Sometimes I wonder about the future of the monarchy.
With the old guard of dedicated, hardworking royals slowly fading away, they are replaced with a newer generation whose work ethic leaves much to be desired. Prince Charles is rumoured to be in favor of a 'slimmed down' monarchy. The rest of the minor royals/royals by proximity, have to find their own way in life. With the exception of William and Harry, the rest of the Queen's grandchildren, including ones with royal titles (Beatrice and Eugenie) can look forward to an existence unbound by the obligations of duty while maintaining the bragging rights.
But while paring down the monarchy makes sense, the attitudes of the remaining royals leaves the future of the monarchy on shaky ground. What with the foibles and celebrification of Prince Harry and Catherine and more worrying, William's reluctance to take on full-time royal duties because of a deluded desire to be 'normal'. These young royals seem to want to have it both ways - royal trappings without working towards earning them. With Catherine's willingness to abet the media in dumbing her down, when she finally rolls up the crisp white sleeves of her shirt (by Ralph Lauren), she has an uphill battle to be taken seriously. That is, if she ever does.
Yes, let's line up the nails for the coffin. The young royals will supply the hammer.
When compared to the dedication of the Queen, her dignity, her ability to remain impartial, the rest of the royals look diminished in comparison. The Queen will always be a tough act to follow, but not an impossible one. Just look at Queen Victoria and her heir, King Edward VII. Unlike the present Queen, Victoria did not have a reputation for remaining impartial, but her sheer longevity earns her respect. For all of his accomplishments as a 'Peace-maker', King Edward VII's reputation as a bon vivant and arbiter of fashion take precedence. In that respect, Charles shares something in common with his great-great grandfather. Any good deeds he does are overshadowed by his personal life. Unfortunately, the same can be said for the present young royals. The Queen is indeed, the last of her kind.
Prince Charles is in a unique position to help. And he should be lauded for the work that he has done. He walks his talk. But while he has the freedom to do this while Prince of Wales, it will be different once/if he becomes king. Like his mother, he will be expected to remain impartial and above politics. So far the signs are not good. Prince Charles does not have a reputation for being impartial nor does he cultivate one. Looking at the controversy surrounding letters he has written to politicians and the antics of the younger royals, it raises questions about the future of the monarchy. Questions we won't know the answer to until Charles becomes king. If he becomes king.
Yes, it really does make me wonder.
© Marilyn Braun 2012
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