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  #941  
Old 05-01-2020, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
It all evens out in the end.. William missed out on the benefits that come from learning a new language, but he gained hugely important skills by having had an actual career, one which he needed to earn, which involved both academic and technical training, and in which he was responsible for people’s lives. I can’t think of any other future monarch who has had or will likely have that kind of experience.
King Willem Alexander, Crown Princess Victoria, Crown Prince Federik and so many others. They also all managed to speak additional languages.

Also this is such a BS excuse and the reason why very few English speaking native cannot be bothered to learn another language. Another language teaches you empathy, bring you closer to different cultures, enrich your life in a lot of different ways and as someone whose career is to be a public servant, it is the bare minimum.
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  #942  
Old 05-01-2020, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by EvaH View Post
King Willem Alexander, Crown Princess Victoria, Crown Prince Federik and so many others. They also all managed to speak additional languages.

Also this is such a BS excuse and the reason why very few English speaking native cannot be bothered to learn another language. Another language teaches you empathy, bring you closer to different cultures, enrich your life in a lot of different ways and as someone whose career is to be a public servant, it is the bare minimum.
What careers did the royals you mention have that would compare to William’s?
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  #943  
Old 05-01-2020, 06:17 PM
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Suitability to be King is basically. Willingness, understanding, temperament, accepting and hard-working. Language skills. Low on list.
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  #944  
Old 05-01-2020, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
This is the crux of the issue. If an area of the UK had a population whose day to day language was French, William would be bilingual. The Commonwealth is different - I don’t think anyone in Quebec, for example, cares too much that William’s French is poor, (or mediocre, if you want to be generous). In my experience the Québécois appreciate someone making an effort to initiate a conversation in French. Similarly, some people may appreciate William making a speech in French, but no level of fluency is going to make the British monarchy popular in Quebec.

The European royals are at least bilingual because it’s essential for them to speak English. Any additional languages for the royals I can think of come from having a parent whose native language is different - Maxima and Spanish, Henrik and French, etc - or from the political necessity of being able to at least sound good making a speech in their country’s additional languages or dialects.

It all evens out in the end.. William missed out on the benefits that come from learning a new language, but he gained hugely important skills by having had an actual career, one which he needed to earn, which involved both academic and technical training, and in which he was responsible for people’s lives. I can’t think of any other future monarch who has had or will likely have that kind of experience.
Valid points.

If it's only to impress the crowd, all he has to do is knowing the correct pronunciation of few sentences written on his speech (then again, not everyone has some sort of "golden tongue" which can easily adapt to everykind of pronunciation/dialect). It's not like that it's necessary for William to conduct the whole conversation in non-English language.

If what needed is for him to become bi(or multi)lingual, do we really know that he ONLY speak English? Who know if by now he's fluent in Spanish because of nanny Maria or maybe Welsh since he lived for quite some time there. After all mastering language is not only about two months crash course and you'll know it for life, it needs continuous practice.

Btw, didn't this language proficiency already been discussed rather extensively in this thread some time ago? It was also started because of his attempt to speak French in Canada (#618, somewhere around page 32).

On another note, is it just me or this is what'll happen when there's adult second (direct) in line to the throne? IIRC, George V was also not known to "do much" when he was Duke of York (after he left military service and settle down).
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  #945  
Old 05-01-2020, 07:28 PM
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Weeell, even a basic understanding of a language or several languages can certainly save you from embarrassing yourself when engaging in small talk for example.

I once had the toe-curling experience of overhearing an English-speaking man speak to an Arab man, Abu Hassan (that's all I can remember of his name). In an attempt to be informal and break the ice I suppose, he addressed the Arab as Abu...
Had he studied Arabic, or just had a very basic understanding of Arabic, he would never have dreamed of doing that!

Its that kind of faux pas you will avoid when studying another language, where you will as a matter of course learn proper address, proper etiquette, cultural quirks and many other nuances.

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Originally Posted by yukari View Post
Valid points.

If it's only to impress the crowd, all he has to do is knowing the correct pronunciation of few sentences written on his speech (then again, not everyone has some sort of "golden tongue" which can easily adapt to everykind of pronunciation/dialect). It's not like that it's necessary for William to conduct the whole conversation in non-English language.

If what needed is for him to become bi(or multi)lingual, do we really know that he ONLY speak English? Who know if by now he's fluent in Spanish because of nanny Maria or maybe Welsh since he lived for quite some time there. After all mastering language is not only about two months crash course and you'll know it for life, it needs continuous practice.

Btw, didn't this language proficiency already been discussed rather extensively in this thread some time ago? It was also started because of his attempt to speak French in Canada (#618, somewhere around page 32).

On another note, is it just me or this is what'll happen when there's adult second (direct) in line to the throne? IIRC, George V was also not known to "do much" when he was Duke of York (after he left military service and settle down).
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  #946  
Old 05-01-2020, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camelot23ca View Post
What careers did the royals you mention have that would compare to William’s?
I'd say it is rather hard to compare 'careers'. William indeed had the advantage that as he is not the direct heir to be offered a bit more freedom and could pursue his own interest next to preparing for his future role. Over the last few years, he is also starting to do some diplomatic tours (which he seems to do really well) but his international experience was rather limited.

Many future complete stints at all three military services (army, navy, air force) - some more extensive (for example Felipe) than others; I don't think William trained with the navy (Sandhurst is Army if I'm not mistaken and his pilot training and subsequent job was with the Air Force before he moved to the Air Ambulance). Would that have added to his preparation, I wonder... (I am not into the military, so don't know why other countries deem it that important; and it will be interesting to see, whether that same expectation will be upheld for the future reigning queens)

In regards to 'earning' a position: I am quite sure that Frederick completing the education as frogman in the naval elite special operations forces (Frømandskorpset; comparable to the Navy SEALS) required a lot of skills on his part - and many people would have failed.

Willem-Alexander would not be allowed to still fly KLM passengers if he would not meet all the training requirements; as he is 'responsible for people's lives' as you put it. In addition, while his UN position was of course also thanks to him being a prince, he would not have been made the chair of the UNSGAB if he had not focused on water management in the years prior.

In addition, more and more (future) monarchs obtain a graduate degree. If I understand it correctly, William's MA is considered to be an undergraduate degree (comparable to a BSc?).

Degrees of (future) monarchs (excluding all military training):
- Philippe: MA Political Sciences (Stanford University)
- Willem-Alexander: Doctoraal (MA) History (Leiden University)
- Felipe: LLB (Autonomous University Madrid) & MSc Foreign Services (Georgetown University)
- Frederik: MSc Political Sciences (Aarhus University)
- Haakon: BA Political Science (University of California; Berkeley) & MSc Development Studies (London School of Economics)
- Victoria: BA (Uppsala University)*
- Guillaume: Bachelor with Honours Letters & Political Science (Angers University)
- William: MA Geography (St Andrews University)

* I only found this information on Wikipedia, so I am not sure it is true as it is not mentioned on her 'biography page'; it seems she took many different university-level (and diplomatic) courses but I cannot find evidence that she completed formal university education. (Of the three siblings and their spouses, only in Madeleine's biography completion of a Bachelor's (of Arts) degree is included; while Chris completed both a Bachelor and a MBA)
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  #947  
Old 05-01-2020, 08:22 PM
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William did train with the Royal Navy for two months in June 2008 in addition to his Sandhurst army training and with the Royal Air Force.


https://www.royal.uk/prince-william-...ent-royal-navy


Quote:
Prince William will today begin a two month attachment with the Royal Navy, following his completion of a similar attachment with the Royal Air Force which ended in April. His training with the Royal Navy will be split into two phases. The first will see him undertake shore training in a variety of Royal Navy and Royal Marine establishments, followed by a second phase when he will be deployed on operations in the Type 23 Frigate HMS Iron Duke. The Prince will initially be stationed on shore at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, completing an intensive training course and touring Navy units. He will learn core skills including navigation, seamanship and practical boat handling. The Prince will also undergo mandatory sea safety training. As part of this he will learn how to tackle a fire aboard ship in temperatures of up to 400C, while wearing breathing apparatus. As his attachment progresses Prince William will spend time with the Royal Marines, learning about amphibious operations and cold weather and mountain warfare survival techniques. He will also tour the Air Fleet Arm where he will have the opportunity to use flying skills acquired during his RAF attachment to fly the Fleet’s helicopters.
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  #948  
Old 05-01-2020, 10:01 PM
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I don't get the argument that because William was training as a pilot, he was too busy to study another language

While he spent 12 years in the Air force and flying air ambulance, there is nearly 26 other years of his life. Including education at some of the top schools and a great university, at which time he could have easily studied a language. You normally go to school with a mind for your future career, getting education and training for it. His future career was not as a pilot, it was as royal and a future king. While his pilot career is applaudable and great, it should not be the only focus.

Other heirs studied things like political science, languages, crisis resolution, international relations and such during their college careers. Those like Felipe and Frederik who have military training as well, balanced both.

He has also not been a pilot for nearly three years now. There has been time for him to embrace new studies. He was required to study at least one modern language early on at Eton. It's a shame he didn't seem to stick with it, invest in that skill for his future role.

Instead of comparing him to continental royals, compare him to his father. Charles completed one of his A levels in French. Went on to take a college degree in British history and anthropology which included a semester in Wales learning Welsh language and history. Before he pursued a military career like his son.

The difference between William and the others, he is not the direct heir. He had some more freedom to be a part royal for a decade or so.
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  #949  
Old 05-01-2020, 11:45 PM
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In my humble opinion Prince William's future role as king does not demand, that he is fluid in any other language than "Globish" i.e. Basic English.

Quite opposite: What does it say about modern royals, if their translation skills make them formidable royals? And probably their skills in "charity" too... and thats basically it...

A King in my opinion should be the "living color", the living flag of his country. And on this behalf it would be perhaps more important for William to cheer for the "Three Lions", than for Aston Villa.

But he was in the military, had this dangerous job, comes across as a good person... What is not to like about him?

That he does not speak French? Well, in the eyes of the french education elite his French would be never good enough anyway! Was it not the problem of Princess Grace, that she really tried to learn French, but this was never appreciated, instead it was made fun about it - and because of this Princess Gracia Patricia gave interviews only in English?
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  #950  
Old 05-02-2020, 01:08 AM
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The point is that Grace tried. Hard. She never stopped trying her whole life. She did not assume that since she was a world famous film star, everyone should speak HER language.

At the end of her life she was beloved by the Monegasques. She is a legend in the Principality because she made the effort to be
come one of them.

It bears repeating...I do not think William will be a bad king . I do not believe he doesn't have good qualities. But my personal opinion is that he seems to lack intellectual curiosity...so does his brother. The difference is that Harry will not one day be the only monarch in Europe who is limited to his native language.

That is not a good way to stand out. And it goes without saying that it is only one opinion...mine.
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  #951  
Old 05-02-2020, 01:16 AM
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Why would William need to speak French? He's not becoming the king of France they got rid of their king. Grace became the princess of Monaco so she had to speak French. It's an apples and oranges comparison.
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  #952  
Old 05-02-2020, 01:44 AM
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One good reason for him to speak French is because French is widely spoken in Canada..one of the most important countries of the British Commonwealth. If not THE most important.

Has anyone asked Felipe and Letizia of Spain why THEIR heir began to learn Mandarin Chinese when she was 6-7? Chinese is not exactly necessary for the average Spaniard to learn is it?

No, but they are savvy enough to understand that Leonor will not be an average citizen. As a well rounded and well educated queen of Spain she may be on her way to being able to communicate in the language of a global economic and military superpower China, the language of close to a quarter of the planet...whether she "needs" to or not.
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  #953  
Old 05-02-2020, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenMathilde View Post
Why would William need to speak French? He's not becoming the king of France they got rid of their king. Grace became the princess of Monaco so she had to speak French. It's an apples and oranges comparison.
But he is going to become the King of Canada. And Canada is an officially bilingual country with millions of French speakers.

Just like English is not only spoken in the country for which its named, French is not limited to France.

Quote:
In my humble opinion Prince William

But he was in the military, had this dangerous job, comes across as a good person... What is not to like about him?

He was in the military which is dangerous? That automatically makes him a good man and leader.

Well I guess that goes for Andrew right who served over 20 years in the navy, including in a war zone??


Being in the military is brave and yes does show great merit. But it certainly is not the only thing that matters in a king. If at all. He isn't training to be a future military leader but a political figure.
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  #954  
Old 05-02-2020, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy7 View Post
Suitability to be King is basically. Willingness, understanding, temperament, accepting and hard-working. Language skills. Low on list.
The only suitability is to be born in the right cradle. That is all. Remember the film The King's Speech? George VI was a stutterer. No problem. He was King anyway, even if he was deaf and mute he would have been King, unless he renounced his birthright.

(King Juan Carlos' uncle Infante Don Jaime was deaf and mute, became the direct Heir, and did renounce for his jounger brother Infante Don Juan). But even a deaf and mute person can be a formidable royal, see Princess Andreas of Greece and Denmark, born Princess Alice von Battenberg (the mother of Prince Philip).

The essence of a monarchy is that there is zero requirement, apart from being born in the right cradle. As said: Prince George can be King tomorrow. And the dude hasn't even started his secondary education yet.
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  #955  
Old 05-02-2020, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camelot23ca
This is the crux of the issue. If an area of the UK had a population whose day to day language was French, William would be bilingual. The Commonwealth is different - I don’t think anyone in Quebec, for example, cares too much that William’s French is poor, (or mediocre, if you want to be generous). In my experience the Québécois appreciate someone making an effort to initiate a conversation in French. Similarly, some people may appreciate William making a speech in French, but no level of fluency is going to make the British monarchy popular in Quebec.

The European royals are at least bilingual because it’s essential for them to speak English. Any additional languages for the royals I can think of come from having a parent whose native language is different - Maxima and Spanish, Henrik and French, etc - or from the political necessity of being able to at least sound good making a speech in their country’s additional languages or dialects.

It all evens out in the end.. William missed out on the benefits that come from learning a new language, but he gained hugely important skills by having had an actual career, one which he needed to earn, which involved both academic and technical training, and in which he was responsible for people’s lives. I can’t think of any other future monarch who has had or will likely have that kind of experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy7 View Post
Suitability to be King is basically. Willingness, understanding, temperament, accepting and hard-working. Language skills. Low on list.
I think this sums up my position on the issue.

Prince William's ability to speak French or not is not going to be the determining factor in whether he's an effective King of Canada or even if he is ever King of Canada, there are dozens of other more important factors, just like there are for Australian republicanism and Scottish and Welsh independence.

Would it be beneficial to him if he did speak French or another language fluently? Of course, but it's not given a high priority in the UK education system in general nor apparently in any of the heir training he's been receiving. And I suppose since unlike his continental European counterparts he doesn't have to, he doesn't. Although to be fair we have no facts about that.

It should also be noted that whilst the Queen benefitted from a governess education in many ways including French, it was also lacking in academic rigorousness in others areas. I've heard it described as a "gentle education" suitable for her class with later constitutional and legal lessons from various people.
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  #956  
Old 05-02-2020, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavs View Post
I think this sums up my position on the issue.

Prince William's ability to speak French or not is not going to be the determining factor in whether he's an effective King of Canada or even if he is ever King of Canada, there are dozens of other more important factors, just like there are for Australian republicanism and Scottish and Welsh independence.

Would it be beneficial to him if he did speak French or another language fluently? Of course, but it's not given a high priority in the UK education system in general nor apparently in any of the heir training he's been receiving. And I suppose since unlike his continental European counterparts he doesn't have to, he doesn't. Although to be fair we have no facts about that.

It should also be noted that whilst the Queen benefitted from a governess education in many ways including French, it was also lacking in academic rigorousness in others areas. I've heard it described as a "gentle education" suitable for her class with later constitutional and legal lessons from various people.

Nevertheless, Prince Charles also speaks French fluently and is said to speak German too although I am not sure about his proficiency in the latter.

Foreign languages may not be a priority in the British education system, but they are available as elective subjects , including at A-Level. William certainly could have taken French at Eton ( I suppose) if he wanted too and is somewhat puzzling that he did not considering that most of his ancestors ,from Queen Victoria and Edward VII to his father and grandmother , all spoke or speak French.
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  #957  
Old 05-02-2020, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
He was in the military which is dangerous?
I meant his service and career as a rescue pilot, in which he flew his helicopter into murderous weather.
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/nor...amily-10911210

"During his three years at RAF Valley , Prince William undertook 156 search and rescue operations, rescuing 149 people."..."
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  #958  
Old 05-02-2020, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Nevertheless, Prince Charles also speaks French fluently and is said to speak German too although I am not sure about his proficiency in the latter.

Foreign languages may not be a priority in the British education system, but they are available as elective subjects , including at A-Level. William certainly could have taken French at Eton ( I suppose) if he wanted too and is somewhat puzzling that he did not considering that most of his ancestors ,from Queen Victoria and Edward VII to his father and grandmother , all spoke or speak French.

When Edward VII was a lad, all upper class people learned some French.. times are different now. the queen didn't have a particularly good education, but she did learn French because It was part of a lady's education. but I don't see why William has to learn it...
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  #959  
Old 05-02-2020, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Nevertheless, Prince Charles also speaks French fluently and is said to speak German too although I am not sure about his proficiency in the latter.

Foreign languages may not be a priority in the British education system, but they are available as elective subjects , including at A-Level. William certainly could have taken French at Eton ( I suppose) if he wanted too and is somewhat puzzling that he did not considering that most of his ancestors ,from Queen Victoria and Edward VII to his father and grandmother , all spoke or speak French.
I think that is a little cruel. Many Brits speak French excellently. A lot Spanish and some German.

Education situation now is European Language from 7.

He may not have an aptitude for languages. It hardly matters
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  #960  
Old 05-02-2020, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post


Being in the military is brave and yes does show great merit. But it certainly is not the only thing that matters in a king. If at all. He isn't training to be a future military leader but a political figure.
The one thing ALL British monarchs have to learn is how NOT to be political figures!
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