Harry & Meghan’s upper lips — very un-stiff!
The groundlings at Stately Blaska Manor are catching up with the exquisitely produced series The Crown on Netflix. The series portrays Elizabeth II as colder than frozen nitrogen. In Season #3, young Prince Charles returns to the palace from his investiture as Prince of Wales and his subsequent tour of that vassal state. He expects praise for having immersed himself into the culture, to the point of learning Gaelic.
Instead, the Queen scolds Number One Son for inserting a clause expressing his own feelings of separateness into his government-ghosted acceptance speech. Charles counters that he is a human being who has his own thoughts and desires — foreshadowing tragic Princess Diana.
“I got news for you,” ER II tells the young Charles. “Nobody cares what you think.”
It would have been boffo if Oprah (a one-word brand herself) concluded her interview by saying the same to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex! Go rescue a chicken! But Harry and Meghan’s woes, imagined or not — are a kind of left-right cultural Rohrsach test.
We are either Oprah peddling more victimhood in all the wrong places or Piers Morgan not believing a word or caring a whit.
Are even the rich and royal victims?
You can attribute Elizabeth’s sangfroid to the Greatest Generations’s abhorrence of all things touchy feely.
“The Windsors will never be known for an openness of manner or spirit.” Tongue firmly cheeked, Gerard Baker continues: “They seem to have combined in their personalities the relaxed informality of their German heritage and the sunny warmth of their adopted English homeland.”
The German Hanovers — the real progenitors of this royal crew — were notoriously tough on their sons. George I hated George II and so on. George III’s boys were wastrels. Victoria blamed “Bertie” (Edward VII) for her husband’s premature demise. George V predicted his Prince of Wales would “ruin himself,” which he most certainly did — marrying “for love” not duty.
America needs British royalty
So why do Americans follow the British monarchy? Reason #1 is we have none of our own. We lack that sense of permanence. This gang can trace its tree back to William I, the part Viking and adopted Frenchman who was the last to conquer the British Isles, that being in 1066. Prime ministers — like Presidents — come and go.
Peggy Noonan lauds “the high purpose of monarchy,” how it “lends mystique and authority to the ideas of stability and continuance. … [Elizabeth II] has been for the world a constant — in this world, a constant is a valuable thing.”
“If princesses suddenly ceased to exist, I’m quite sure that my [4-year-old] daughter would reinvent them.” — Essayist in the NY Times.
Monarchies are balance wheels that prevent engines from shaking themselves to death. The overthrow of so many monarchies a century ago did not improve their successor states. Stalin was magnitudes more hideous than Czar Nicholas II. Kaiser Bill perpetrated no Holocaust. The Habsburgs (oppressors of my ancestors) were amazingly inclusive — had to be, with their potpourri of nations. Friends of the Jews, patrons of the arts.
Schadenfreude is another reason. It is why Greatest Generation mothers watched As the World Turns. It’s why the Kardashians today. Write about the Kennedys and sell books. The Windsors have their share of shooting stars and young corpses. We seem to require glamor streaked with tragedy in a cast of characters more screwed up than ourselves. The Sussexes can blame the tabloids but they are cup and saucer.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Harry and Meghan are writing a whole new season of The Crown.