Royalty?

‘Hello, you’ll be fans of Chuck and Di then?’ said some strange Canadians.

We shared a room together in a Sydney youth hostel.

The Canadians, not Chuck, Di and I.

Next up, they cleared off around Aus and the next time I saw them, on their return, they were with some crazy Welsh guy who said virtually the same thing. (I married the crazy Welsh guy).

What was it with people that they thought I was a royalist?

This is the woman who cleared off to France when the boring Chuck and Di wedding happened, and, managed to avoid all silver jubilee parties. Maybe that was another French trip? Who knows? I don’t remember. Just that it was of no interest to me.

And that has always been my view. Not for or against monarchy or royalty. Just, who cares?

When I was a kid I dressed up in a veil and with my flowered tiara so I looked like the queen on her wedding day. Well, that’s what I thought. We had lots of lovely old magazines that had recorded it at the time, not that many years previously – ten or fifteen years? Like everything in life, they will have been thrown out in one of my mother’s purges, or maybe even mine.

My mother’s side of the family was very royalist. Endless watchings of boring old Trooping of the Colour, Remembrance Day, and tears because it was all so emotive. No wonder I wanted nothing to do with it.

And yet, with age, comes perspective. QEII may have made some mistakes (invariably due to crass advisors), but even I can’t disrespect her. What a vile job to start with.

She came to the throne at age 25 when her father died. The King is Dead! Long Live the Queen! etc etc. She was in Africa about to go on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. It didn’t happen as she had to go home. As you do, when you have just become queen.

At the time of her accession, (6 Feb 1952), she became Head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon.

Currently, she is Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

(wiki)

And presumably the British Overseas Territories too of course, of which Gib is one.

So why are people still remotely interested or supportive of the monarchy?

For my generation (late 50s) there is partly a WW2 thing. They were rich and privileged and they never left the country. The Queen Mother refused to send the two princesses to Canada without her, and as her husband – King George VI – had no intention of leaving the UK, that was the whole family staying put.

During the war, Princess Elizabeth joined the Womens’ Auxiliary Territorial Service and trained as a driver and mechanic. There is a great vid on youtube of her sorting out a Land Rover at Balmoral. Love it, but can’t find it.

So here is a newer one. Hey, that Land Rover looks like mine. So does that Barbour. Oh, I don’t have the scarf (give me a couple of years).

What else? Well, she is the most widely travelled head of state in history. The last time she came to Gib was in 1954 before the Franco frontier fiasco.

Quick political point: why on earth is Spain objecting to a visit by the boring old Count and Countess of Wessex to a British Overseas Territory? Yes, Spain, Gib is still British. Personally I would like to see the queen visit, but hey, maybe a bit old these days.

The children. Oh dear. I think she should have followed her predecessor’s example and remained a virgin, or at least not had kids.

Where to start? Randy Andy? His tedious relationship with Sarah all over the media? Yawn. Fair enough that he served for his country in the Falklands War. He’s not exactly done much since has he? Or has he?

How about this one?

Alleged comments on corruption and Kazakhstan
As the United Kingdom’s Special Trade Representative, The Duke of York travelled the world to promote British businesses. It was revealed in the United States diplomatic cables leak that the Duke had been reported on by Tatiana Gfoeller, the United States Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, discussing bribery in Kyrgystan and the investigation into the Al-Yamamah arms deal.

The Duke, she explained, “was referencing an investigation, subsequently closed, into alleged kickbacks a senior Saudi royal had received in exchange for the multi-year, lucrative BAE Systems contract to provide equipment and training to Saudi security forces.”

The dispatch continued: “His mother’s subjects seated around the table roared their approval. He then went on to ‘these (expletive) journalists, especially from the National Guardian [sic], who poke their noses everywhere’ and (presumably) make it harder for British businessmen to do business. The crowd practically clapped!”

Earlier in 2010 it was revealed that the Kazakhstan President’s billionaire son-in-law Timur Kulibayev paid the Duke of York’s representatives £15m – £3m over the asking price – via offshore companies, for the Duke’s Surrey mansion, Sunninghill Park. Kulibayev frequently appears in US dispatches as one of the men who has accumulated millions in gas-rich Kazakhstan.

In May 2012, it was reported that Swiss and Italian police investigating “a network of personal and business relationships” allegedly used for “international corruption” were looking at the activities of Enviro Pacific Investments which charges “multi-million pound fees” to energy companies wishing to deal with Kazakhstan.The trust is believed to have paid £6m towards the purchase of Sunninghill which now appears derelict.[20] In response a Palace spokesman said “This was a private sale between two trusts. There was never any impropriety on the part of The Duke of York”.

Yeah, great trade representative Andy.

The Duke of York receives a £249,000 annuity from the Queen.The Sunday Times reported in July 2008, that for “the Duke of York’s public role,… he last year received £436,000 to cover his expenses.”

More recently, on 8 March 2011, The Daily Telegraph reported:
Last year the prince spent £620,000 as a trade envoy, including £154,000 on hotels, food and hospitality and £465,000 on travel.

Mmm, nice trade there.

Edward? Nowt to say apart from boring:

The Earl of Wessex, along with his wife, carries out a full schedule of royal duties on behalf of the Queen, receiving Civil List monies from the Queen of £141,000 per annum for their work in the United Kingdom, and various amounts from the governments of the other realms for his work there.

That’s not a lot. I know people earning far more for doing less.

The Princess Royal. Anne. I have a sneaking respect for her. She has always been known as carrying out the most royal duties of the whole family so she earns her dosh.

Anne receives an annual allowance of £228,000, most of which is spent on staff who support her public engagements and correspondence.

I remember being impressed watching her on the telly back in the UK when she was being filmed in Africa, wearing flat shoes, shorts, no (visible) make-up, and being totally practical.

I saw her years later when she opened a hospital in Cumbria. She was tiny, delicate and beautiful. The veritable fairy tale princess.

She did drive a bit fast though. Naff off??

How about Charles? Picks an alleged virgin for the propagation of the royal line and shags someone else’s wife at the same time? I don’t mind him talking to plants but I think his morals are a bit shaky.

With which I will end. Because Ma’am, you are right not to abdicate.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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24 Responses to Royalty?

  1. Pingback: Diamond Jubilee Monday in Gibraltar | roughseasinthemed

  2. bluonthemove says:

    I’m a bit worried about the kids too. I have no problem with people talking to plants, but when Charles says he listens to what they say back to him, well, professionals will tell you that is called hearing voices in your head. Last person in power who did that was called George W. Bush.

    Edward’s main black mark was turning up with his TV production company at St. Andrew’s University in Prince William’s first term in breach of a carefully crafted agreement between the media and Buckingham Palace to leave William alone.

    Turning up at a fancy dress party in a nazi uniform wasn’t the brightest thing Prince Harry has ever done, but he has got stuck into real fighting in Afghanistan and seems the most human of the lot of them. DNA test anyone!!

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    • Maybe voices in our head are sensible. Just think his plants advised him badly.

      LOL! I did read about that when I was researching this post. I mean, seriously, that is stuffing your own family!! I don’t think it helped when he dropped the Marines either, especially after Randy’s success as a pilot with the RN. Arts and drama isn’t quite the same backbone.

      I never thought about the grandkiddies. The Harry stunt was a bit like the Di and Fergie umbrella one. Although rather more thoughtless. I don’t know. About any of them.

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  3. Some interesting points of view. Mine – Charles is OK (even if he does talk to plants and has wierd ideas about architecture), Anne needs a better stylist (frumpy), Phillip is just great (who else would dare to throw a sicky at the Jubilee?), Edward seems to be quite sensible (boring), Sarah Ferguson was just stupid (dimmer than a 30 watt light bulb)), Diana was a crank (how did she expect to get away with it?), The Queen is wonderful – long may she reign!

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    • I can understand the plants thing. I thought he was ok at that point. Architecture? well – some of my best mates were/are architects so more ambivalence there.

      Anne is fine by me. She is older than both of us. WTF does she need a stylist at 62? Why does her appearance matter? How would someone describe you? Boring old golfer?

      Philip – thereby lies lots of stories which I forgot to post, ‘where’s the fucking gin’ being the main one.

      We agree on Edward, sort of.

      Sarah, Diana, er with the exception of the queen you have totally dismissed all the women and excused the men. Love your sexism. It’s rampant.

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      • Sorry, I’ll try again and risk your wrath!
        Ann is fine if you like the Queen Mary hairstyle, Forgetting the history – Camilla I sort of like!, Sarah Ferguson was ok but didn’t quite get it and ultimately spoilt things for herself and paid the price, Diana was a fruit cake who thought she could bring down the House of Windsor, Queen Mother was a good sort, Queen Victoria was a bit of a grump, I admire Queen Anne for having 17 pregnancies, and Elizabeth I was the ‘Faerie Queen’. Apart from Boudica, have I missed anyone out?
        I am not a boring golfer – I am a very boring golfer!

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        • Anne’s hair isn’t remotely like Queen Mary’s.

          Camilla is irrelevant. I was writing about the royal sprogs, not their spouses.

          As for Sarah, the poor dear seems to have got worse. And now facing extradition charges to Turkey??!!

          If you want to be really sexist I’m surprised you aren’t going for Bea and Eugie, who look equally as fat as mummy and daddy put together. And equally as ungoodlooking.

          I have no views about Diana but I don’t think she was so power-crazed. Being married to Charles would probably have driven anyone mad.

          QM was very British, so is the queen. Some Brits do it well.

          Victoria did mother (as in the alternative to sire) half of Europe and beyond eg Russia.

          I don’t think 17 (or 18) pregnancies is to be admired.

          Elizabeth 1 was a bit more than a Faerie Queen. IMO.

          Yes, you missed her sister. Mary.

          Anyways, you were going to criticise the men next. There are more of them who were in charge. There always are. 🙂

          Are you a fat boring golfer too?

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          • I fear getting drawn into this but…
            I am offended by your comment that I am sexist. You don’t know me well enough to make that accusation. You can be quite rude!
            Yes, I agree men have by tradition generally been the dominant gender and disappointingly it will take some time to change this. How different is this to nature? You like dogs, well, for example, wolves have dominant males so do cats, all wild primates, and mostly every other animal living on the planet.
            The ancient Amazons are a male fantasy!
            I agree that this is wrong but it is deeply rooted in the principle of man the hunter/provider and woman the mother/home maker. I am not justifying it but simply being realistic. Neither you or I can change thousands of years of evolution in just a week or two – we can only be part of a society that begins the process.
            Golfer – yes, Boring – maybe, Fat – I hope not!

            Like

          • Fallen off the fence eh?

            Your language is sexist. At an exceedingly simplistic level referring to women as girls and ladies is very sexist. I have written about it on here. Look it up if you choose as I’m not doing your homework on this one.

            I have not been rude. I have been honest. Your posts are endlessly sexist. How about lap dancing in whereever it was because you just couldn’t avoid it because you were the tour leader?

            Or the one about the naturist magazine? Where you wanted to look at women’s breasts? Where you said older people shouldn’t get their clothes off because they were sagging? And where you just wanted to see nice nude supermodels? You may find it a joke and think it funny. It is not only totally and utterly sexist, it is misogynist.

            I understand with wolves, that the pack leader isn’t always the alpha male. The alpha female will often take the lead in certain groups as wolf rankings are based on strength and the ability to win fights, not gender. They also have alpha pairs. ie equal.

            As for Amazons, you can look them up on Wiki as well as I can.

            Speaking of which, your dismissal of Margaret Thatcher as a bitch is equally sexist. Criticise her policies, as I do, but don’t use derogatory language.

            If I wait for you to begin the process of changing society, I will be grey. Or white. Or dead.

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          • Sorry, but you are rude, intolerant and extreme and although you insult and offend me I value your feedback and opinion and will bare it in mind in the future and try to moderate what I say. I don’t set out deliberately to offend anyone.
            Incidently, I consulted my friends on the use of the term girls as opposed to women and they said they preferred it (in your bigoted feminist way you’d probably condemn them for that). Would I mind being called a boy – I don’t think so – it wouldn’t even cross my mind to be offended.
            You may wish to reflect on your own misandry reflected for example in your distorted views on domestic violence.
            Let’s leave it there! It’s been nice knowing you…
            I’ve got to go out hunting right now…

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          • I doubt you would have feminist friends. So I am sure they would want to be called girls. Same age as you? Nearly 60?

            Domestic violence??? Distorted views?

            Bigoted feminist?

            Misandry?

            This post was about the monarchy and all you can do is bring it down to denigrating women.

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          • Actually, you started it! I do this blogging stuff for fun, not seeking confrontation, I do not imagine myself to be Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. It must be a real burden living life without a sense of humour?

            Like

  4. free penny press says:

    Love the vid of the Queen driving.. here in the states we know very little of the royal family unless one digs and reads.. I personally think I would really like her..I know many of us loved Diana and my daughter has a mad crush on Prince Harry….Ah royalty!

    Like

    • Strange, I thought American media was obsessed with Brit royals!!

      She sounds ok to me too. Hey, she can repair a land rover. How many monarchs can do that? 🙂

      Diana? William? Harry? Kate? Gotta look for the staying power, so to speak.

      Like

      • “Strange, I thought American media was obsessed with Brit royals!!”

        There was a big hullabaloo here regarding the royal marriage. There were all of these trinkets and doohickeys, magazines, parties etc making their load of cash. But the obsession seems to have faded quite a bit. Kind of like the RMS Titanic. We’ve passed the 100th anniversary so I don’t see many people writing about it any more in the WordPress Reader. Go figure.

        Being as I’m not British (although my bloodlines are), I don’t have an opinion one way or the other regarding the Monarchy. Although I am curious about its connection with Australia and how it works.

        I seen your post on animal abuse. It’s really difficult to think that anyone could abuse an animal. My own dog is a very timid sweet pup. The case of the Collie pup is very sad. And you see more and more horse abandonment. Pity.

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        • Yeah, what’s the latest distraction of the time? Your view is like mine. No strong feelings either way, even though I have a British passport. Still, they do serve a purpose sometimes I think.

          Aus always wants to be republican, fine by me. Canada occasionally so, Jamaica moreso, etc etc.

          I try not to post too much about animal abuse as I know people don’t like to read it, but it happens, like every other horrible story in the world, so from time to time I will post, but usually different animals. I try and leave out the pictures though, with the exception of my criticism of King Juan Carlos of Spain on roughseas blog for his african exploits.

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  5. Vicky says:

    I’ve never been much into royalty, but certainly not anti royal.
    I feel the position they are in, they are expected to portray themselves ‘properly’, and if they’re seen not be, they get slagged off (Prince Harry, really makes me laugh)
    I just love that video of the Queen, so down to earth and natural………and the Land Rover 😉
    No probs with Anne either, she’s quite a grafter.
    It’s all the hangers on from the extended family that p*ss me off.

    Like

    • That mirrors me.
      Not for ’em, not against ’em, but not keen on the bludgers.
      That is a great vid of her, I must find the other one 🙂 It was a Series 🙂
      And as you say, Anne works. I’ll try and scan in the pic from the hospital opening.

      Like

  6. reb says:

    Interesting reading! I’m not anti royalty, but not obsessed with them either. I must admit though, that I keep better track of them now, since I moved away than I did when I lived in the Monarchy of Sweden. Or rather … I’ve probably become ‘more Swedish’, being away from there.

    David, the guy I mentioned in that post you read … he was really anti. He refused to ride a certain subway line ‘Jubilee Line’, because they’d changed the name of it from Fleet Line, in connection with some jubilee whatever. So … he had take other lines to get where he wanted, which was really time consuming. Must be really tiresome to have hang-ups like that..

    Like

    • At one point in Spain when we had a television and I read Spanish papers (both partly to improve my Spanish) I felt like I was a world expert on European royalty. Spanish media coverage of royal events etc is pretty strong. I’ve forgotten it all now!

      I think there is something about being abroad that makes you very conscious of your nationality. When I went travelling around the world (1980s) I got as far as Greece, and it really kicked in there. No reason, it just did.

      That David story is too funny. It figures he would be anti-royal though. I don’t think it was Fleet Line for very long at all. I never thought about the name Jubilee, it was just one of the later lines. Bit of a meaningless protest though, who would know that he was dragging out his journey on different lines? 😀

      As for royals, if they aren’t extremely stupid (Harry, Juan Carlos of Spain with his hunting escapade) or disgustingly immoral (Charles) I have no problem with them. They have a privileged life, they are in the public eye. If they work, and add some value, then they can stay there. Some of them – but not all – seem far more sensible than the political leaders of our countries.

      Like

      • reb says:

        I always find that type of little ‘protests’ so dumb … especially when the person in question prides himself of being an intellectual. Yes, he was anti-royal, anti-Thatcher. He also had to really go out of his way to find a pair of shoes that weren’t made of leather and a suit that didn’t contain wool.

        It’s difficult to imagine what it would be like to be born royal, considering the public eye. But if you’re born into it, then you don’t know anything else, I guess. Our princess Victoria suffered from anorexia, a number of years ago. They went public with it, she took ‘a year off’, went to the States to study at Yale. Now she’s been back home for many years, married a commoner and just recently got a little daughter [Estelle].

        One thing that struck me during my short stay in England: The media coverage of the royals was much bigger there compared to Sweden. They were in the daily newscasts ….about what they were up to, and so on …we don’t have that.

        Like

        • Have to say I also go out of my way to find non-leather shoes, non-wool or non-silk clothes. But I think that’s slightly different to not travelling on the Jubilee line! Principles. Who would have them?

          Must look up your princess. Did she like Dickens? – Estelle, the cobweb story. Great Expectations I think. Appropriate title for this topic 😀

          The media in the UK may have changed 😦 Far more superficial and nosing into peoples’ lives. I don’t remember it like that which was why Spain was a surprise. But maybe I never saw it.

          Like

  7. EllaDee says:

    A royally good post 🙂 It was your mention of “lovely old magazines” that hit the spot. That was royalty for me, but all mixed together with American Hollywood “royalty” so none of it was ever quite real, and still isn’t to me. I don’t think the royalty British, Hollywood-type or other (in fact the European royalty added that extra dash of interest) are doing any harm. I stopped reading THOSE magazines when Diana died because the whole treatment of it was just appalling. The Queen deserves her jubilee, she’s earnt it, and as for her family, well, we all have them…

    Like

    • Thanks ED. The magazines were commemorative black and white ones of the coronation and the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. I did like looking at them. The photographs were superb and she looked so lovely.

      I guess Hollywood and royalty don’t fit in the same sentence to a lot of Brits. I know what you are saying, but it’s sort of sacriligious to associate the two words! I was just writing above in reply to Reb (from Sweden) about European royalty. I knew little about it until I moved to Spain whereupon I spent a few years being inundated with every prince and princess in Europe under the sun. Spaniards must like royalty, I suppose they have a very strong aristocracy.

      Like you, mostly, I don’t think they do any harm. They are there really, no more to say. Most of my views are pretty left-wing, but on this one I think my history side leans slightly in favour of them, they are part of my heritage and I’m not too keen on doing away with the past. Certainly the Queen has earned her keep, I would say. I hope she had a nice weekend 🙂

      Like

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