Thank you for your interesting question 21:25 and apologies for my delay in replying. I fear I have completely given myself over to hedonism, the trauma of the GE results has tipped me over the edge. I simply cannot watch, think about or talk about anything that makes me sad. I only survived the BBC's Christmas Carol because I knew it had a happy ending. Bambi, obviously, was a no go.
My consolation as I go into freefall, is that I will look fabulous. Should I survive any knocks on the noggin as I bounce down a cliff, my first question will be, 'did the eyelashes hold up?'. I have turned, or am turning, into Barbara Cartland, but I have a much nicer nature, I hasten to add. Not her flouncy, bouncy, pink fairy on top of a tree look, but more, the number of cosmetics she put on her face, inc. eyelashes. Ok, that sounds a bit clownish, how about Danny La Rue? ha ha.
But I digress, I am feeling a tad whimsical today, mostly because I had my hair cut, and I am tickled pink with the result, factually speaking that should be tickled blue, due to my overuse of purple shampoo, ha ha, oh God, Mrs Slocombe! Oldies will know who she is ;)
But back to your question. Where would I put myself on a scale of liking/ supporting, the Royal Family. 1.love....5, Don't care.....10. Hate. Oooh, I think there should be another option, but for the moment I can't think of one.
For a large chunk of my adult life I described myself as a Marxist, more recently a democrat, ergo, anti monarchy, but only a little bit. The answer should be around a '6'. But due to my love of history carried through the monarchy, more of which shortly, but also because they were the chief fodder of the tabloids, the Sundays, especially. In those days, there were 'A' and maybe 'B' list stars and very little else - the public needed something to discuss over the garden fence. I had a fascination, obsession even with the Royal Family when Diana came along. I didn't hate her, who could? She was a nice lady, and she always seemed kind of vulnerable. I loved, her fashions, her hairstyles, the jewels! Yes, I was a shallow Daily Mail reader.
I kind of cringe at my old anti monarchy arguments, because when arguing between my selves (I have multiple personalities) in my head, not out loud, err, I don't think, one of the better ones, defends our duty to preserve history for future generations. The history of Britain for example, is defined by the names of the monarchs who ruled at that time. Elizabethan, Victorian, Georgian. Their lineage defines the culture, politics and big events of their times. Set against that, the old anti monarchy me would say, most other countries, have evolved with the 'times', and their own privileged, entitled few, have stepped down from their lofty pedestals. Mostly of their own volition, and I am hoping my European readers will confirm or put right. As I said in my last blog, being part of rigid family seeped in age old traditions, could feel like a prison.
There is probably some kind of rebellion going on within the Royal Family, beyond that 'Jezebel' Meghan. The old Queen, throughout her rein, has opposed any changes to the whole royal ethos. Look at her stubbornness when Diana died. Ok, I too thought it a little gross to intrude on a grieving family, but they were on the brink of losing the 'love' of the people. I suspect that she will never accept that those with royal blood are just the same as everyone else. Her long rule has kept the House of Windsor static, stifling for Harry and Meghan, change is long overdue. I think William and Harry are fully aware of that, ergo, their hands on involvement in their Charities. I suspect the crisis at the palace lies more with old versus new. Will the Windsors, like their cousins in Europe, evolve into 'normal' people?
I don't love the Royal family, but nor do I hate them, though I should perhaps add I have a very intense dislike for Andrew and a strong dislike for Anne and Edward because they are both such complete oiks. Prince Phillip, I fear, is doing bit parts in 'The Walking Dead'. The Queen, I must confess, won my admiration when she went to visit the youngsters in hospital following the bombing in Manchester. I suppose up until then, I had never seen the good she has done and the difference her presence has made. I kind of live by the philosophy of 'whatever gets you through the night' (good song title ;)). For some people that is religion, cheering the Queen, do gooding, or taking drugs and/or drinking to excess. If the spirit is willing, but the body can't handle it, the first 3 are the best options, but I would also add the application of false eyelashes (I compare it to open heart surgery), as in, no-one would interrupt me with 'the saucepan's on fire, if I was taking a scalpel to an aorta! Actually, any OCD will do, I am presently trying to develop one for learning Spanish but I am stuck on page one because I can't say 'Hola'. Even the machine is getting fed up with my pathetic attempts, I feel it is mocking me every time it presses the offkey wrong sound. If it were a physical presence, I would punch it in the eye, as almost happened with a one off guitar lesson, turns out I can't play the guitar, nor sing, but that's another story.
On the whole I would say I am indifferent, to the Windsors, not tutors. I have no desire to see them, not even Andrew, guillotined in Parliament Square. Nor would I like to see harsh rules imposed on them by the government, nor any stripping of titles, withdrawal of funds or exiling. Admittedly, that is a bit of a head in the sand approach, especially if you ask is it right for one, extended, family, to be kept in such luxury and privilege? But opposed to that, you have the pomp, ceremony and tradition that captivates the entire globe, myself included. Rightly or wrongly, the nation feels included in those celebrations, no other country has a monarchy quite like ours. I also, unashamedly, love the pictures of William and Kate's little ones, they are adorable and Kate and Meghan too, are so effortlessly beautiful and stylish. The vulgar Trumps do not even compare. I can't see anyone queuing up to see Donald's gold toilet. Or maybe not, it could have a good future as a booby prize on a Reality TV show.
I'm afraid 21:25, I hover around the middle, I can see the absurdity of elevating one family above all others, but I can also see that the pomp and tradition of the House of Windsor contributes to our economy, the tourist industry especially. I am not sure any other person or family would have that draw. And any argument that a democratically elected leader is better than a Monarch is negated by one word. Trump. Ok, he's not actually a monarch, but he thinks he is, and indeed he is treated as if he is. The founders of the USA obviously didn't consider a lunatic of the raving kind, taking office as the President.
Returning to our duty to preserve history, as an amateur historian and lover of sparkly things, whilst it is true that history is his-story, it is also the history of the monarchs and upper classes, the elite and public school men. They were the only ones who could read and write. And indeed, they were the only ones who could afford to invest in architecture and the Arts and luxuries like diamonds, and, as a bit of trivia, Princess Margaret swooned when saw the size of Liz Taylor's. The Rich, men especially, erected monuments to themselves, huge sprawling mansions, paintings commissioned by the best artists of their day. This was their legacy, think Louis XIV and Versailles, the mortal King wanted to build something to be remembered by. For him it worked, not so much for Ozymandias. I suppose for billionaires, it is not enough to recline on a golden chaise longue with a lacky peeling your grapes, you want everyone else to know how rich you are. Kings and Queens have done it, well forever, the wealthier you are the more powerful you are. Henry VIII and Francis I displayed all their baubles at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. These days, most men just get a bigger car.
I am not sure what the moral argument is with greedily acquiring more wealth than you could spend in a lifetime, or two. I mean I am all for a bit of a pampering, but all day, every day? Fortunately, the old aristocracy didn't have available to them flashy cars, aeroplanes, futuristic mansions with infinity pools or maybe even roulette tables and hookers. Ok, scrub the last two. But their big money went into lasting monuments, thus capturing the arts and culture of the time. All these works of art, including the fabulous jewels, the crowns, the tiaras, the necklaces, the incredible Faberge eggs, still bring feelings of awe and admiration in those who gaze upon them. Would all these creations exist, if no-one could afford them?
I think, my friend, there are too many answers to your question. In a nutshell, I think this lot, both Princes and their wives, are a lot better than the last lot. More aware, and more in touch with the feelings of the public. They have the potential to do much good, and I get the impression both young couples really want to.