After watching the series “The Crown”, on my list of things to be grateful for I added that of not being born into royalty.
Three thoughts regarding THE CROWN:
- As a child, Elizabeth’s education had been focused on constitutional history. She was taught that the monarchy represented dignity whereas the government represented efficiency. And that their mutual success was based on mutual trust.
Elizabeth was still a young and inexperienced queen when she learned that Churchill had lied to her about his health. Despite his talents as a debater, after being reprimanded by the Queen for dishonouring this trust, all Churchill could say was “I’m sorry”.
Lesson learned: if you are caught cheating, apologize and if you are unwilling to follow the rules, get out of the game.
- Their real family name was Saxe-Coburg & Gotha but they changed it to Windsor in 1917 because of the anti-German feelings in England at the time. In other words, the Windsors are German.
The Welsh, however, are of Celtic origin and thus true Britons. King Arthur who fought against the Saxon invaders was Welsh as were the Knights of the Round Table and Merlin the Magician. When, in the 1200s, the Welsh prince was killed in battle, the King of England appropriated his title, a title that was eventually inherited by Prince Charles. The English are only “British” thanks to an act of Parliament in the 1700s.
Understandably, the Welsh, after centuries of being used, began rallying for their independence from England. So, when it came time for Charles to be invested as Prince of Wales, to placate rebellious Welsh sentiment, Charles was sent to Wales in order to learn to say his ceremonial speech in Welsh– as if that would placate tensions.
Capel Celyn was a rural community in north western Wales that was flooded to create a water reservoir for Liverpool and its industry. In other words, for the benefit of England, a Welsh village was destroyed.
Lesson learned: a ruler is not necessarily a leader. And imposing yourself on others is a form of violence no matter what language you speak.
- As a child, Prince Philip and his family were exiled from Greece. Philip lived with Nazi relatives until he was sent to Scotland to study with a Jewish professor who’d fled German persecution. Eventually Philip met and married Elizabeth before she became queen. Although he enjoyed the advantages of being a part of the royal household, he didn’t enjoy being no. 2 in the couple. So he sought compensation in fast cars, airplanes, physical workouts, and a Thursday lunch club for men only but with female waitresses. Philip kept himself distracted this way until middle age when the seams of his façade started to unravel. About the same time, Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Philip began fantasizing that he was an astronaut, too. When the real astronauts arrived at Buckingham Palace for a visit, Philip requested a private meeting with them. But the thrill was quickly gone when one of the astronauts, suffering from a cold, sneezed and needed a handkerchief. When Philip asked the space travellers what they thought about while en route to the moon, they replied that there was no time to think as they were too busy executing the robot-like chores necessary to make such a journey. Philip was disappointed. He’d wanted to meet gods but, instead, had met ordinary men.
Lesson learned: greatness is often a result of the repetition of ordinary and sometimes menial actions.