Author Topic: Current Perception of the Windsors and the Future of the Monarchy  (Read 133533 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mcdnab

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #390 on: April 21, 2010, 09:44:30 AM »
It is an interesting point but it is worth bearing in mind that Queen Consorts when widowed tended to revert to the background of life - Queen Alexandra made very few public appearances after the death of Edward VII, she spent most of her time at Sandringham or Marlborough House until her death - her trips to Denmark stopped in the early 20's - partially because of her failing health. She made her annual Queen Alexandra drives, which she didn't particularly like but that was about it.
Queen Mary in widowhood played a more visible and supporting role in the early days after the abidcation partially because of circumstances but again her public duties were limited and again she played no constitutional role and never acted as a councellor of state - though on occassions she stood in for Queen Elizabeth (particularly during the mourning period after the death of the Queen's mother the Countess of Strathmore).
Queen Elizabeth was a different case she was widowed in her early fifties, was still tremendously popular and had played a much more public role during her husband's reign than either Queen Mary or Queen Alexandra. She also acted as a councellor of state during her daughter's early reign. Her long life and long widowhood has rather emphasised the public side of her life but they are not requirements for a widowed Queen consort.
On the titles - during the reign of her husband a Queen Consort is formally simply The Queen - in widowhood both Alexandra and Mary were referred to as Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary. Queen Adelaide who was childless was simply known as Queen Adelaide until her death during Victoria's reign. The style Queen Mother was used for both Mary and Alexandra but the only person to bear the style formally - was Elizabeth Bowes Lyon - whose correct style was Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother - this was in part to distinguish her from her daughter - in the Household Elizabeth II was referred to simply as The Queen whilst the Queen Mother was referred to as Queen Elizabeth.
Should Camilla outlive Charles - then she simply stays as she is Queen Camilla - and perhaps like many other Queen Dowager's has a less visible public profile.
I'm new here, but have been a lurker for a long time and am shocked that my first post is related to Charles and Camilla given my interest in the more historical aspects of the monarchy however, here goes. It seems like logic and law are in favor of Camilla becoming Queen, however there are two issues of tradition that may be something to consider. First, the Queen Consort has a secondary role as mother of the future monarch. Since Queen Alexandria, the Queen Mother has held a prominent role within the royal family during the life of and after the death of the current monarch as mother to the new monarch. While that is more of a 20th century innovation, it plays an important role in the royal family as mother/gradmother to the heir. Camilla can never be that and then the Queen Step mum, how awkward is that? (should she outlive Charles) Secondly, there has been a Prince Consort for more than 50 years with no awkward circumstances within the institution of the royals. People are used to that arrangement, and while a Princess Consort would be a first, it would allow Charles to keep his word and the circumstance would not be that different from his parents. The sex of the consort in today's world does not have to create different results for male vs female consorts. Having said that, Camilla probably will become Queen and that's fine too. Princess Diana will always be remembered via her boys and for her being Diana, what goes on with King Charles and Queen Camilla will be irrelevant to Diana's memory.

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2912
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #391 on: April 21, 2010, 10:00:39 AM »
Agreed. It is an important point that the Queen Mother was only 51 when she was widowed, and in very robust health, whereas Queen Alexandra and Queen Mary were both in their late 60s. Additionally, the present Queen was much younger at her accession than any of her predecessors since Queen Victoria, and had young children. The Queen Mother was simply not ready to retire. Because she lived so long, and became such a fixture, we tend to forget that she was the first Queen Dowager to have a high profile role.

Ann

Offline Vecchiolarry

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 759
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #392 on: April 21, 2010, 10:18:41 AM »
Hi,

Mcdnab, your post is spot on and a very intelligent and informative rendering of the correct history of Queen Mothers...  Thank you!!

For the record, it was I who mentioned the 'cult of Diana', not Margot;  so blame me if she (Diana) has reared her head on this thread.
Also, FTR, I championed Diana while she was alive, but less so after the "sturm & drang" of the marriage break-up...  I was shocked at her death, but now I'm over it & frankly bored with all the hoopla over "this poor dead princess"....

BTW, what is all this singular association of that title with Diana;  I do also associate the title "Princess of Wales" with Alexandra and Mary, as they were PoW in a past time...

Larry

Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #393 on: April 21, 2010, 05:02:34 PM »
The far more prominent roles held by women following both world wars is probably what encouraged a higher public profile for the two widowed consorts (Mary and Elizabeth) in my opinion, and would be more relevant than the ages or the status of their health even after their husbands died.  In Alexandra's day, you quietly withdrew when you lost your husband.  The wars put paid to that.  Maybe they took their cues from social change?     

Offline Grace

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 3126
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #394 on: April 21, 2010, 05:04:40 PM »
Hi,

Mcdnab, your post is spot on and a very intelligent and informative rendering of the correct history of Queen Mothers...  Thank you!!

For the record, it was I who mentioned the 'cult of Diana', not Margot;  so blame me if she (Diana) has reared her head on this thread.
Also, FTR, I championed Diana while she was alive, but less so after the "sturm & drang" of the marriage break-up...  I was shocked at her death, but now I'm over it & frankly bored with all the hoopla over "this poor dead princess"....

BTW, what is all this singular association of that title with Diana;  I do also associate the title "Princess of Wales" with Alexandra and Mary, as they were PoW in a past time...

Larry
What hoopla?  She's been dead for almost 13 years.

chasmat

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #395 on: April 21, 2010, 11:45:22 PM »
Yes, thank you Mcdnab for the historical info on the Queens of the 20th century. And I'm sure the roles these queens played is historically accurate, however, one only needs to look over this board and all the topics and discussions in multiple parts on the consort queens to realize that the influence of Queen Alexandra, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, both while their husbands were on the throne and in their widowhood was great, regardless of the actual time they put into the job,  and continues in so many ways. One of the greatest stories within all the history of the Monarchy is how these women influenced and inspired their husbands and thier country amd used their influence to enhance the role of the royal family in the commomwealth. My point perhaps is better stated that Queen Camilla, should the Prince of Wales ascend the throne next week, would probably not fulfill the role of consort (should she becomre the Queen) in quite as grand a manor as the 20th century consorts simply due to the circumstances and controversy surrounding her marriage, and should she outlive Charles, that she will not be the mother of the new King.

Offline mcdnab

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #396 on: April 22, 2010, 07:03:27 AM »
Actually it is debatable about the amount of influence a consort has historically offered.
Elizabeth Bowes Lyon was hugely influential on both her husband and daughter probably the most influential consort for good and bad since Prince Albert and before that you'd probably have to look to George III's mother, the Princess Dowager of Wales and before her Henriette Maria of France wife of Charles I.
Queen Alexandra's influence as such was minimal in fact her husband having waited so long and having been so excluded by his mother was extremely jealous of his position and shared very little beyond the social with his wife after his accession. Her influence on her children was stronger  - her natural anti prussian/german views had far less effect on her husband (who already loathed his nephew the Kaiser anyway) and certainly wasn't shared by her children unlike the effect of Marie Feodorovna's views had on her husband and children. She also babied all her children into their late middle age (in common with many of the descendants of Christian IX of Denmark), she also could be held responsible for her children's lack of any great thirst for knowledge but certainly both her sons adored her. She was in many ways the Diana of her day adored by the public from the moment of her arrival in the UK, beautiful and very domestic but she wasn't clever or particularly witty but her influence on the monarchy and on British life was minor.

Queen Mary never really got over the real love of her life, the British Crown, her influence on George V was also pretty minimal, she subdued her tastes and interests to his throughout their married life and only really embraced her passions after his death. She was essentially a town person and it is quite noticeble that she never returned to Balmoral in widowhood. Her influence on her children was again subordinate to the views of George V - her children, think the Duke of Windsor, commented on how different she was when they were left alone with her. Her passion for art and history was confined pretty much to things with Royal connections.

I suspect that were she to become Queen - Camilla would actually be a much more traditional Queen Consort. But I wouldn't underestimate her ability to influence things, Charles clearly adores her and I suspect that she gives him an often much needed dose of the "real world".

Constantinople

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #397 on: April 22, 2010, 11:28:06 PM »
my personal view of Camilla is that this woman has no taste.  If a commoner marries into royalty, she should have at least something to compensate for her lack of royal status.  Camilla, in my opinion is raw unbridled ambition at its worst. I feel that if Charles becomes monarch, the thought of Camilla being Queen will be the tipping point for monarchic ex colonies like Canada and Australia and New Zealand to become republics.

Offline Lucien

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 7349
  • Courtier
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #398 on: April 23, 2010, 01:55:21 AM »
my personal view of Camilla is that this woman has no taste.  If a commoner marries into royalty, she should have at least something to compensate for her lack of royal status.  Camilla, in my opinion is raw unbridled ambition at its worst. I feel that if Charles becomes monarch, the thought of Camilla being Queen will be the tipping point for monarchic ex colonies like Canada and Australia and New Zealand to become republics.

You're exagerating and you know.This post rambles dear Constantinople.
Je Maintiendrai

Constantinople

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #399 on: April 23, 2010, 02:08:29 AM »
Lucien
         Australia has been close to becoming a republic for a while and the view in Canada is that most people do not want to see this woman as a consort to the head of state.

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2912
    • View Profile
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #400 on: April 23, 2010, 03:23:01 AM »
No taste?

Camilla may not be a clothes horse like Diana, but she is always well turned out. More important, she does seem to be a kind-hearted person and particularly good in dealing with servicemen. Finally, she and Charles do seem to be really in love.

Interestingly, despite all the controversy over her, since she and Charles married the British press have not managed to find a single gaffe to report, rather the reverse.

Ann

Constantinople

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #401 on: April 23, 2010, 03:31:14 AM »
I think that that is out of fear of reprisals from the monarchy.  Before she was married, the royals couldnt say anything when she was criticised because she didnt have legitimacy.  Now she is married.  If she is well turned out, it is because she has well paid advisors.  I really find this woman distasteful and it is for a lot of reasons and I am not alone.   she remind me of Wallace Simpson.

Constantinople

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #402 on: April 23, 2010, 04:20:16 AM »
this is the prevalent Canadian view on Camilla
In 1983, when Charles arrived with his then bride, Diana, for her first tour, crowds of thousands greeted them and they basked in the glow of being thought of as a fairytale couple – a handsome (if you squint) prince who married a beautiful princess who was thought to be glamorous, beautiful, sweet.

No such fairy dust propels this journey. At one event, in Cupid Newfoundland, a mere 57 souls turned up. No one was believing the “cupid” business this time around.

Well, there is the adultery issue. The “I want to be your tampon” comment of Charles’, caught on tape. There is no more dreaminess and wide-eyed belief in monarchy on this tour of duty.

As Rosie DiManno, columnist for the Toronto Star and a reporter who has covered many a royal tour put it: “She may indeed be a jolly broad, the cat’s pyjamas, the bee’s knees, and a good fit for her besotted prince. But the Duchess is about as suitable for throne-sitting as Dame Edna – and with a worse wardrobe.’


“Royal men are defined by what they say, royal women by how they look. As are most women,” says Andrew Morton, a former royal reporter and author of Diana Her True Story, which makes him by default Diana’s official biographer.

The shadow of the eternally young Diana dogged Camilla’s every step, and whereas Diana was a daily fashion show, Camilla has been subjected to a daily ribbing for being, well, middle aged and spreading.
Charles, whatever you may think of him, was prescient in many laudable ways – he was an early adopter of environmental concerns and the righteousness of organic versus not, and his invention, Duchy Originals, was a revolutionary company, one of the very first organic producers of damn good food.

Camilla, however. There’s the rub. What does she do again?

The hidden irony is that while she was a wife, Diana was no better at getting dressed in the morning than Camilla. Though no one noticed for the fairy dust she wore horrendous “frocks” more suitable to a woman twice her age – to that extent, Camilla has her beat by dressing in tasteful if not interesting clothes suitable for her age.

Camilla’s fault is not her age or appearance, it is her lack of ability to recognize that her role is to inspire.





Constantinople

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #403 on: April 23, 2010, 04:21:51 AM »
In Diana’s case it wasn’t solely how she looked that made millions attend and watch both her wedding and funeral; by the time she died Diana was known to be vain, a bit nutty, petty. But she sang for her supper, she comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.

As for Charles and Camilla this trip, maybe the soldiers they have visited have felt inspired by their presence. Few others, except for die-hard royalists, seem to have been moved by either Charles’ or Camilla’s presence on our soil. Our own Prime Minister was caught in a photograph utterly bored and reading his program rather than engaging Camilla in conversation at one of their first events here. A picture worth a thousand words.

In Diana’s case it wasn’t solely how she looked that made millions attend and watch both her wedding and funeral; by the time she died Diana was known to be vain, a bit nutty, petty. But she sang for her supper, she comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.

As for Charles and Camilla this trip, maybe the soldiers they have visited have felt inspired by their presence. Few others, except for die-hard royalists, seem to have been moved by either Charles’ or Camilla’s presence on our soil. Our own Prime Minister was caught in a photograph utterly bored and reading his program rather than engaging Camilla in conversation at one of their first events here. A picture worth a thousand words.


Constantinople

  • Guest
Re: If the prsent Prince of Wales were to ascend the throne next week....
« Reply #404 on: April 23, 2010, 04:23:06 AM »
And Camilla? Her name is on the books of some 50-odd charities but in fact she is content to be a pampered wife it seems; “my greatest triumph is to love you” she reportedly told Charles. But if she loved him more wouldn’t she be a bit more, well, noble? Stand for something other than the sweater department at Marks & Spencer?

Eleanor Roosevelt was no beauty but she was not attacked for it, her contribution to the world garnering her respect and admiration. Even if you correct for the changes in reporting I don’t think anyone would comment on her looks rather than her mind. Charles’ sister Anne, Princess Royal, is also no beauty and something funny is going on with her hair, too, but this is not the focus of any coverage of her exploits, likely because her quiet work for charities and Save the Children is well respected.

You should not be attacked merely because you are middle aged. But neither should you get a free pass for it.