The Royals

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Dominus Atheos
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The Royals

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2020-01-21 10:35pm

Ok, for 30 years now, I assumed I was safe just ignoring all the British royal family stuff that pops up for a few months every few years the same way I'm save ignoring every currently airing reality tv show.

But recently ever since the royal wedding I feel like I'm supposed to be following them like game of thrones. WTF is going on? Can I get a crash course starting with queen Victoria until present so I can understand what and why I'm supposed to be shocked about now please?

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Re: The Royals

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2020-01-22 03:39am

All you need to know is a royal married a black person and that the British tabloid media is intensely racist. That's basically it.
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Re: The Royals

Post by The_Saint » 2020-01-22 04:42am

That's a big call considering your ruling family make the Kardashians look vaguely normal and that's based on the little I know of either.

As a non-UK citizen who has Lizzie as head of state (Australia) my view is possibly a little different than our UK members but I can answer from my perspective.

A lot of the "furore" that's happening currently (and over the last N number of years) stems from the fact that the British crown stretches some considerable distance back in time and so there's a lot of precedent and culture and symbolism surrounding it.
Starting with Queen Vic who proved you could reign for ages. The crown passed to Edward the 7th who due to his mothers extended reign was king for only ~9 years. Of note Edward was by marriage related to most of the other European ruling families but that's a topic for the Danish Royalty. George the 5th ruled during WW1 and into the 1930s and then the crown passed to his son Edward the 8th. This is where modern politics and media kicks in IMHO.

Edward the 8th wanted to marry a *gasp* commoner, *bigger gasp* an american and *HUGE GASP* a divorcee. This didn't fit with the socially conservative standing/outlook/image of the Royal family (and upper class UK) at the time so following pressure he abdicated the throne to his brother George the 6th. (to note the while some documents regarding the abdication were unsealed relatively recently there still remain a number of files that will in essence remain sealed indefinitely, a lot of skeletons in that closet).

George the 6th was in the situation where did not grow up expecting to be King (cough Harry?) but thrust into that role by fate. George married Mary and had two daughters: Elizabeth and Margaret. During WW2 the Royal family stayed in Britain and cultivated an air of perseverance against all odds (remaining in London during bombing raids, etc. When asked whether the Princesses should be sent to Canada for safety the Queen responded that they'd only go if she went and that she'd only go if the King went and that the King would be staying).

Lizzie married her 2nd cousin Phillip,*gasp* he's poor*, *gasp* he's from Greece (though a UK subject, it's complicated) and *gasp* Nazi relatives by marriage. Phillip though had some standing from WW2 military service and though with some reservations from politicians and advisers no one wanted a repeat of Edward the 8th and Lizzie would be Queen anyway (Phill would only be a Prince-consort) and so a marriage went ahead.

Side note: Phill the Greek has over recent decades (like 5 or so, once he got old, poor chap's nearly 100) been known to be quite racist and opinionated on certain subjects that he's not overly knowledgeable about. Regardless he has been quite successful at being what most would expect from a male royal consort: remain in the background but otherwise publicly supportive while adequately fulfilling whatever patron duties are required. Phillip did officially step back from public appearances/duties/etc a few years ago due to age.

Lizzie and Phill had four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Anne, Andrew and Edward have their own families with their own levels of fame and (mis)fortune within the British tabloids but that much rarely makes it over the globe to Australia. From my living memory Andrew's daughters Beatrice and Eugenie were very much party animals, living the Kardashian all-the-money-none-of-the-responsibility lifestyle, though somewhere along the line (older and wiser?) they've disappeared from the limelight somewhat (probably too many other more important royals to talk about). Andrew was the first close-to-the-throne royal to be sent into a warzone in ... quite some time, with his service as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands war (his mother's time in London during WW2 notwithstanding). Andrew had a somewhat public "friendship", marriage tom someone else, children and then a divorce... I'm told this was all relatively public and whatnot but not within overview of world affairs. (Andrew got himself back into world affairs, and promptly retreated from such, with a connection to the Epstein matter)
Edward I know stuff all about, the quiet youngest one that slipped through the cracks I guess. Ask someone from the UK.

Charles.... mmmmm well if you remember back somewhere before I mentioned Edward the 7th who only got a short reign due to his mothers extended one.... well that'll be Charles. At this point it's been expected for some time that Lizzie would outlive Chuckles and the crown would pass to his son William which honestly might not be a bad thing but I think in some ways the extended role of playing second fiddle to mother has to have ground away at Charles. Charles was set up with? (I don't honestly know how much it may have been an arranged marriage but I suspect some percentage way larger than 0) Lady Diana. Diana, though of upper class British aristocracy was a *gasp* relative commoner, a school teacher, 13 years younger than Charles and though everything appeared happy and fine hindsight is a wonderful thing and clearly a little too heavy on the arranged and not enough weight on the actual-romance.
Charles and Di had 2 sons, William and Harry (the great elephant of a question in the corner of the room that no one will talk about is the possibility that Harry might not actually be Charles' son, take that what you will but as far as all are concerned Harry is legitimately Charles' son). Diana was rather forward, compared to royal families past, of giving Will and Harry common life experiences and upbringing. I'm told the adviser types didn't like this but the public did and someone somewhere (Lizzie?) was willing to roll with what would bring the royal family closer to the masses.
Chuck and Di eventually split, all rather public because now it's all in the eye of the 'modern (1980s) media'. Chuck took up with an old flame of his Camilla and Di split off from the royal family using her fame and the like to advance a number of public causes.

Quite famously Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 and that was all very public. Indeed the paparazzi hounding Diana and her then boyfriend seems accepted as an influence in the crash.
This latter factor likely and understandably influenced Harry and Megan's recent actions.

Following tradition Will and Harry undertook service in the British military and then following Uncle Andrew's lead 25 years earlier, Harry deployed with his unit to Afghanistan. Notably the British press accepted the media blackout and it was a the German Bild and a shit tabloid in Australia that broke the news, subsequently Harry was returned to UK though he later went back. While Will is faced with the prospect of being King and having to keep his nose clean while doing all the sober representation of the Crown until then Harry has had the freedom of not being in direct line of succession, wealth-and-noless-responsibility. Hence Harry had the party boy styling in his younger days but along with his actually-in-danger military career and following in his mother's footsteps with being a champion of charity older, wiser Harry has cultivated a man-of-the-people persona. Personally for him, I can't speak for the UK but in Australia that has made him somewhat well liked and accepted.

Harry met Meghan, just like Harry's great-great-uncle Edward's girlfriend, Meghan is *little gasp* commoner, *bigger gasp* a divorcee and *HUGE GASP* an american. Oh and she's black not-white *BIGGEST GASP OF ALL*.
Frankly none of any of that seems to have made much material down here in Aus (at least not in the media I follow but I tend to only occasionally read tabloids to remind myself just how shit they are) but the UK is another matter and the thread discussing their withdrawal from Royal duties carries the point quite nicely.

Will, well Will is many things his father isn't... like ... not old. From what I hear in the UK that counts for a lot while down here it counts for a fair bit. Charlie seems to have become a little loopy like many old men, while Will seems to continue all the expected traits of his grandmother, well mannered, well spoken, sincere, considered, etc, etc all the good things a monarch should be yet from his upbringing and youthfulness in general seems far more a man of the people than his father.

Will met Kate, and though I understand advisors were somewhat doubtful of Kate being queen material no one wanted a repeat of Diana and Kate seemed relative safe choice regardless that Lizzie gave it the thumbs up and they do appear to be a model modern royal family that seems relatively accessible and acceptable to all the royal families subjects.

So from a culture perspective, Queen Elizabeth appears to derive a lot of her royal style from her parents and what history has expected, the younger generations have been very much effected by modern media in ever increasing amounts and their royal styling has each been successively responsive to the generation before it and the media attention it received.



All thoughts from my non-UK antipodes perspective though my mother was English so I've probably been attuned to the royal family more than most here ... and yes, we do call our reigning royal monarch and family by nicknames Lizzie, Phil, Chuckles, etc
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Dominus Atheos
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Re: The Royals

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2020-01-22 01:11pm

Thank you for that history, now some followup questions.

What are "senior royals" and why does it apply to people who are 6th in line for the throne? According to the above history, Queen Elizabeth has like a dozen adult descendants, why are these ones so especially important?

How much does the royal family encourage these media frenzies? Like, they keep getting compared to the Kardasians, do the royals go anywhere near as far out of their way to grab the spotlight as they do?

Why does it matter if the Queen is mad about this decision? What can she do besides Look Cross in in that uniquely british way?

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Re: The Royals

Post by Vendetta » 2020-01-22 02:24pm

There isn’t really a defined standard about what a senior royal is but it’s mostly used for the ones that show up and do the public appointments.

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Re: The Royals

Post by LadyTevar » 2020-01-22 04:35pm

Dominus Atheos wrote:
2020-01-22 01:11pm
Thank you for that history, now some followup questions.

What are "senior royals" and why does it apply to people who are 6th in line for the throne? According to the above history, Queen Elizabeth has like a dozen adult descendants, why are these ones so especially important?
My understanding, from seeing it at a distance here in the US, the "Senior Royals" are those in line for the throne -- Charles, Camilla, his sons and their wives (and children). Lesser Royals are Andrew, Ann, and Edward, with their respective offspring.
The Senior Royals do all the Royal Appearances, the Lessors are not expected to.
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Re: The Royals

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-01-22 05:54pm

Dominus Atheos wrote:
2020-01-22 01:11pm
Thank you for that history, now some followup questions.

What are "senior royals" and why does it apply to people who are 6th in line for the throne? According to the above history, Queen Elizabeth has like a dozen adult descendants, why are these ones so especially important?

How much does the royal family encourage these media frenzies? Like, they keep getting compared to the Kardasians, do the royals go anywhere near as far out of their way to grab the spotlight as they do?

Why does it matter if the Queen is mad about this decision? What can she do besides Look Cross in in that uniquely british way?
As Tev says, the Senior Royals are the public outreach folks who are seen as having (and being capable of delivering responsibility). Minors/Lessers whatevers are seen as hangers on as much as anything. Remember we've got tiers of landed gentry who have a youth of being trust fund darlings, right hons, ski resort using snow snorting, party animals. It's a spectrum of privilege that covers few thousand people. The Rahs and former Sloanes.

Does the royal family encourage media frenzies? They know they continue to exist (and it's been true since Vic) based on a vauge affection of the public. So they have to been seen and be seen to be relevant, otheriwise the glamour fades. It's a tricky symbiosis with the press in that way.
There's a common agreement here that the current frenzy is being hyped a little as a distraction from Prince Andrew's accusser (who has gone silent? paid off?)

As for what the queen can do? Again, accepted wisdom that Diana was killed on orders because she was pregnant and her boyfriend was muslim. Not the queen, but the hive mind. I don't know if the queen is mad about Harry and Megan stepping back. Will's got kids of his own and appears stable, Harry's really a spare of a spare now, and not going to have much to do except fade away or drift into Andrew 2.
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Re: The Royals

Post by The_Saint » 2020-01-23 05:44am

The Queen's annoyance I think stems from part of what I said in my earlier post. Her behaviour is modelled on her prior generations where you either 'put up' (24/7 royal) or 'shut up' (no requirement to do official things but also lose a lot of prestige and privlidges) ... eg the difference between her father, George 6th and uncle, Edward the 8th.

In this case Harry and Meghan wanted to half retreat from being 'senior royals' actively representing the crown (for at least Meghan and child while Harry wanted to stay on representing his grandmother) and to live the quiet life... in essence to have their cake and eat it to. As I saw somewhere recently: Duke of Sussex in the streets, Harry in the sheets

The Queen's ultimatum was that there is no royalty-lite, it was either you're in or you're out.
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Re: The Royals

Post by Captain Seafort » 2020-01-23 04:13pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-01-22 05:54pm
accepted wisdom that Diana was killed on orders because she was pregnant and her boyfriend was muslim. Not the queen, but the hive mind.
In the same sense that it's "accepted wisdom" that 9/11 was a joint op between the CIA and the Illuminati.
The_Saint wrote:
2020-01-22 04:42am
George married Mary Elizabeth and had two daughters: Elizabeth and Margaret.
Wrong George - Mary was V's wife not VI's.
The_Saint wrote:
2020-01-22 04:42am
Andrew was the first close-to-the-throne royal to be sent into a warzone in ... quite some time
The previous example I'm aware of is Prince Albert (George VI) being present at the Battle of Jutland.
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Re: The Royals

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-01-23 10:45pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-01-22 05:54pm
As for what the queen can do? Again, accepted wisdom that Diana was killed on orders because she was pregnant and her boyfriend was muslim. Not the queen, but the hive mind.


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Re: The Royals

Post by The_Saint » 2020-01-26 10:02pm

Captain Seafort wrote:
2020-01-23 04:13pm
The_Saint wrote:
2020-01-22 04:42am
George married Mary Elizabeth and had two daughters: Elizabeth and Margaret.
Wrong George - Mary was V's wife not VI's.
The_Saint wrote:
2020-01-22 04:42am
Andrew was the first close-to-the-throne royal to be sent into a warzone in ... quite some time
The previous example I'm aware of is Prince Albert (George VI) being present at the Battle of Jutland.
My bad, brain fart for the former and I'd forgotten about that regarding Prince Albert. I remembered that Edward as future-king had visited the trenches but was forbidden from active combat.
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Re: The Royals

Post by Gandalf » 2020-01-27 08:41pm

Dominus Atheos wrote:
2020-01-22 01:11pm
How much does the royal family encourage these media frenzies? Like, they keep getting compared to the Kardasians, do the royals go anywhere near as far out of their way to grab the spotlight as they do?
They don't need to go out of their way to do so, in part because their ancestors conquered their way around the world. How much of the world is named for Queen Victoria?

Their faces are on money. Big sections of the world are named for members of their family. Pictures of the reigning monarch hang in buildings around the world and they're in national anthems (God Save the King/Queen.) They're a brand just like the Kardashians, but for market that sees itself as more sophisticated.
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