April 7, 2008

"Charles is very dismissive of Camilla's views and lifestyle."

"He is ever more fussy, ratty and irascible."

Ugh! The royals! I can't stand royalty. I went to see "The Lion King" — the Broadway show — on Saturday, and I was rooting for Scar. Great puppets, sets, and costumes — but I don't like the characters and the story. I'll say the same for the British royal family: Great puppets, sets, and costumes — but I don't like the characters and the story.


rhhardin said...

Imus transcript, on the Royals Sept 4 1997

ricpic said...

When a twit rides a horse
'Tis not a pretty sight.
When a horse rides a twit
'Tis altogether not right.
When horse and twit are interchangeable
'Tis truly a fright...harumph harumph.

Skyler said...

Ha! You're the only other person I've met with that reaction to The Lion King. I don't understand the notion that someone should be born to power without any merit being involved. It's very unamerican.

AlphaLiberal said...

We agree! Though I've never seen the Lion King, I dislike stories where the hero is royalty of any sort that the audience is manipulated to care about.

Our modern political system is looking more and more like a modern, wired court. With ruling families, courtiers, viziers, court jesters and too much more.

Just look at all the families, on both sides of the aisle, keeping a public seat in the family. It's a bad trend.

George M. Spencer said...

The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master.

Henry IV, part 1. Act 1, Scene 1.

Now that's some good writing.

Swifty Quick said...

Charles. What a man.

bill said...

Also hate the unamerican emphasis on the royalty in The Lion King (though Disney -- Walt and Company -- have a long history of being crown sniffers). Nala kicks Simba's ass and still thinks he's the only one who save the womenfolk? Stupid movie, stupid role models. And, yes, we're taking The Child to a touring version of the Broadway show this week.

For what it's worth, the The Lion King 1½ is a lot of fun.

Of all the Disney princess movies, old and new, Belle is really the only one with a strong sense of self who doesn't give up her identity. Plus, musically it's the strongest of the bunch.

Roger J. said...

I have to wonder what the Queen and Prince Phillip have to say about their family in private conversations.

Synova said...

Finding out you were born with special abilities or are really a prince or princess is a common childhood fantasy. Like Prince Charles lived in the imagination of so many little girls and really, Ann, he was a bit old for me and it was still the case. Can you really say you *never* had dreamy fantasies?

But then we grow up and gain some control over our lives and a bit of perspective and it's more like... no one in her right mind would have him! Even if he wasn't so unattractive. Who would want that sort of life? And we look at his sons who can hardly have a girlfriend or dress in rude costume or simply go out and fight with their fellows without causing an upset.

And that's now.

When kings actually had power what getting born a prince or princess often meant was that you were dead and you still got all the rest of it, marrying someone you didn't love, having your life be public theater.

Not to say "poor little rich kids" but at least those who are merely insanely rich have a choice about the level of public exposure they want to live with.

The Drill SGT said...

The last Brit royal I really liked was the Queen Mum:

Prince Albert – "Bertie" to the family – was the second son of George V. He initially proposed to Elizabeth in 1921, but she turned him down, being "afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to".[10] When he declared he would marry no other, his mother, Queen Mary, visited Glamis to see for herself the girl who had stolen her son's heart. She became convinced that Elizabeth was "the one girl who could make Bertie happy", but nevertheless refused to interfere.[11]

Eventually Elizabeth agreed to marry Albert, despite her misgivings about royal life.[12] The engagement was announced in January 1923. Albert's freedom in choosing Elizabeth, legally a commoner though the daughter of a peer, was considered a gesture in favour of political modernisation; previously, princes were expected to marry princesses from other royal families.[13] They married on 26 April 1923, at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior on her way into the Abbey,[14] a gesture which every royal bride since has copied, though subsequent brides have chosen to do this on the way back from the altar rather than to it.

Elizabeth publicly refused to leave London or send the children to Canada, even during the Blitz, when she was advised by the Cabinet to do so. She said, "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave."

When Buckingham Palace itself took several hits during the height of the bombing, Elizabeth was able to say, "I'm glad we've been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face." Due to fears of imminent invasion during the "Phony War" the Queen was given revolver training.
Because of her effect on British morale, Adolf Hitler is said to have called her "the most dangerous woman in Europe".

They dont make them like that anymore.

MadisonMan said...

QEII (Well, Princess Elizabeth) waved at my father as she drove by when he was standing on a London Street corner during WWII. That's as closed as I've come to royalty.

I appreciate the majesty of the Royal House. I think they do good charitable work. The focus on their private lives must be incredibly fatiguing.

TMink said...

It must be terribly difficult to grow up a royal and not be spoilt. Charles certainly appears to be spoiled. I do manage a splinter of empathy for them.


former law student said...

When we chatted with them once, both the Queen and the Duke were real nice people. The only downside of when we met them was that my friend's wife and his mother had to scramble to find hats and gloves. My friend and I were ok because the dress code for men required only a "lounge suit."

Christy said...

Is there anything worse than circumstances which force a decent fellow to marry his mistress? (See Cukor's The Women)

I watched a PBS show on the Royals recently and was thoroughly appalled by their reverence for tradition and how impotent it makes them look. Anyone think Henry II or VIII would arrive at ceremonies in outdated vehicles? Don't they realize they get to make the rules, not some retainer trained by someone trained by Queen Mary?

They continue to confirm my opinion that Europe is nothing more than a theme park with some nice vineyards and dressmakers.

KCFleming said...

Charles is still around?

I thought all that went away when Diana died. Huh. Maybe we can exchange them for our own pampered and useless class, starting with, say, Paris Hilton.

Actually, it might be fun to have an exchange program for the impotent rich, just so we don't get bored. Next month we can trade Jolie for Winehouse, but only if they take back Posh.

KCFleming said...

Posh has the most unnaturally large head I have ever seen. It's enormous, at least in relation to that stick it sits upon. Bizarre, I tell you.

titusbette davis eyes said...

You went to see The Lion King?

titusbette davis eyes said...

Could you not get tickets to Cats?

james said...

I seem vaguely to remember reading that we fought a war some time ago so that we wouldn't have to pay attention to the British royalty any more. I thought we won that one, but perhaps I was mistaken.

Ann Althouse said...

Titus, we were entertaining a child.

I have seen "Cats," though, years ago, when my sons were kids. You'd have to pay me a couple hundred dollars to go see that again.

mickey said...

I know it's a wee bit off topic, BUT, Not so Bonnie Prince Charlie needs his head and/or eyes examined.
Camilla is a 2 bagger.
One for her head and one for him to throw up in.
What a humiliation, he goes from a real hot Princess to a Camilla.
What's with her teeth?

Ralph L said...

The comments for your "Judge's" post don't seem to be working.

Charles will be 60 in November. Looks like he wouldn't have enough testosterone for extended fighting.

Sir Archy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sir Archy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
titusbette davis eyes said...

I don't know that you were entertaining a child.

I just wanted to give you a hard time like you sometimes do to me like when you called my food choices pedestrian.


titusbette davis eyes said...

Who's we to? Do you have another man in your life.

Also, are you a jellicle cat and comes out on jellicle nights?

Sir Archy said...

To Profeſſor Althouſe.


As the Ghoſt of a lukewarm ſupporter of Royalty, dead these 250 Years & more, You may imagine the Britiſh Monarchs I have ſeen.  I ſhall not quote Shakespeare upon any of 'em, for too often they had been worthier of one of Mrs. Centlivre's Farces than noble Tragedy.

As a Scot, You may alſo imagine that I would prefer a Stuart upon the Throne, to any of the Deſcendents of a miſerable German Electoral Princeling.  That the Stuarts were Kings, admits of no Doubt; neither may we diſavow that they became a Mad, Bad Line.  I often say, "Poor King James," more out of Sentiment than Sense; for He was a miser'ble Ruler: arbitrary, ſtupid & Catholick; and no matter how inglorious the Revolution may have been, 'twas very much of his own Making. I have often wonder'd that the Houſe of Douglas, being ſome of my Relations, would have done better; but upon Reflection, I am forc'd to admit that Scottiſh Royalty match'd those of the reſt of Europe in their ſad Decline, for the Douglaſſes were no better than the Stuarts in the end.

Since the Time of George the First, the Houſe of Hanover have not done badly, if only because Kings could no longer much harm the Country.  Of the Four Hanoverians, King George the IIIrd moſt approached being a Man of Parts, and was only prevented from becoming perhaps a great King by his ſad Lunacy.  King George is famouſly ſaid to have giv'n the degenerate Prince of Wales the ſage Advice that the Profeſſion of a Britiſh Monarch is to Smile & Wave, which King George did to perfection when He was in his Senses.

For indeed, the Sovereign is the Head of State, whilſt the Prime Miniſter is Head of Governement.  The Monarch is the Symbol of the Unity & Stability of Britain at the ſame Moment the Government may be riven with Politicks & Party Strife. That the Monarch may have little to do, other than Smile & Wave, and perhaps make Life miſerable for those who must answer to the Crown in the Perſon of the Sovereign, has now been eſtabliſhed by Law & long Uſe.  This Separation of the State from the Government is a Mark of Britiſh Political Genius, which I would recommend to my American Friends; for You may ſee the Trouble that entwining them has caus'd your Presidency, and the Regard in which your Country is held, eſpecially with ſuch as the ſtumbling Mr. Buſh.

Likewiſe, however much the Britiſh Monarchy may fail to inspire the Publick, or even to Smile & Wave properly, a Republican anſwer to the ill-Behaviour of Royals is not to be countenanced, if only for our Experience of Cromwell; I forbear to mention all the other dreary European Republics whoſe Examples may be quoted.

I fear that Charles the IIIrd may foment a modeſt Revolution, in keeping with the Modeſty of much elſe in Britain these Days; and that the rott'n Charles would be the Last Britiſh King, were he even to advance so far as to be Crown'd.

With this in mind, I ſhould like to wish Her Majeſty, Queen Elizabeth the IInd, the longeſt possible Life, and that her Grandſon may succeed Her, thus ſparing us all another fail'd Charles with who knows what Cromwell in his Train.

Wiſhing You, Profeſſor, as least as long a Life as the Queen, I remain,


Your humble & obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

titusbette davis eyes said...

Some days I feel like Rum Tum Tugger.

rhhardin said...

Kroger has discount theater candy if you ever attend Cats again.

Matt Brown said...

I get the whole "don't like the royals thing," and I agree that Disney has played to the royal scene too much. I mean, how many princesses do we really need running around? But, I don't understand rooting for Scar. He's someone who (1) killed his brother so he could become king, (2) blamed his brother's death on his young nephew, and (3) made such a ruin of the kingdom that the pride - and pretty much everyone else - was on the verge of starvation (or collapse, as Jared Diamond might say). Not very admirable qualities....

As for whose voice is better, Mufasa's or Scar's, it's a toss-up. I could listen to James Earl Jones or Jeremy Irons talk about anything all day long.

blake said...

The death of Howard Ashman was the second death of Disney.

With Jobs and Lasseter in there now, though, there is real hope.

Ann Althouse said...

Matt, Scar represents the challenge to royalty, and Disney pinned every villainous thing they could think of to try to keep kids from noticing that it wasn't a democracy and really wasn't fair. They also made all the lion prey happy about their place in the "circle of life." And the hyenas, who wanted to change the system, had to be ugly, stupid, and disgusting. It was all a big set-up to make you think monarchy is great. It would have been a better story if Scar had just been jealous and hadn't been made into a murderer and so forth. His jealousy was interesting.

Positroll said...

"They dont make them like that anymore."
Maybe I just skimmed the comments too fast - or how come I never found Prince Harry's tour in Afghanistan mentioned? Even Obama praised him, after all ...

Synova said...

Anytime you have a children's story with animals in it it helps a whole lot not to think too much about it. I mean... why are none of the families mixed? All the different animals are people, so why aren't there any squirrel mommies and rabbit daddies? And, yeah, the circle of life thing, that sort of doesn't work so hot. (Which is also a problem with the "humans are evil" Bambi sorts of things... like humans are the only predator?)

Lions are not democratic. But neither does the lion king protect his heir. No, he drives him off. And if a male lion wins a pride he often kills the cubs that aren't his. Those driven off might return (or find another pride) that they win when they are grown and strong. That's actually a little bit like the story.

As for how The Lion King translates to human, I never saw the Lion King as a story about monarchy anyhow, but simply the age old story of the child being disinherited by the scheming uncle or aunt or step-mother. Cinderella, even. Or who knows how many of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

It's human to strive for the future of your children and hope that what you build will fall to them when you die. Not just kingdoms! And the stories are morality plays about the evil of those who dispute the right of those children if parents die before their children are adults.

Usurpers are evil.

And there is *NO WAY* that Scar represented an alternative to monarchy or even inheritance by blood. He wasn't an unrelated male. His claim to the throne was based firmly in his birth status, TOO.