Saturday 20 November 2010

Is Love Enough for the newly engaged Royal Couple? -

Is Love Enough?  A newspaper article in today's National Post (Canada) newspaper by Peter Goodspeed, features commentary from me and my colleague Arthur Bousfield of the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust:

"Peter Goodspeed, National Post · Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
Fairy tale or nightmare? The royal wedding of Prince William of Wales and commoner Kate Middleton already holds the public enthralled with all the gushing sentimentality of a great love story and the horror of a train wreck.
For the first time in 350 years, an heir to the British throne has proposed to marry a commoner -- for love -- jettisoning age-old traditions of arranged marriages and dynastic alliances based on class.
Some see the event as a transformative step toward modernizing the British monarchy, the most conservative of Europe's remaining royal houses.....
"The monarchy always reflects the society it presides over," said Arthur Bousfield, vice-chairman of the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust and coauthor of several books on the British monarchy. "If it didn't, it would be so out of touch it would lose its raison d'etre.
"The monarchy always adapts and royal marriages are the way it sort of rejuvenates itself."
It is a pattern that has been repeated elsewhere.
"Prince William and Kate Middleton are not breaking with European tradition," said Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, an editor of Burke's Peerage & Gentry. "They are following in the wake of their continental counterparts.
"The Crown Prince of Norway married an unwed mother, the Crown Princess of Sweden married a personal trainer and gym owner, and the Crown Prince of Denmark married an Australian whom he met in a pub in Sydney during the 2000 Olympics."...
"In an egalitarian 21st century, Kate Middleton's unexceptional middle-class background is an asset," said Mr. Heydel-Mankoo. "She is a person to whom the average person can relate, even more than they could to Diana, Princess of Wales, or Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, both of whom, though technically commoners, were daughters of aristocrats."
"Kate Middleton is living the fairy-tale dream," he said. "Her story could be anyone's. That's where the magic of monarchy comes into its own."
(C) National Post

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