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Mandy 10-09-2008 12:10 PM

Can This Monarchy Be Saved?
 

The War of the Waleses and Diana's desire to be Queen in people's hearts posed a challenge to the established order where people give their love and their loyalty to the monarch. Instead, we were being invited to take part in a popularity contest with Diana on one side and the Windsors on the other. Did this cause lasting damage to the monarchy, or will Charles manage to become King in people's hearts as well as King by right of inheritance?

More...

Elspeth 10-09-2008 12:57 PM

Ysbel was working on this article around the time the verdict of the inquest on Diana's death was announced, so it was a time when a lot of the feelings surrounding Diana and her relationship with the royal family were running rather high. From the threads about the inquest in the Diana subforum here, it's fairly clear that feelings at TRF were running rather high too! Unfortunately this article was held up for several months by problems with getting permission for photos, but the message in the article is still very topical and also very important: the royal family can no longer rely on public support as a right, but will have to earn the love and loyalty of the people if it's going to survive as a viable institution for very much longer.

This article is an opinion piece on how the royal family in general, and Charles in particular, can do that successfully. I know people have different opinions on this topic, and I'm sure the article will trigger some thoughtful discussion.

Claire 10-09-2008 02:01 PM

Personally I don't think Charles can do it. I believe that many people especially those in high ranks like the media will make certain that he fails. I might sound like a bias foreigner but speaking in general of the world at large, any celebrity with a good smile and body would be better equip to take his job.
Lets face it - we are a celebrity driven civilisation. If they are attractive than the press will love them and the public will soon follow. I have heard the British media men claim to have invented the myth of Diana, they congradulate themselves on a job well done. They made a princess, not the royal family. They already have started on William and Harry and their girlfriends.

So I am sorry to say I don't want this monarchy. I don't see this as a monarchy anymore - when the Queen goes (and I pray that I will be first) Britian will be the first country ruled by PR, spin and media moguls compounded with a good dose of shallowness.

Odette 10-09-2008 02:17 PM

:previous: This is a world wide phenomenon. The media manipulates and forms opinions rather than informing.
I admire Prince Charles and believe he could be a great monarch. However I agree with you that the constant barrage of information trickling down to the citizens will be skewed and prejudiced against him.

Elspeth 10-09-2008 02:35 PM

What do you think about the suggestions she's made in the article for Charles in the future?

Al_bina 10-09-2008 02:48 PM

My personal subjective views on the article
 
ysbel,
Thanks for the well-thought-out article!:flowers::flowers:
I do not see Prince Charles winning any additional hearts. In this respect, he is similar to Apple and its fanatical customer base.
Prince Charles has got a stable base of his ardent fans, but I highly doubt that he will ever become a ubiquitous iPod.
Prince Charles's aspirations to win people's hearts are strongly undermined by two women: Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Her Majesty is an excellent example of selfless service to the country's interests reinforced by an impeccable family life. Diana,Princess of Wales, managed to captivate people's minds and hearts by participating in various public campaigns. The failure in a personal life somewhat added to her appeal, thereby enhancing the connection with ordinary people. When compared to the aforementioned ladies, Prince Charles tends to come across as somewhat inept. Having said that, I acknowledge the fact that Prince Charles has been doing a good job as Crown Prince. He has been working hard to "sell" his teachings about the importance of everything organic and eco-friendly. Given the dire situation in the economical environment at large, his teachings are often perceived as unfeasible to a certain degree. This makes Prince Charles look like Marie Antoinette.
In the end of the day, I do not think that the British monarchy needs to be saved. I would say that things should be allowed to have their natural course. This implies that nobody should try to change the succession order. This tradition must be preserved. Prince Charles will neither be the best nor the worst monarch the United Kingdom has had over the years.


Thomas Parkman 10-09-2008 04:00 PM

Good Heavens! You want a media driven country with the media in control of everything come to the USA and you will see the results. A country turning into a total mess with an electorate so besotted and confused they do not know their heads from a hole in the ground. So do not give me this nonsense about a republic somehow being automatically an improvement. Quite the contrary.

I have recently seen the series on the Windsors on DVD. Yes, I live in the Stone Age, pre-neanderthal and all that. But it was very interesting to actually hear the members of the Royal Family. Including that "awful monster" the Great Leviatin himself, ie. the much maligned Prince Charles and his Princess. While admittedly propoganda, if you will, the one thing that came across was the humanity of it all, and the dignity. With something of a light touch as well as that one emotion or fundamental necessity for a civilised society if you will. Devotion. I most certainly cannot think of any American politician in my life time that brought forth such devotion, and deserved it, as certain members of that most maligned of families, the British Royal Family.

We live in a sick age, an age of ugliness and sheer cheesiness. People are ugly in their dress, ugly in their speech, in their behaviour, in what they eat, in the hideous racket they call music and most certainly in their entertainments. Most of them can bearly even read or rarely do so. And on and on it goes. I keep wondering why is it so necessary to destroy everything with any uplifted quality about it??

Odette 10-09-2008 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elspeth (Post 834816)
What do you think about the suggestions she's made in the article for Charles in the future?

I read the entire article which is extremely thoughful and well written. The suggestions Ysbel gives to Charles about connecting with the people and being happy with himself are excellent.
However I wonder how much can P Charles change or even will be able to show a new "face" and how much people's perceptions about him will change. I do not think people usually forgive. They just forget some details and gloss over others.
If P Charles becomes King when his sons are in happy marriages with new little princes added to the family, he will be better received as an "interim" King while his subjects wait for William to take the helm.
I just pray the Queen still lives for a long time to come.:flowers:

ysbel 10-10-2008 05:54 AM

Thanks for the comments and feedback, everybody, and thanks to Elspeth, TheTruth, and Mandy for helping to put the article together. :smile:

As Elspeth said, I wrote this awhile back and while some things have changed, I would still say pretty much the same thing now. I didn't really include the media element as much as I could have and if I had it to do over, I would.

But it was a fun article to work on and I really appreciated the help of all involved.

NotAPretender 10-10-2008 10:39 AM

Thank you for a wonderful and well-thought-out article, ysbel.

Menarue 10-10-2008 12:06 PM

I have really enjoyed reading this article and although it was written some time back it is still relevant to what is happening now.
I am afraid that Prince Charles is not a charismatic figure and will never be. I think that is the reason that Diana was able to take the limelight away from him so easily.
He has a rather dull personality, which in itself is not wrong, but he is not the kind of person to suddenly win hearts.... I think Camilla is the perfect partner for him, she certainly does not outshine him and I doubt she would even dream of trying to.
Diana was definitely the wrong person for him, she loved attention and when she thought herself badly treated she knew exactly the way to hit out at Charles and from then on no holds were barred.
A tragedy that I hope wonīt be repeated. Charles has good intentions and does some very good things, it is just that his kind of personality does not attract people. I sincerely hope that the monarchy can be saved but this really depends more on the next generation to Charles.

Congratulations Ysbel, I hope that we will be reading more of your articles soon.

Elspeth 10-10-2008 12:26 PM

She's got another article in the works, so she tells me (a historical one), but she's being very coy about letting me see it. But I live in hope...

Menarue 10-10-2008 12:31 PM

As soon as it is out make sure you let us all know, I am really looking forward to it.

Jo of Palatine 10-10-2008 12:45 PM

There is no doubt in my mind that the queen and Charles immediately realised what Diana said in her "Panorama"-interview when she said she wants to be queen in people's heart. Elizabeth I.'s last speech before her parliament which in general is considered by historians to be the finish of the "Golden Age", her "Golden Speech" started out with something very similar: "Though God hath raised me high, yet this I count the glory of my Crown, that I have reigned with your loves.". So for anyone knowledgable about the basics of British history, but especially the two people who have studied this history in detail, Diana's meaning was clear: she, not Elizabeth II is the true queen and it's her Golden Age which shall lead to the reign of her son, the future king of hearts.

But Diana is dead while Charles is alive. His greatest problem, as I see it and as Ysbel pointed out in her very interesting article, is the fact that he still lives in the shadows of Diana and of his own mother. Here in Germany there is the belief that you can't really become an adult as long as both your parents are still alive. I found this to be true. What does that mean for poor Charles? First of all, I think he has a lot more potential of growing than others might believe. I think we'll see him either becoming the support of his widowed mother or the souverain in both cases we will see a new Charles, with a different flair and a different reception by the public.

I think his mother would grant him more space if his father was not still alive. Just my opinion, but compared with Philip Charles will always be the boy for Her Majesty and thus she is not willing to grant him more responsibility. Maybe this is going to change now that Charles turns 60 but it surely will as soon as the first parent dies. IMHO, of course.

Elspeth 10-10-2008 12:50 PM

That's an interesting point, Jo, because I've heard a lot of people say that one of the great problems for the Queen was that she lived so much of her life in her mother's shadow. In some ways, the longevity of the Queen Mother was as much of a problem for the Queen as the early death of her father. I think we're seeing history repeat itself here; I do think, though, that Camilla has given Charles more confidence to be his own person, although it happened rather late in his life.

I completely agree about the Panorama interview. To me everything else in that interview - even the carefully nuanced comments about Charles's suitability as King - paled by comparison with that direct challenge to the Queen. It really worried me that more people didn't see what was going on there, because it showed how successful Diana had been in redefining what the monarchy was about and what it stood for.

Menarue 10-10-2008 01:03 PM

I donīt think that anyone can doubt that Charles has become more confident since he married Camilla, Diana was always trying to bring him down. She tried to undermine his confidence and when she said she thought he would never be King it brought an end to any sympathy she might have had from the Queen.
I agree with Jo, her interview was the modern equivalent of throwing down the gauntlet, of course, she had no idea that she would die. I think she was ready to put a stone in Prince Charlesīs works for the rest of his days.
An incident I particularly didnīt like was when she was said to have sat down with the two young princes and voted for the end of the monarchy on a phone in poll, she and the boys sent in hundreds of votes. The boys, of course, didnīt realise what they were doing. It may have been a joke but it was a very sick one.
I think Camilla is just the support that Prince Charles needs, it was heart warming to see them laughing together so happily in Scotland watching the games. Perhaps her support will bring about a miracle and a happier more confident Charles will develop into a well-loved King.

Al_bina 10-10-2008 01:37 PM

Additional thoughts after reading more views on the article ...
 
While I tend to agree that Prince Charles is indeed overshadowed by his mother and the first wife, he still comes across as a "Beaujolais Blanc seeping elitist" (my personal interpretation of the newly famous American phrase). The term emphasizes the exclusiveness of his attitudes. Not many people can relate to him. He has got a solid base of staunch supporters. Some people do not like him because of the late Princess Diana, whereas others do not care much due to everyday struggles. I do not think that he will be able to change this image. Thus, I would agree with Oddete stating "If P Charles becomes King when his sons are in happy marriages with new little princes added to the family, he will be better received as an "interim" King while his subjects wait for William to take the helm"(post#8).
Quote:

Originally Posted by Menarue (Post 835487)
... [snipped]
I agree with Jo, her interview was the modern equivalent of throwing down the gauntlet, of course, she had no idea that she would die. I think she was ready to put a stone in Prince Charlesīs works for the rest of his days. ... [snipped][my bolding]

Why not? It was just a usual attempt to avenge hurt feelings. "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned. Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned". Diana, Princess of Wales did whatever she deemed appropriate. She was supposed to be in war with her husband. Furthermore, she did not do anything other ladies have not done before her. Would it be better for her to maintain decorum and dignity for the sake of her sons? Absolutely yes. However, she chose another course of actions, rather unsophisticated one, I have to say. Diana, Princess of Wales had to live with the consequence of her actions, whereas Prince Charles has to live his own actions.

Menarue 10-10-2008 01:45 PM

A lot depends on who Prince William chooses for a wife then.

Jo of Palatine 10-10-2008 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Al_bina (Post 835504)
While I tend to agree that Prince Charles is indeed overshadowed by his mother and the first wife, he still comes across as a "Beaujolais Blanc seeping elitist" (my personal interpretation of the newly famous American phrase). The term emphasizes the exclusiveness of his attitudes.

I wasn't aware that drinking Chardonnay produced in the Beaujolais area of Burgundy is something people really aspire to or deem an exclusive pleasure. There are great white wines grown and produced in Burgundy but my experience as a wine journalist has so far not shown me that the Beaujolais Blanc belongs to them. It's a rare wine, yes, but in this case there's a reason why not more winegrowers produce it. I think HRH knows a lot about wine and would never steep down so low.:biggrin:

Jo of Palatine 10-10-2008 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Menarue (Post 835511)
A lot depends on who Prince William chooses for a wife then.

No, it doesn't IMHO. As long as he choses a well-educated, dignified young lady with a photogenic side to her, as he seems to have done, all will be well.


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