager for both Prince Phillip and Prince Charles, long before Diana met Charles.
Of course, I agree that Sarah and Andrew knew each other before Diana was even in the picture. However, it's been said and written many times that she played cupid for these two.

Quote:
If Diana had any influence on royal marriages after her divorce, Sarah, Duchess of York, should be given her share of credit as well. Sarah's divorce from Prince Andrew, which took place first, set an example as to how two people who decide they can't live together can be civil in separation. The way they have remained a united front for their two daughters have my admiration. If anything, Charles and Diana only set an example of "What Not To Do In A Divorce".
True. Sarah's divorce was civilized, as you said. But Sarah's marriage wasn't the 'wedding of the century', her divorce wasn't as covered as Diana's and most of all, she wasn't divorcing the heir. To me, it showed to Royal families how a mismatch could threaten a whole institution: Sarah's mismatch didn't or very slightly, Diana's did in a big way. And who was much more popular? Diana.
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:06 PM
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Thanks for the article, TheTruth. It was quite enlightening and you brought up some things I hadn't thought about.

I'm not quite sure how much the British Royal Family influenced the other families, simply because the British Royal Family has maintained its separateness from the other royal families. That can be seen in their preference for British brides even at a time when all the other families were marrying royals.

I know that Sonja, Queen of Norway, while initially adverse to her son's marriage with Mette-Marit, later said that she decided to support them because of the lack of support she received during her own engagement and early marriage. She didn't want Mette-Marit to go through the same thing. So it seems like Sonja's and Harald's own uphill battle as a young couple had more influence on their decisions to accept their children's spouses than what was coming from the British monarchy.

With Margrethe and her children, the influences are not quite as clear, but the BRF and DRF don't seem to be that close. I heard that Margaret's marriage to Count Henrik was frowned on in some circles but mainly because he was not considered a true Count. Margrethe's cousin, Princess Elisabeth, though remained unmarried throughout her life because she did not want to lose the princess status that marrying a commoner would have entailed.

However, Margrethe's attitudes to her children's marriages may have been influenced more by her first cousin Carl Gustaf. Carl Gustaf had to wait until he was made King before he could marry his bride, Sylvia Sommerlath, and Carl's and Margrethe's uncle, Bertil, had to wait until he was in old age until he could marry the love of his life, the working class woman, Lillian.

Queen Ingrid of Denmark remained close to her home country of Sweden and her own family until she died, taking first her daughters and then her grandchildren often to Sweden to visit her family and I've heard her favorite brother was the poor Prince Bertil. So Margrethe would have seen close up the pain that the old royal injunction against marrying commoners caused.

I totally agree that Diana's divorce could have affected the way that the DRF handled Princess Alexandra but I wonder now if any royal family would copy what the DRF did with Alexandra. Royal families may consider the implications of royals having multiple marriages and multiple divorces with each ex-wife getting a financial settlement from the government and an historic piece of jewelry from the Royal Family archives. That could be very expensive.

But I find more troubling the fact that Joachim's popularity still took a beating even though he and Alexandra maintained their decorum. So maintaining silence and decorum is no guarantee that the royal will come out unscathed if they marry someone who becomes more popular than they are.

I think the main influence of the situation with Diana and Alexandra will influence royal families to choose brides that don't pose a competition to the popularity of their spouses or that of the whole royal family.

Which may make the families more boring but if the public is going to turn against a royal if the couple has behaved as discreetly as Joachim and Alexandra did, then I don't see that the families have any choice.
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