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Prince William & Kate Middleton Are Finally Engaged

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Thu November 18th, 2010, 7:13 pm

I love royalty, in part because we don't have it in America. That has worked well for us in the past but there's nothing like a good king or queen (if only they weren't usually followed by bad ones). Royalty to me is almost a thing of the past, and you all know I love history. :D

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Thu November 18th, 2010, 8:00 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]I was going to sit out the major discussion on this, but I've changed my mind. I'm an American and a member of the under 30 set, so you may be surprised by some of my views.

About Charles/Diana/Camilla. They all three got a raw deal. There's a tendency, on this side of the pond at least, to afford Diana almost saintly status, which I find unreasonable. She was a lovely, kind-hearted basketcase. That started in childhood, and it's possible that if she'd lived a somewhat normal life outside the spotlight she would have been fine. If Charles and Camilla had been allowed to marry none of that whole mess would have happened. True, C&C behaved badly, but then so did Diana at times. No saints, all victims in a sense.

As to matters of beauty and fashion: classics never go out of style, and that includes modest blue dresses and well-cut suits (though William's suits are not always well-cut); Kate is beautiful, as Mythica stated, in a girl next door sort of way. And Diana was not all that beautiful.

Throw tomatoes at me if you wish.[/quote]

Agreed on all counts!

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Thu November 18th, 2010, 9:31 pm

[quote=""Michy""]
Even though the royals are "paying for the wedding themselves" -- don't their salaries, or allowances, or whatever they get, come from the government? So in an indirect way, aren't the British taxpayers paying for it all anyway?

I've never been sure about the argument that the royals "pay for themselves" because they generate tourism. For huge spectacles like a royal wedding there is no question. But for their day-to-day existence that takes place year after year in between royal weddings -- do they really generate that much tourism? (or is the revenue generated by a royal wedding huge enough to cover their salaries for several years?)

I guess I'm asking for enlightenment as much as I am making comments, since I am the first to admit my ignorance of how the system all works.[/quote]

Ok, about the Royals and their monies:

There is what is called the Civil List -- money paid by the government for the upkeep of the Royal family. It used to be quite extensive, but now, there are only two people whose expenses are paid by the government, and only in their official duties. The Queen and Prince Philip. The Queen pays for any of her private purchases out of her own pocket, as does the Prince. And yes, they do pay taxes. The Queen is reckoned as the most wealthy woman in the world, but a vast percentage of that money is tied up in what is known as the Royal Collection -- the palaces, jewels, and art collections that are maintained and used in her role as the Sovereign, and nearly all of this is accessable for view by the public. Balmoral and Sandringham House are private properties owned by the Crown.

The Prince of Wales has his own private income as Duke of Cornwall, and I think he is paying for his sons as well. The rest of the royal family make their own money, and sometimes it doesn't stretch as far, as witness the latest Fergie flap.

I think that what the Royal family is paid is more than compensated by their immense amount of hard work in charities, and being visible symbols of the UK, as well as the tourist industry. Any time there's a royal wedding in the works, there's a huge amount of hoopla and money making. But politicians I think love to use them as an easy target, as they really can't fight back without looking bad -- much the same as here in the States when it comes to social programs.

Too, nearly all of the men in the Royal Family have done military service in some form, and in the case of Wills, Harry and Prince Philip, they did it on the front lines. Can't fault that.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Thu November 18th, 2010, 10:01 pm

[quote=""Telynor""]Any time there's a royal wedding in the works, there's a huge amount of hoopla and money making.[/quote]
Prince William and Kate won't be the only ones marrying next year; Prince Albert of Monaco has his special day in the summer.

I wish other royal weddings would be covered in the news besides the British. Thankfully there's "Majesty" and "Royalty" magazines.

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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Thu November 18th, 2010, 10:06 pm

A few royalty books, for anyone interested:

Reporting Royalty by Jennie Bond. A journalist's take on the royals.

The Firm by Penny Junor. She was Team Charles and very much keeps to the party line, but interesting/informative.

Shadows of a Princess by P.D. Jephson. Jephson was Diana's private secretary and at the heart of Team Diana. He is frank about her dark side and the misbehaviour that led to his resignation (doesn't mention her slapping anyone though) but pays tribute to her abilities and aspirations. This is the best Diana book I've read.

I think that while Kate has both good looks and style she doesn't have the X factor that Diana did. I'm glad of it for her sake because if she did I think she would be hounded just the same. I was too young to remember much about Diana's early years in the royal family but my mother told me that everyone expected the insane levels of public interest to die down after the wedding. They didn't.

I have read that Kate was shy and insecure about her looks at university. If so I hope she has developed more self confidence since because she will need the hide of a rhinocerous to cope with all the criticism of everything she buys, wears, says and does.

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Miss Moppet
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Post by Miss Moppet » Thu November 18th, 2010, 10:07 pm

[quote=""princess garnet""]Prince William and Kate won't be the only ones marrying next year; Prince Albert of Monaco has his special day in the summer.
[/quote]

:D I thought he was already married. Keep up, Moppet!

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Thu November 18th, 2010, 10:32 pm

[quote=""Miss Moppet""] I was too young to remember much about Diana's early years in the royal family but my mother told me that everyone expected the insane levels of public interest to die down after the wedding. They didn't.

[/quote]

I am old enough to remember :) and, even way over here on this side of the Atlantic, Diana was such a change from all the Royals at that time that she hit the scene like a comet. The British royal wives since then -- including Kate -- seem to be in her same modern, stylish, attractive vein, and so haven't had such a seismic impact.

In spite of the romantic/historic appeal of the Royals and their lifestyle, I'm with Leo -- a definite republican (not so surprising in a Yankee, I guess!) :p

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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Thu November 18th, 2010, 11:36 pm

[quote=""Michy""]
I've never been to the UK but dearly hope to go someday, but when I do go it will be to see the sights -- the beautiful castles, the countryside, the museums, the city of London itself -- and wouldn't all of those still be there and accessible regardless of whether the royalty existed? I woudn't be going to "see the royals" -- not that I would get a chance to see them, even if I wanted to! :p

[/quote]

Although we didn't go England to see the royals, I have to admit there was something exciting about being at Windsor and finding out that the Queen had arrived there while we were there. Of course we didn't get to see her, but even my husband thought it was kinda cool that we could perhaps catch a glimpse of her...

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Fri November 19th, 2010, 12:10 am

Not sure how Camila is a victim. She got what she wanted in the end. So, doesn't that make her a winner? Sure, it was prolonged, but so what? Life ain't always easy. Diana is dead, after all. Camila got the man and the upcoming crown.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Fri November 19th, 2010, 12:35 am

[quote=""Divia""]Not sure how Camila is a victim. She got what she wanted in the end. So, doesn't that make her a winner? Sure, it was prolonged, but so what? Life ain't always easy. Diana is dead, after all. Camila got the man and the upcoming crown.[/quote]

Charles is the love of her life and they were kept apart for decades. You don't think that was immensely painful? Even victims can be happy in the end. One could say those years were stolen from them. They can be together now, but they can never get that time back.

Yes, I'm a romantic. Not a hopeless one, but it seems to me that a lot of heartbreak could have been avoided.

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