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A royal dilemma?

The anniversary of Diana’s demise has prompted public outpourings of emotion across the meeja and (for me surprisingly) from her family. Once again the Windsors find themselves dragged into a world where emotions are worn proudly on the sleeve while they continue to demand privacy and special treatment whenever it suits them. The Princes themselves were certainly the victims of the misconceived funeral display – but should they continue to parade their grief? Was their family less revered while Margaret’s tribulations were more discreetly exposed?

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  1. July 28, 2017 at 9:22 am

    It’s the Americanisation of society. Crass, chintzy, vapid emotionality.

  2. July 28, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Christopher: Agreed, I find the public outpouring of grief offensive. One thing that particularly irritates me is flowers by the roadside. It wouldn’t be quite as bad if they removed the cellophane wrapping,ribbons and cards, but as it is. it’s just litter.
    Grieving is something best done in private.

    On a slightly different note I recall (a long time ago) a female bank cashier being shot dead by a bank robber. Either the BBC or ITV (probably both) saw fit to visit to the girl’s home. At first all one could hear was a dreadful keening sound. It was the mother in utter distress. Under no circumstances should this ever have been aired. To me this marked the beginning of public mourning and the almost routine interviewing of people who are in shock and the first stages grief.

  3. July 28, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Jazz: I can understand if “relevant” people left flowers by the roadside. That is, close friends and family members leaving a few small flowers now and again. That is an act of catharsis. Thousands of people turning up and leaving piles of organic and inorganic refuse is — as you correctly wrote — littering. People have their own ways of handling grief and I won’t judge them for doing what they need to do to move on. I will, however, look unfavourably at those who seek reasons to inject themselves in someone else’s affairs, to put themselves at the centre of others’ grief. The Chinese are quite sensible in their approach. Life can be difficult enough as it is and each life will have its share of grief and mourning. There’s no sense or reason in seeking to mourn more than necessary.

    For networks it’s all advertising space. The more hits their websites receive, the more money they receive in advertising revenue. The more people tune in, the more valuable commercial spots are. The more buzz that is created, the more revenue comes streaming in. In the past it was said that “sex sells”. Always push the boundaries of good taste and decorum, always see how far one can go in order to fill the purse. Since there is now, at times, little difference between television/streaming series and pornography something else had to be found. It seems as if grief and mourning is just that. Kaching!

  4. sheona
    July 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I do think that poor, disturbed Diana should be left to rest in peace and silence. I read recently that at one point she was convinced that Camilla was merely a red herring and that Charles was going to marry Tiggy, the boys’ nanny. It was her tragedy that she married into a position she could not cope with and equally tragic that both she and Charles, it has now been revealed, did not really want to go ahead with the wedding. But also sad that she felt she didn’t need to wear a seat belt in her last car trip. Had she done so, she might have survived.

    I agree with you, jazz, about public outpouring of grief or disapproval, as has happened in the sad case of little Charlie Gard. Apparently it is American right-wingers who are behind many of the nasty, threatening messages against GOSH staff. These are the right-wingers who are prepared to attack and even kill doctors and nurses who work in abortion clinics. I find it interesting that the American doctor who was invited to GOSH in January to examine the baby didn’t take up the invitation at the time when he might have been able to do some good. Once the parents had amassed over £1 million from kind hearted people who wanted to help, that American doctor was over here. Am I being cynical?

  5. July 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Sheona: The US has turned toxic. Disparaging anything and everything European has become an industry of sorts in the US. There are scores of widely read websites that specialise in distortions, half-truths and de-contextualisations with the apparent aim to bolster the USA’s flagging sense of self-confidence. The NHS and its travails have become a more prominent subject of discussion in the US in recent years as the US healthcare system implodes. Anything, any case of the NHS failing, any example of the NHS being inefficient is seized upon and blown out of all proportion. Almost every day people in the USA tell me how rubbish everything in Europe is because some loud-mouthed right winger cast more pearls of wisdom at their feet.
    The American left are no better. They’re different, but no better.

    As for Diana… She admitted to being as responsible as Charles, to being as guilty as Charles. Both were going in their separate directions and living the lives they should have lived them. Had she not died, she would have been no more than an unusually kindly C-list ‘sleb.

  6. christinaosborne
    July 28, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    “Had she not died, she would have been no more than an unusually kindly C-list ‘sleb.”

    As usual christopher, you parrot total hogwash and balderdash.
    She would have been The Queen Mother in due course.
    Or perhaps you would see Eleanor of Aquitaine, Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, three of her predecessors in the title as C list celebrities?

    Equally your tirade of US toxicity towards Europe and the NHS is overblown wishful thinking of deranged conspiracy theorists who need a strait jacket more than a computer.
    The more vituperation the less credibility.

  7. July 28, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    CO: Typical toxic vitriol from you. But I expect little better. Like the glorified school yard bully you are, the last thing you can stomach is anyone questioning you or fighting back. Your extreme and exaggerated sense of importance, no doubt helped by living in a country were such is considered the highest of virtues by an unusually large minority, does you no favours. She would never have been the “queen mother” as she would never have been queen consort. You see, her claim to the title of “princess”, like that of the Duchess of Cambridge, is through her marriage to the prince. As a divorced woman she no longer held the title “Princess of Wales”. Do get your facts straight, you’re starting to sound like some rubbish tabloid rag.

    Take your own advice, Tina. You are terribly adept at taking jabs at others, but if anyone so much as sneezes at one of your sacred cows you act like a dalit at a mosque.

  8. July 28, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    PS: When are you going to apply for a US passport? Since you seem to have committed yourself to the US, it seems only obvious that you take its passport. No one would fault you for that and you would not be at risk of losing your British. It just seems strange that someone who has spent so much time in that country wouldn’t “seal the deal”, so to say. Then again, I have noticed that there is a certain type of expatriate who adopts an almost unbelievable hyper-patriotism without actually taking that country’s passport. Since you are a permanent resident, you are concerned domiciled in the US for next purposes, anyway. I do find it risible that after hearing you run Canada, Australia, England, Scotland and France down for years you start to figuratively hyperventilate when I strongly criticise the US and certain Americans. And no, I will not stop moaning because the bloody IRS takes taxes from me each month. So there!

  9. cogitationator
    July 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    It’s obviously time to take a reality break.

    I don’t disparage Europe, only certain individuals therein resident who like to think they know it all but almost invariably manage to come off as merely amateurishly unpleasant, throwing toys out of the pram in a tantrum. My own usual and overriding preference is, however, to keep a civil tongue in my head and be reasonably polite to all, the better to co-exist in the sort of peace and harmony that at least does not drive people from this site. (That last phrase refers in my own alleged mind to an unhappy situation that existed in an organization of which I was once a member, reversed to a happy situation when a certain unpleasant individual departed and other members came flooding back.)

    Everyplace (and yes, that does include the USA) has its good and bad points. To any who feel themselves awash in comments from people in the USA telling them how “rubbish” everything elsewhere is, the should-be-obvious advice would be to seek out a better class of correspondent.

    While there may well be various websites in the USA that disseminate distortions, “fake news,” etc., it seems a not unreasonable assumption that similarly pernicious websites also exist in Europe, Asia, Australia, on the dark side of the moon or wherever. The question in my mind is: What sort of person who does not already agree with and fully endorse the content of such sites would expend any measurable amount of time and effort looking for them? Surely there must be more involved than simply not having enough to do. I note in passing that there exist not only websites but also certain individuals that all too often allow themselves to misrepresent matters, even when the plain truth would do more credit to the individuals at both ends of a discussion.

    I count myself a reasonably well-informed individual and, as such, can say with full confidence that I have *never* seen in the American media or elsewhere in the USA anything even remotely resembling a campaign against any failings, real or perceived, of the NHS. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time before the sad case of Charlie Gard that the NHS (or perhaps only a reference to GOSH, of which hardly anyone here knows anything anyway) was even mentioned, and then strictly as news, in an article that was very brief and that had a “news cycle” length of only one day. In the British press (and in *The Daily Mail* in particular), on the other hand, hardly a day goes by without some criticism of the NHS. Fair enough, they (the NHS) brought it upon themselves, but it’s not my problem and I probably shouldn’t even have indicated that I think it’s their own fault.

    A few years ago, I saw a TV documentary in which various health care systems around the world were examined in what, so far as I could tell, was a fair and balanced manner. As I recall, France and Japan came out particularly well in their comparison, the UK and the USA did not.

    I’ve never been a fan of Princess Diana, as she was, but do think that the dead should be left to rest in peace rather than having abuse heaped upon them from the apparently great height of a later generation. It’s all too easy to feel smug and superior.

    Where I choose to heap my own abuse is upon these great public outpourings of grief – the placement of festering mounds of rotting flowers to be cleared away at public expense, the candlelight vigils and SLTT (Stuff Like That There) – to which a certain segment of the population, even (especially?) those without a clue as to what the deceased person was really like, subscribe and which the media exploit as something newsworthy. Whyever would I want to turn on the TV news and be greeted with the spectacle of people indulging in shameless on-camera blubbering? The other day I saw an apt expression in one of the British newspapers (the *Telegraph*?): “competitive emoting.”

    People’s own business should remain exactly that, their own business, and I wonder whether many Charioteeers will be all that impressed by the calling of someone’s private motives into question.

    Calling someone a “school yard bully” is, in my own opinion, going several steps too far. Really, now! What does such a name-caller know anyway? Certainly not that the lady upon whom that “compliment” was bestowed has taken under her wing a disabled and homeless lady whose psyche is far too fragile to withstand even the merest hint of bullying. Nor that she regularly goes out of her way, not to disparage or bully others but rather to help them. If she chooses not to “fight back,” it’s only because she has considered the source and decided that the expenditure of more words is just plain not worth the trouble.

  10. July 28, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Cog: There are certain segments in society that take advantage of the internet to seal themselves off in their echo chambers. They don’t want to hear news any more. Well, at least not news that doesn’t support their biases. The relative anonymity of the internet allows them to hide and be insufferably boorish. These mindsets and attitudes aren’t new, but it’s now far easier — and far safer — to gather together and air them. There is a certain *segment* of US society that does this. It has turned into an industry of sorts, but the US is hardly the only country where this is the case. India has a very large and very violent coterie of this sort. China, Russia, Germany, France, the UK and Australia are to varying degrees home to similar groupings. I am under no illusions concerning the United States — either positive or negative.

    With respect to Ms Osborne, I do not retract my words. While I bear her no ill will, I have had enough of her goading and provocations. For years I’ve had to listen to her attacks on those countries and groups she’s deemed inferior. I’ve been, on more occasions than I care to remember, on the receiving end of her attacks. I have had enough. If she wishes to attack and provoke me, I will respond in kind. She has the right to say and think as she pleases, but she can’t expect to badger and not be badgered, to take swipes and not receive the return in kind.

  11. sheona
    July 28, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    On a totally different tack, it’s nice to see Cuprum is still around, even if silently.

  12. July 29, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Meantime…. while our resident cage-fighters wield their hyperbolic weapons, British reserve, reticence and calm empathy must be protected and encouraged.

  13. July 29, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Janus: For the sake of harmony and the chance to clean up the blood coagulating on the bottom of the Chariot, I call for a ceasefire. This will give all three combatants the chance to collect the toys they’ve tossed out the pram. Now where did I leave that soother?

  14. July 29, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Look, I know this is probably not going to help.

    I seriously like and respect both CO and CausT. I am saddened to see that that their lute appears to have rifted big-time. I have clearly missed many nuances over the last few months but I still hope that sweetness and/or light can prevail.

    Moving on to the trivial aspects of this particular spat, I would suggest to CO that her assertion that Diana, Princess of Wales, could ever have become Queen Mother is incorrect. Diana gave up Royal status as part of the divorce agreement.

    Fair enough, the Daily Mail and others might well have styled her the ‘Peoples’ Queen Mother’, had both Her Majesty and the POW popped their clogs before her. Totally wrong, British unwritten Constitution-wise. In my opinion.

    CausT, I really hope that this does not offend you. Mrs M and I really like you and have enjoyed your visits to Caledonia (stern and wild). We both hope hat you will come back and see us again soon – the vanilla-infused rum is approaching fruition.

    But, CO is CO. She says what she thinks and that can never be inappropriate, Agreement or endorsement is neither necessary nor sought.

    Much more importantly, CO has, in my opinion, been supportive of you on the Chariot over the years, She has, for me, made suggestions, offered advice and, in general, seemed really concerned about your future career. Sorry to see it all seems to have gone wrong.

    I really don’t know how to finish this comment apart from saying that I am sorry that I had to post it.

  15. July 29, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    JM: After a day to cool off, I don’t disagree with you. I have a great deal of respect for Christina and that hasn’t changed. She is a remarkable lady with a killer wit and an unusually rich mine of experience. I don’t mean that as mere flattery. If I had no respect for her, I would not say I did. Life is too short for empty words. I am aware that there are things about me that grate and are infuriating. I have never pretended to be an easy, mild-mannered person. I am also prone to lashing out and hitting back when I feel cornered or attacked. At times I respond far more harshly than is due. CO and I have, over the past decade — can you believe it? — at times got on brilliantly, at time we’ve, mountain-goat like, butted heads. It’s what happens when an at times imperious, but always great, dame and a tightly-wound pain in the arse don’t check their respective egos. While I maintain that CO was still out of order, I was too. I take full responsibility for my comments and hope that, this too, shall pass. That is up to CO and I will respect her decision either way.

  16. cogitationator
    July 30, 2017 at 12:41 am

    JM: Hmm… vanilla infused rum. Why did I not ever think of this myself? May I trouble you for some pointers?

    First, assuming that you use real vanilla beans rather than vanilla extract, how do you treat them? Just open the pods and scrape the innards into the rum?

    Second, what kind of rum do you use? Back when I was working in Puerto Rico, I came across a rum (Ron del Barrilito, the darker 3-star) that I think would be just perfect for this but it’s hard to find in the mainland USA. Although it’s available online from some specialty wine and spirits dealers, I resist on principle the very thought of paying about as much for interstate shipping as for the precious golden liquid itself. Bacardi is good for “everyday” use but it just ain’t the same.

    Thank’ee, both for your advice and for your earlier comment!

  17. July 30, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Older denizens of the Chariot – age-wise, that is – forgive the excesses of the young and more impressionable while reserving the right to hyperbolise ourselves. I would not like to categorise the recent combatants of course!

  18. July 30, 2017 at 8:17 am

    And another thing (pipes up old Backside, whose uncharacteristic silence is attributable to his fear of mouthy grandchildren over here)…………. many of us made Diana’s mistake of marrying too young, perhaps in the same social binds as she was subject to, if not the same horrific consequences. At least society has removed most of them in the last 50 years, so that people can choose more freely and make their mistakes without the sickening judgement of their ‘elders and betters’.

  19. July 30, 2017 at 8:36 am

    I agree Janus, I was far too young on at least three occasions. 🙂

  20. July 30, 2017 at 8:53 am

    🙂

  21. August 14, 2017 at 7:18 am

    ……..and now there are further alleged developments in the Windsor saga:

    Is there a short-term plan for HM to step back and for the PoW to become Prince Regent? Why not?

    Is there a longer-term plan for Camilla to be Queen Consort or not?

    No doubt ardent royal-watchers will help with answers! 🙂

  22. August 14, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Janus: There have been no specific or substantiated announcements from the Palace. However, there does seem to be a gradual transition with the Queen’s favourites gradually moving into retirement and Charles’ favourites gradually taking their place. It will be very gradual, imperceptible almost, and should an announcement come it will be with the minimal amount of fuss and at a time when the transition has already largely been effected. HM’s rise to the throne was under far from ideal circumstances, as was her father’s. She is in the position to ensure that the next two generations will have more chance to prepare.

  23. August 15, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Greetings from the home of the largest Arts Festival in the world. See a’ this culture? Ah’m pure poseured-oot. It’s a long time since my brow had to pretend to be quite so high.

    Anyhoo, the first week has been fun with Mrs M. and chums in fine voice. Superb opening concert, in my opinion. But:-

    The Chorus were told that the new Patron of the Edinburgh International Festival was going to nip round backstage at half-time to say ‘Hi’ as he was keen to interact with ‘ordinary people’. He never showed, despite the fact that the Festival Chorus is a bunch of extraordinary and totally-dedicated individuals who give freely of their time to deliver superb performances. year after year. They deserve to be acknowledged as such by the High Heid-yins.

    The new Patron is HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex.

    As Janus would tell you, I am a rabid Royalist who finds it difficult to fault our beloved Royal Family in any way, Admittedly, I do not rate HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, but I am prepared to accept him as next man in when HM the Queen ends her innings.

    Total fan of the best man for the job, HRH the Princess Royal, (to whom a Happy Birthday) and of the present Royal Spouse, Phil the Greek. I believe that both Camilla and Kate will make great Queens, as and if/or when. No problems with Wills or Harry either.

    Eddie is, however, a black cloud on the horizon of my future happiness. It is being suggested that he will be upgraded to Chookie Embra when Phil pops his clogs and that is why he is now Patronising the Festival. Not very happy about that.

    Moving on, I still think that HM the Queen will die in harness, because of who and what she is. She gave a vow to her people at her Coronation that she would serve us and our country for all of her life. I believe her.

    Moving on again. Hi Cog. Sorry for taking so long to reply. The vanilla rum was CausT’s idea. He enthused Mrs M. about such an infusion when he last visited us. In due course, he sent the vanilla pods to us by post with the necessary instructions. Mrs M. assured me that it all definitely worked very well when the ‘girls’ had a tasting last week. Said tasting seems to have emptied the bottle before I was able to sample it so I’ll have to pass you over to CausT for more information. All that I can tell you is that it was the best quality White Rum that I could source.

  24. August 16, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Young Eddie might be said to have previous for unreliability. During his Dockside Doris phase, for example…….

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