Sunday, January 12, 2020

Dear Harry and Meghan, think of the children

Sure, we think the Meghan and Harry debacle is bad, but fast forward 20 years from now.

With the older guard gone (RIP The Queen, Prince Philip, Charles, Camilla, Andrew, Edward, Sophie and all other minor royals). Anne at 90 is still kicking around, working past the age when she should be out to pasture. Beatrice, Eugenie, Louise and James, married with children of their own, happy to be free of the burdens George, Charlotte and Louis now face because of the 'Sandringham Summit 2020.' From this point forward, referred to simply as 'The Summit'.

Historians put January 13, 2020 as the moment everything changed for these children.

It is 2040, their parents, King William V and Queen Catherine are popular, but there are only so many patronages they can support. Without Harry and Meghan, the long touted slimmed down monarchy by Charles III is indeed slim now. Enter Prince George (27), Princess Charlotte (25) and Prince Louis (22).Young people who, under most circumstances, should be looking forward to lives of relative freedom, going to school, extended gap years, maybe an unfortunate trip to Las Vegas. All of this postponed, because of The Summit. Of course, they were too young to realize it at the time. No one thinks of the children in these instances, do they? Gan-Gan (Queen Elizabeth II) could relate. December 11, 1936, changed her destiny. Did anyone think of her? What she wanted? Did it matter?

In 2040, Harry and Meghan are not the power couple they once were. Long cut off from the Duchy of Cornwall funds, Brand Sussex meanders along. The Summit effectively made them pariahs to all but their fans.  Settling down in Canada, the couple divide their time between London (Ontario) and Paris (Ontario). Archie and his sisters, Betty and Veronica are off, making woke speeches of their own, without having to worry about the consequences, or burdens of their first cousins across the pond.

If anyone understands those burdens, it is Uncle Harry. He went to great lengths to rid himself of it, before boarding a plane and heading for Canada. 20 years on, does he look to Princess Charlotte, now second in line (The Spare) with sympathy? His decision made her, and her brothers, working royals well before they should have become ones.

Maybe they look upon 'He whose name must not be spoken in royal circles,' with envy. Or a cautionary tale for what happens when one person gets what they wish for, and those who are left behind do not.

© Marilyn Braun 2020

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.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

If being royal is so extraordinary, why do the royals want to be ordinary?

Being royal is clearly not all it is cracked up to be. Gilt here and there. Liveried footmen abound. Church bells ring on your birthday. Red carpet magically appears, the car is always filled with gas, and almost everyone is happy to see you. But for some royals, it just isn't enough. The lure of something different is irresistible. A lure that cannot be filled by private planes and beautiful clothes. For some, the siren call of elevator music is just too much to resist. We have done such a good job downplaying regular existence, the royals can't help be intrigued. For Harry and Meghan, leaving it all behind and becoming one with the rest of us. Let us welcome them.

Dear Harry and Meghan,

Welcome to your new lives. You are now, one of us. You've bemoaned your regal existence long enough. Now you are free. There is so much to introduce you to. You have probably read about us (err...Commoners) in books, or seen us on TV, but to see us in person, is to truly be believed. We will introduce you slowly to the more wonderful parts of our lives.

Most people your age are financially independent already but we understand it has been different for you. Let me say, there is truly nothing like the feeling of paying bills. Embrace feeling of relief as you make payments on time. The exhilaration of worrying whether you have enough money to cover them. Will you have to choose between eating and paying rent? Every month is a new adventure.

Of course, being a 'working royal', in the literal sense, you will need to find a job. Prince or Duchess positions are limited, and well, you wanted something new didn't you? Why play it safe? Just imagine the wonderful feeling when you finally land a position. A cubicle to call your own. You may or may not have natural light. Or co-workers who clip their nails beside you. But you'll get a security card. Trust me, there's nothing more reassuring than hearing the door buzz open. When it does, you will enjoy the exclusive privileges that come with arrival. A computer, phone, desk, chair and you might even get free coffee. You'll have to bring your own stapler.

You will need to get to work. This means you either have a car or you take transit. You know, those overpacked buses and trains? No one and we mean no one, stands on ceremony. Every person for themselves, even the pregnant and elderly. Note, unlike in your previous life, you wait for transit, it doesn't wait for you.

You may find yourself waiting in line. When you buy food, go to the bank, or when you need to renew your passport. Standing in line can be challenging, especially if you have a small child with you who suddenly needs to go to the bathroom when you're at the front of the line. This always happens. Always. Remember to fill out all the paperwork. You will now have to look after all of this yourself. Don't be alarmed when you're asked to take a photo. It's just an ID. You might find it traumatizing but this is normal. No one looks good in those photos.

From time to time you will interact with others by phone. Like the rest of us, you may spend time 'on hold'. This is perfectly normal and to be expected. It is just like waiting in line but with better music. Sometimes you will wait for 10 minutes (rare), sometimes over an hour (common). You will get disconnected, or passed from person to person, or told to call another number. Finding a helpful person is challenging, but don't give up or you'll lose your magical place in line. Only to begin the adventure all over again. Exciting isn't it?

This is now your reality. For. The. Rest. Of. Your. Lives. Day in and day out. Until. You. Die.

Harry and Meghan, where are you going?? You wanted to be ordinary, right?? Right??

© Marilyn Braun 2020

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, January 07, 2020

Places people, places! Harry and Meghan are back!

I normally refrain from voicing an opinion on Harry and Meghan without having an option for shelter. Especially on Twitter where a pile-on can be swift for those who dare to voice their opinions. Not all heroes wear capes. But if they did, they would be designed by Stella McCartney. Offering us protection in a stylish and sustainable way. Any other designer and you're on your own.

Yes, the unsung heroes. The Twitter warriors wading through the toxic battlefield so we don't have to. The next generation will thank us for their sacrifices against the immediate threat of a complete stranger's contrary opinion. Observing from above, the royal family is designing a medal. It will be called the Order of Think Before You Tweet. Don't you know there are wild-fires/starving children/poverty/environmental problems to remind others about?

This just in, Harry and Meghan have returned from their holidays. Places people, places! 7 days in to 2020 and we are off!

Harry and Meghan. Just the names make you suit-up. Oh those wacky Stans! Why can't they just understand? Or better yet, go away. Oh no, here they come! Block 'em and brag about being on the right side. Announcing you like Meghan and Catherine? (egads!) becomes just another thing to argue about. Why can't we just grab a coffee and hash it out?

Some say Harry and Meghan are to blame. They can't do anything right. Not when we've decided they're already wrong before they step off the plane.  We wouldn't have to argue if they did what we demand they do, right? Could they handle things differently? Depends on who you ask. Today's controversy will be tomorrow's tally point. Sending mixed messages by publicly thanking people for a private holiday? Oh the humanity!

The story may change but one thing is consistent, our reaction to it.

[Insert action we don't like]...furious typing...snack..furious retweet...snack...furious typing...lunch break..furious retweet...dinner...Rinse and repeat next week.

Now that we're off, grab a comfy chair. I'm making popcorn, do you want some?

© Marilyn Braun 2020

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.