Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Windsors

Until my study of monarchy inevitably put information about the Windsors into my path, I knew nothing about them that couldn't be put into a large headline on the front page of the National Enquirer. Had I had anyone else to do my grocery shopping for me, I wouldn't even have known that much.

I even avoided articles in more respectable publications about them, lest I be mistaken for the kind of troglodyte who reads People Magazine. It didn't help that an acquaintance with whom I am unfortunately saddled is an avid devourer of such things, and worships the late Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson.

When I started seriously studying monarchy, I quickly discovered that royal watchers could be divided into two categories: the Diana camp and the Charles camp. The Diana camp considers the late princess a troubled saint who lived a romantic life, despite being stuck with a dour unreachable husband, and praises the way she "connected the monarchy to the modern world" or "made the monarchy relevant" (condemnations if I ever heard them). The Charles camp praises the restraint of his and the Queen's behavior as they endured Diana's bulimia, numerous affairs, extravagance, cutting, and suicide attempts (one when she was pregnant with her older son).

It's probably obvious which camp I belong to. As I read, I was interested to discover that people in the Charles camp generally agree with me about other important matters, while those in the Diana camp have embraced the corruption engendered by democracy and the crassness of the modern world, both of which ought to be incompatible with an interest in monarchy, if human behavior were logical. They seem to have reconciled this by turning royals into a sort of real-life soap opera.

I thought about continuing this post with a rundown of why I side with Charles instead of Diana, but Theodore Dalrymple, Florence King, and others have done it for me.

1 comment:

MandysRoyalty said...

Theodore Dalrymple's article "The People’s Princess", about Diana's personality cult, really hit the nail right on the head. Brilliant.