Saturday, November 27, 2010

London Bridge is Falling Down


I have never bought a copy of The Globe before except once, when I was very, very ill, but the headline screaming at me in the drugstore today was irresistible: Queen Elizabeth II has passed over her son, Prince Charles, and intends to vacate the throne in favor of her grandson, Prince William, after his marriage to Kate Middleton. Elizabeth has been Queen for nearly 60 years, since the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952, when she was 26 years old.

Her father, a second son, had become King in 1937 when his older brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated his throne rather than give up the woman he loved, a once-divorced and currently remarried American commoner, Wallis Warfield Simpson. Edward had struggled his entire life to be normal, a regular guy, as he was embarrassed by being a person requiring homage. So he was, in effect, an anti-monarchist, surely an unusual position for a member of Great Britain's royal family. Mrs. Simpson, allegedly eager to be Queen, sued her husband for a divorce so she could marry Edward, but the royal family wasn't having any of it.

The entire British government was extremely discontented and threatened to quit over the King's new policies and his politics -- his intended Queen was the icing on a very nasty cake -- and Edward was forced to either tow the line or abdicate. He chose the latter, and he and Wallis Simpson, now the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, were married.

They were exiled from England and lived most of their lives in France except for a stint in the Bahamas where he served as Governor during World War II. amid accusations that he was pro-Nazi. He reportedly told an acquaintance: "After the war is over and Hitler will crush the Americans ... we'll take over ... They [the Commonwealth] don't want me as their king, but I'll soon be back as their leader." He also told a journalist that "it would be a tragic thing for the world if Hitler was overthrown". Comments like these reinforced the belief that the Duke and Duchess held Nazi sympathies and the effect of the abdication crisis of 1936 was to force off the throne a man with extreme political views.

There has been rampant speculation about the Windsors, even rumors that Edward's mother, the Dowager Queen Mary, was told that Wallis Simpson had some sort of sexual control over Edward, and had released him from an undefined sexual dysfunction through practices learned in a Chinese brothel. Suffice to say that the royal family was not pleased. The future prime minister Neville Chamberlain wrote in his diary that she was "an entirely unscrupulous woman who is not in love with the King but is exploiting him for her own purposes. She has already ruined him in money and jewels." What I want to know is how a woman attains such powers, and how I can get some.

By all reports, their marriage was miserably unhappy, a tradition apparently followed by Prince Charles and Camilla, his longtime mistress whom he continued to see while married to Diana, and married after her death. The Queen and her consort, Prince Philip, however, have seemingly enjoyed a very happy union for many years. For the first time ever, I feel almost sorry for Prince Charles, despite his abominable treatment of Diana, by all accounts a lovely person, and the fact that he resembles a flounder.

Prince William and his fiancee are extremely popular with the British people, and the Queen has decreed that Kate will be known as Queen Catherine upon William's coronation, which is expected to take place next year.

The Globe's cover also proclaims that Cher's transsexual daughter Chastity, now her son Chaz, has grown a beard. Now THAT is the kind of news we can relate to in America.

17 comments:

Cloudia said...

Next year? Really?

Transmen growing beards is about as newsworthy as "dog-bites-person."



Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

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Los Angelista said...

I wonder if The Globe is true in this instance. Makes sense to me. Hmm... now I"m curious about why a modern big-screen movie about Wallis Simpson hasn't been made.

nick said...

No no no, William is not being crowned king, he is only marrying Kate. The rumours about the Queen wanting William to be king are probably true but it's not happening just yet! Unless the Globe knows something British citizens don't....

Personally, I couldn't care less about the Royals, they're just a drain on the public purse, but most people can't get enough of yet another so-called fairytale wedding. Well, we all know what happened to Di and Charles.

the walking man said...

*shrug*




and




*shrug*



Now if the highly revered Thai royal family abdicated or the emperor of Japan stepped down ending the worlds longest dynasty that would be news.

furiousBall said...

I'll take "Crap I Don't Give a Crap About for $1000, Alec"

mrwriteon said...

Kate and Wills stand in jeopardy of becoming international bores in short order, and I want the throne to go to pugnacious Harry.

But, Chas's beard; now that's a story. I mean, if Chastity's mom can reinvent herself a hundred times, why not Chas?

secret agent woman said...

I can't understand why there even is a royal family anymore. Seems like an archaic and expensive custom.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Cloudia,

How about "Beard bites dog?"

Liz,

True. She was right up there with Mata Hari, and in fact, many people thought she was a German spy.

I am not a royal watcher, but a king giving up his throne for love is a great story.

Nick,

But of course.. the Globe sees all, knows all and tells all.

For all we know, Cinderella and Prince Charming grew to hate each other, too. She had an expensive shoe habit and hung out with rats while he had a very bad attitude and thought he was God's gift. The union was doomed.

Mark,

The Japanese dynasty is fascinating! British royalty has been covered quite well by Shakespeare, and seems to have been a bloody bunch not so long ago.

Van,

I hope you win.

Ian,

We all invent ourselves every day. I hope I don't grow a beard, though, as I morph into my next persona.

Agent,

Only the British can answer that since that was one of the things we broke away from when we started our own country.

Jo said...

Never mind Chaz's beard, what's the story with his/her neck? Good grief...!

The Globe has been publishing inaccurate news stories about the Royals for ages. I don't know why, because Americans are not interested in the Royal family. In any case, it is not up to the Queen to "hand down" the royal lineage to William or anyone else. The King or Queen is ordained by God. Charles has already been invested as Prince of Wales, which means that the moment the Queen draws her last breath, he is King.

"The Queen is dead, long live the King", as the saying goes...

Anything else would be considered abidication, and would be the end of the British monarchy.

King Edward was never an anti-monarchist and in fact was a terrible snob, demanding everyone genuflect to him. He once famously said of the Australian Aboriginals "They are the most revolting form of living creatures I've ever seen. They are the lowest known form of human beings and are the nearest thing to monkeys." That tied in with his pro-Nazi philosophies. The British people were well rid of Edward, and they knew it. King George VI was well-loved by his subjects, as is Queen Elizabeth.

Charles is actually not such a bad guy, and will not be king for very long, in any case.

Don't believe anything you read in the Globe. :-)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Jo,

You mean that when the Globe prints a picture of a 4-headed baby born with an Elvis tattoo, I shouldn't believe it? That changes everything.

The articles I read about King Edward said that he craved a humble life, yet that seems inconsistent with his comment about coming back as leader of the Commonwealth under Hitler. Maybe Wallis Simpson did the world a huge favor, although she didn't intend to.

TechnoBabe said...

For me, it is much more fascinating to read about the doings of the royal family than all the junk about the nutsy Palin. I for one do not feel the least bit sorry for Prince Charles. I hope that is the way it actually goes with the throne passed on to William.

Warty Mammal said...

A happy union between the queen and Prince Phillip? Mmmm. Maybe. According to various biographies, he has (or had) an inclination to screw anything in a skirt, a practice she was displeased with.

Managing to stay legally married for 60 years does not mean the marriage is a happy or good one.

In other news - I, too, can grow a beard, only without needing an operation.

Spindrift said...

I thought Camilla was Charles true love. I think I heard her described as the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on.

I think he will be King, I don't think William wants to be King just yet, but the Queen, she will be on the throne for years to come.

I think that the Japanese Royal family is bound by duty and tradition far beyond that of the English Royals who enjoy far more freedom. From what I've read there has been much sadness and stress in Princess Masako's life that has led to ongoing personal difficulties.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

I am so delighted and fascinated with their story, the engagement, the wedding, their wonderful future... it's the romantic in me.

The Prince marries his college sweetheart... *swoon*

They're both absolutely lovely, and I am hopeful to see something as wonderful as this happen for the poor boy who lost his mum. I loved Princess Diana from the time I was a little girl and I remember the day of her tragic car crash very well.

This is like a karma phoenix rising up from her ashes; real love born and thriving for the sweet child of the woman who didn't have it and should have. It's exquisite.

I'll stop the gusher now, before I really get going.

;D

XOXO

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PeterAtLarge said...

As a recovering Englishman, I distrust anything I hear from the press about the royal family. Especially from non-recovering Americans. They (the royals) are converted into convenient soap opera fodder by those more concerned with their newsprint sales or ratings than with anything approaching the truth; they have become the foil upon which we all project our personal desires and failings. It's all rubbish.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Babe,

I think they're all fairly boring, but am fascinated with the way Americans create our own royalty, ie the Kennedys, etc.

Warts,

I agree that longevity is no measure of a marriage. Years ago, Prince Philip visited the US alone, and caused a stir when he toured a supermarket, singling out a woman with only a cucumber in her shopping cart. Holding it aloft, he said, suggestively, "Is that ALL you're buying?"

Spindrift,

If Charles thinks Camilla is beautiful, he must be smoking crack. Or blind. Take your pick.

I believe that Princess Masako's difficulties are at least partially the result of outmoded requirements to produce a male heir, plus the extreme pressure to conform to traditions which are thousands of years old.

Scarlett,

Wow. You really do love the British royals. I'm so glad I could help.

Peter,

I was, frankly, surprised that the article caught my interest as I have never been a royal watcher. As an American, I see little use for the monarchy, but friends who are subjects of the Queen assure me that I am wrong. In any event, my views are certainly irrelevant.

Jocelyn said...

I think I'm supposed to be full of scorn here, but the truth is, I still find the monarchy endlessly fascinating.

And, um, Cher's kids.