Monday, May 14, 2018

If you want to give Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a gift, give them a wedding day to call their own

So Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married. Five days from now they will be husband and wife and this is the first blog article I am writing about them.

I would like to think that it is because I was a full-time student in school (which is true). During that time, royalty fell off my radar (As it should. I don't get marked on it). But this isn't completely true. In the lead up to the royal wedding and royal birth I have always had my toe in the water. Now that school is over, I can get caught up in the excitement. But unlike William and Catherine's wedding, I have found myself disillusioned at times.

Unlike royal weddings past where the speculation was over the top but harmless, now we are walking on egg shells.  It is hard to blog about a royal wedding when you have to be careful about every word you write. Because nothing is sacred and every topic relating to the wedding has become bigger than Harry and Meghan. To the point where if their faces were not in the china, you could think there isn't a royal wedding at all. Everything topic is magnified and Harry and Meghan are no longer people. Meghan in particular. She represents something greater than flesh and blood.  She has become a blank slate to project on to.

As Meghan is biracial, there is the discussion about race. There is no question this is an rampant issue. I've read some disgustingly vile statements from people who have never met her. On the other hand, expressing critical opinions or making innocuous statements can incur a wrath that doesn't encourage dialogue. Which, ironically is something Meghan would want there to be.

People find Meghan inspiring in their own ways. She can make a black feminist a fan of princesses and she has a little girl in her corner. She is also an inspiration for African American women in the work force. But some things are still not good enough. Such as the way Meghan chooses to style her hair.

Meghan's wedding invitations say 'Ms' and it is a feminist statement. She gives her mother a more prominent role in the wedding and she is sending an important message there too. It can't possibly be personal preference and a simple loving gesture. Meghan is not only planning a wedding for a global audience, she is also a proud feminist who has time to be all things to all people. Point one feminist wedding etiquette experts.

Then there is her family dynamic. It irks me when people who have never met her parents refer to Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle by their first names as if they have earned the right to that familiarity. Now her parents have become characters for public consumption. It was the same with the Spencer and Ferguson families: Bolting mothers, indiscreet relatives, affairs, and wicked step mothers. Oh my! Thankfully they did not have the internet to contend with. Meghan's parents do.

Speaking of Diana. No royal event is complete without her. Would she have approved? Will Meghan pay tribute to Diana's side by wearing the Spencer tiara? What message will she be sending if she does? Or doesn't? It also would not be a royal wedding without the Republican movement. Are Meghan and Harry their biggest threat? Stay tuned!

Now Meghan and Harry are changing royal wedding breakfast traditions. It is no longer a seated event. It now includes trendy bowl foods with seasonal vegetables! Expect a royal etiquette expert will critically weigh in on that in 3...2...1....

On May 19th I will be glued to the TV watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married. I wish them all the happiness in the world. I wish for them to have a day free from being symbols and representing something greater than themselves. If you want to give them a gift, give them a day they can call their own.

© Marilyn Braun 2018

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Royal name sharing strikes again: Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge

By Allan Warren from Wikimedia Commons
The new prince of Cambridge finally has a name!

 Prince Louis Arthur Charles and he will be formally known as HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge. Unlike Arthur, Louis was not a forerunner for baby names and it took royal watchers by surprise. Myself included.

Louis is a French name, meaning Famous Warrior. It was far more popular in the French royal family than the British one. Indeed, eighteen kings of France have borne the name. Not so for British ones. It is likely the baby was given the name in honour of Lord Louis, 1st Earl of Mountbatten, a formative figure in Prince Charles' life. He was assassinated by the IRA in 1979.

However, the name is still in the royal family. So far, the only member to have it as a first name is Louis Arthur Nicholas Felix, the youngest son of Lord Nicholas Windsor. Otherwise it is usually used as a middle name. It is shared by the following people:

Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge

Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge

Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex

Lord Frederick Michael George David Louis of Kent, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

Albert Louis Philip Edward Windsor, older son of Lord Nicholas Windsor

It is also used for females, mainly as a middle name. Only one member of the family holds it as a first name: Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

By Arnaud Bouissou [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons


The other names for Prince Louis are Arthur and Charles. Arthur means noble and courageous and it is more frequently included as a middle name. The name is shared with his father and grandfather and a notable Arthur was the Duke of Connaught, favourite son of Queen Victoria.

As with Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, William and Catherine are paying tribute to a grandparent, Charles means 'free-man' or 'manly' and several members of the royal family have it as a middle name.


© Marilyn Braun 2018

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to choose a royal baby name for the new Prince of Cambridge

Choosing the name for a royal baby can be fraught with complexities we mere mortals can only imagine. In the oft chance the baby becomes monarch, a suitable name is required. No Apple, Dylan, North, Chicago or Dream, please. Instead, we have names imbrued with royal history that sound heavy, stale and old fashioned.

Because family tree names get recycled, sometimes royals are required to share them. In some cases, whether they like it or not. In Queen Victoria's day, she insisted that her female descendants bear the name Victoria and male line descendants, Albert. Although Albert is still around, the name Victoria is infrequently used. In its place, we have Elizabeth. Apparently you can never have enough Elizabeths in the family!

A forerunner for the new prince of Cambridge's name is Alexander. A nice and solid name, except for the fact that it has been used before. Should this cross the name off the list? Not so fast! Here are just a few of the royals who share Alexander and other names. In some cases, they share more than one.

Alexander

Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge

Alexander Patrick Gregers Richard, Earl of Ulster

Prince Richard Alexander Walter George, Duke of Gloucester

James Alexander Philip Theo, Viscount Severn


Edward

Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex

Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York

Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, Duke of Kent

Lord Nicholas Charles Edward Jonathan Windsor


Elizabeth

Princess Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, Princess Royal

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge

Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York

Zara Anne Elizabeth Tindall

Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Windsor

Lady Sarah Frances Elizabeth Chatto

Lady Davina Elizabeth Alice Benedikte Lewis

Lady Margarita Elizabeth Rose Alleyne Armstrong Jones

James

James Alexander Philip Theo, Viscount Severn

James Ogilvy

Nicholas

Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, Duke of Kent

Lord Nicholas Charles Edward Jonathan Windsor

George Philip Nicholas, Earl of St Andrews

Charles

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales

Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales

David Albert Charles Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon

Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley

Lord Nicholas Charles Edward Jonathan Windsor

Philip

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales

Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge

James Alexander Philip Theo, Viscount Severn

George

Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales

George Philip Nicholas, Earl of St Andrews

Prince Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick, Duke of Kent

© Marilyn Braun 2018

Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

It's a Prince!

After an uneventful pregnancy and birth, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gave birth to her third child, a son. The as yet unnamed prince is fifth in line to the throne. Here he is, sound asleep, oblivious to his royal pedigree and the challenges he will face because of it.

Isn't he a cutie?

Embed from Getty Images


© Marilyn Braun 2018 Thank you for enjoying this article. If you use the information for research purposes, a link to credit the work I've put into writing it would be appreciated.