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The Nature of Royalty

AGBF

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I am starting this thread so that there need not be discussions in the Royal Jewels thread about the nature of royalty! I find such discussions there to distract from the topic of jewelry, but think that the subject is very interesting.

Recently there was a discussion in the Royal Jewels thread about about whether some guests at the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock actually were princes, princesses, etcetera, since the places which they supposedly were princes, princesses, etcetera of were now republics!

I am hoping not only that that discussion can continue (civilly) here, but that people can go beyond that and discuss the nature of royalty itself.

I obviously do not see this as a political topic or I would not be posting about it since political discussions are not allowed on Pricescope. I see this as an adjunct to the Royal Jewels thread and I am expecting that some members of that thread may want to discuss the topic of royalty in more depth!

Deb/AGBF
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Imdanny

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Thanks, Deb.

I think, I have long thought the royal jewels thread should be kept on topic.
 

prince.of.preslav

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It's an interesting idea to start a thread about royalty in general, Deb! I'll most certainly participate in the discussions here.

Bobby
 

AGBF

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prince.of.preslav|1310159751|2965000 said:
It's an interesting idea to start a thread about royalty in general, Deb! I'll most certainly participate in the discussions here.
Bobby-

I am very open to having a thread that discusses royalty in general. However, I opened this thread, specifically, so that people could discuss the issue that was spilling out into Royal Jewels. The reason that I named it, "The Nature of Royalty" was to emphasize that there could be discussion on just what "a royal " was. (Please excuse my syntax.)

In other words, I thought that this thread could be the place where people could discuss whether royalty could exist in countries that had demolished their monarchies and instituted republics. For example, could there be a Grand Duchess of Russia when a revolution had gotten rid of a government that believed in any kind of monarchy a century before? What would make her "royal"? From where would she draw her authority, her "royalty"?

I thought that this might be a good place for people to discuss what their own opinions are, too. Some people are fascinated by history and monarchies, but remain stalwart believers in democracy and equality. I suspect that many members of Pricescope from the United States fall into this category. It really creates a dichotomy. Magazines on the British royal family sell like hotcakes here in the United States, yet our country fought a bloody civil war to throw out our king (George III) and cease to be ruled by royalty (George Washington refused to be crowned King), back in 1776!

Shall we keep this thread just for discussion of the nature of royalty and open another on royalty to discuss other facets of royalty, or should we do everything but jewelry here?

Deb/AGBF
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Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
 

JewelFreak

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OK, I'll play. I can tell you how I see it personally. As a lifelong history buff I'm attracted by the longtime identification of royal lineages with their countries & with events that changed thousands of lives. The Romanovs, Bourbons, Habsburgs come to mind, among others. Current generations embody that history, just as I feel my family embodies the pioneer & entrepreneurial history of America.

On the other hand, members of deposed royal families' using defunct titles is a kind of Pretend game we all buy into. They know it. We know it. It's fun. Who does it harm? Most people in former royal families have jobs, earn livings, take part in stuff in their (usually adopted) countries. Some are captive to ancient family seats, feeling a responsibility to steward historic buildings & estates & deliver them in the best condition possible to the future. In this day, without the vast resources nobles & royals used to have, it must be a heavy burden to invest the financial, emotional, and time commitments necessary for many of those old piles. I've read interviews where their owners say something like, "This castle is a part of the country's history & it's my duty to keep it alive."

In daily life I get the impression that ex-royals don't take themselves too seriously, don't expect obeiscence, deal with regular folks as you or I would. I get annoyed with those who insist on remaining too grand for words. As in the former Greek royals. "King" Constantine lived for years on handouts from relatives & friends, contributing little that I'm aware of, swanning around being a King, of nobody anymore. His children have careers of some sort but the family ethic seems to be to marry as huge a fortune as possible so they can pose as the kings they used to be. (Nothing new about that; it's been done since feudal times.) Carrying it down to the next generation bothers me -- as in Crown Prince Pavlos -- Crown Prince? There's no crown, remember? I know other families do it but the Greek ex-royals strike me as pretentious about it. Could be that's not fair. But I nearly barfed at a photo of Princess Michael at P. Victoria's wedding dropping a curtsy almost to the floor before Mr. Constantine, he extending his hand in a lordly manner. Ick.

As an obsessor over gorgeous bling, I like watching them play dress-up. They do it much better than I ever could!

--- Laurie
 

Imdanny

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Yeah, the bling part.

But royalty as a political reality is based IMO on the theory (myth, lie, whatever you want to call it) of the divine right of kings. To me this stinks.

I don't believe God wants a person, a dynasty, a caste, or a hereditary class to rule over me.

In general, I think we give these people too much credit because they have titles.

I also think the absurd amount of wealth some of these families have accumulated should be given back to the people it was extracted from since feudal times.

I think all taxpayer monies being used to support such families should cease immediately.

I am strongly against regicide as I don't believe in killing people- duh- and I think, as in the case of Russia, such a thing scars the national psyche.

But these families have been guilty of much oppression and IMO should peacefully have their "rule" taken away from them.

And that is what I think is the nature of royalty- a false belief in which rule over and exploitation of a people is justified by an appeal to the will of God.

Oh, no. My royal jewels friends are never going to speak to me again. :tongue:
 

kenny

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Great topic Deb.
I'm also a person who likes to question things and look behind the curtain instead of just watching the show.

In one sense the whole royalty thing is cool.
It's like a Cinderella princess fairy tale in real life.
There is an aura of magic and fantasy surrounding the royal
We dreary commoners can daydream about lunching with solid gold forks as we bag groceries or empty bedpans.
I mean, how many magazine covers of Julia Roberts can remain interesting?
In a way there's a place for all that, I suppose.

But royalty ain't PC.

Think about it.
You and I must earn our status via work.
Sure, wealth can be inherited, your daddy's connections can get you into Harvard, but when talking about social status nobody outranks royalty. PERIOD!
. . . and the royals didn't lift a finger for what they have.
They are royal because their parents were royal, who were royal because their parents were royal . . . and so on back many generations . . probably until you get to some rather unpleasant events which would be criminal today.

Slavery was abolished.
Women were given the vote.
Gay marriage is on the horizon.
Civilized democracies, hopefully, move towards equality of all humans.

Equality means we are all at the same level.
People have been unfairly kept at the bottom and the top.
If we are pulling people up from the bottom we should also pull them down from the top.

IMHO royalty is an idea whose time has passed.
 

mayerling

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I don't mind kings, queens, princes, etc., of non-reigning titles using their old titles, just like I don't mind ex-presidents being addressed as Mr President.
 

kenny

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Sometimes we just get used to things that are a bad idea.
I heard if white sugar, white flour, white rice and cigarettes were introduced as new products today they FDA would not approve their sale.
They do more harm than good.
The 3 food products are healthier unrefined and cigarettes . . . well . . .

Now, the only reason we have those things today is . . . we had them yesterday.
We get used to things instead of paying attention to whether they make sense.

Imagine if the idea of royalty never existed and it was invented today.
It would be an outrage.
. . . WHAT!?! Who the #&%! do you think YOU are! :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire:
 

Kaleigh

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Great thread Deb. Since I grew up outside of Philadelphia I have always loved Grace Kelly.

Her nephew served as best man to his first cousin Prince Albert and is a friend of our's.. I loved seeing the pics of the wedding.. I know nothing about them as a couple. But wish them well.

I am thrilled about William and Kate. That's true love.
 

AGBF

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kenny|1310223999|2965471 said:
IMHO royalty is an idea whose time has passed.
I was surprised to see that my little thread had been moved out of Jewelry Pieces, where I thought it would have a small audience, to Hangout! I am gratified that someone in the administration thought it was worth moving to a place where it would be more widely viewed, but I had thought it would only be seen by royalty aficionados and I was aiming it at them!

Nonetheless, I will treat the thread as if it were in the little Jewelry Pieces enclave, and share my personal feelings publicly.

I am not sure that I believe there was ever a time that royalty should have existed!

To say something like that is, of course, absurd. What happened in the past happened for reasons. I wanted to be an historian because I found studying the reasons that things happened fascinating. There is no such thing as right or wrong about history. It was what it was. One may look at it and say, "If X hadn't happened, surely Y would have been different". But to say, "X was bad" is simply silly. One can say that "X was one of the most tragic periods for mankind" or that "X was a terrible time when civization suffered a severe setback, when all learning that had been gathered to date was destroyed". But to call it, "bad" is silly. (In my opinion.)

So it is silly of me to say royalty should never have existed. It obviously served a purpose.

The people I most admire never believed in royalty, however. I have mentioned before that my parents both became members of the Society of Friends, known as the Quakers. The Quakers believe that all people are equal in God's eyes and they, therefore, do not use titles when speaking to others. They do not use, "Mr." or "Mrs", let alone "Lord" and "Lady". They call others by their first and last names. In England they refused to take off their hats to the king. Even in their mode of worship no one person is placed above another. There is no minister, rabbi or priest. In Quaker meeting house, all the benches are on the same level and face each other. Equality is the guiding principle of the faith.

Yet, while in the real world this is what I value, I am fascinated by royalty as something to watch and understand! I am also a great fan of the books of Britsh author Georgette Heyer, who was a terrible snob and believed that the lower classes were inherently less worthy than the upper classes. I just remove myself from my real world and suspend reality as I would as if I were going to the movies when I read a Georgette Heyer novel or read about what the royals are up to.

Treating novels as fantasy makes sense. I am not sure that treating royalty that exists in real life does. Since I am only a spectator, I have told myself that my watching doesn't affect anyone. I am not sure that that is true. Perhaps, given my true beliefs, I should take a more principled stand than that of endlessly fascinated royal watcher!

Deb/AGBF
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prince.of.preslav

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JewelFreak|1310217262|2965426 said:
OK, I'll play.
....

In daily life I get the impression that ex-royals don't take themselves too seriously, don't expect obeiscence, deal with regular folks as you or I would. I get annoyed with those who insist on remaining too grand for words. As in the former Greek royals. "King" Constantine lived for years on handouts from relatives & friends, contributing little that I'm aware of, swanning around being a King, of nobody anymore. His children have careers of some sort but the family ethic seems to be to marry as huge a fortune as possible so they can pose as the kings they used to be. (Nothing new about that; it's been done since feudal times.) Carrying it down to the next generation bothers me -- as in Crown Prince Pavlos -- Crown Prince? There's no crown, remember? I know other families do it but the Greek ex-royals strike me as pretentious about it. Could be that's not fair. But I nearly barfed at a photo of Princess Michael at P. Victoria's wedding dropping a curtsy almost to the floor before Mr. Constantine, he extending his hand in a lordly manner. Ick.

--- Laurie
Well, Laurie, I'll have to disagree with you on this one. King Constantine II isn't just walking down the streets of London with a paper crown and a sceptre made of tree from his garden, pretending that he's The King of an ancient country. Instead, he works on behalf of the Greek people, espacially the disadvantaged, via the Anne Maria Foundation. HM is also active when it comes to the Greek society in London and was the founder of the Hellenic College in London (which was attended by his children).
Other than that, he (and his family) want to return to Greece and to live in the family's ancestral home - Tatoi. As Constantine II has said, he'd like to surve the people of Greece as their head-of-state only if and when they want it.
Another thing we shall not forget is that HM is a Prince of Denmark and is the brother-in-law to The Queen of Denmark and the King of Spain; he's also married to Thge King of Sweden's first cousin. For these reasons we see the Greek family at some major royal evens, often wearing very nice jewels.
Re. Crown Prince Pavlos - The Crown Prince was born in 1967, by which time Greece was stilll a monarchy and the family was still living in Greece. Hence, he is from birth The Crown Prince of Greece.
His wife is a rich hairess married to a (ex-)royal, indeed, but if you look at her sisiters, they also married into famous dynasties - Fürstenberg and Getty. So, in this case it's hard to tell if Royalty married Money, or vice-versa. In any case they are an attractive couple :razz:

A stronger promoter of the monarchic institution is, IMHO, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia ;-)

Bobby
 

AmeliaG

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OK, I'll play too! :)

As a jewel lover, I appreciate royalty because they're the only ones that can pull off the awesome overwhelming display of jewels like they do. Not even the latest celebrity with her 20 carat engagement ring can top Queen Elizabeth II in her Cullinan finest set with tiara, parure, brooch, earrings, bracelets, etc., etc.. many containing some of the largest diamonds known to man. For anyone else, such a display would be way too ostentatious. But a Queen can carry it off.

Most reigning monarchs have no power (except for Albert but his country is very small) so I don't think they don't really affect the average citizen's life too much. Modern-day British royalists tout the advantage of a non-elected head of state by saying that an elected head of state cannot effectively represent the entire country. The argument goes - an elected official's first loyalty will be towards the people who elected them which is never 100% of the population. However, the Queen can claim to represent all of Britain because she doesn't depend on a political party. There are admittedly some problems with that argument. British Republicans claim that an old rich white lady can't represent their Britain. As an American, I don't get too involved in that argument, but I find it fascinating.

I am interested in genealogy, heredity, and family dynamics so royal families are like a little laboratory for me to look at. Its fascinating to watch not only physical characteristic pass down from one generation to another, but also family dynamics. Most families fade in and out of the public eye but royals are born into prominence and usually die in prominence so their family traits are easier to follow. For example, I find it fascinating that the British Royal Family has a history of sons being intimidated by their fathers. It goes back to Prince Albert and Edward VII. William may have broken that chain.
 

Black Jade

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This thread seems to be about several things at once. The original question was, "are you still royal if you are part of a family that used to reign somewhere but doesn't anymore and should you be treated as such or is it pretend and silly." It seems to have morphed into discussing," is royalty ever a good system, either historically or in the present" and 'are some people better than others and if not, why bow to them or treat them with honor, it's undemocratic."

I don't think royalty as a system lasted so many thousands of years because people in past times were brainwashed and/or dumb. While there were certainly some glaring exceptions, there is a certain practicality in a system where someone is trained to a job from childhood, educated for it, and sees how it works from behind the scenes long before they get the job. It is of course always wise to have checks and balances in the system (as Lord Acton said, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely) and in the countries where it worked the best, there were such checks. An absolute monarchy is actually a rare thing in history--the very idea of it was not conceived before the 17th century in Western Europe--a medieval king had to operate under the system of feudalism, which is a system of accountability on both sides (as many, not only Magna Charta King John, found out when they overstepped the limits of their powers). Being a King was actually a very difficult job for much of history in most places, as very often Kings were generals first of all--and not the sort of general who planned wars for a distance, but the person who had to actually lead the army into battle, often wearing some sort of regalia that made him a target; Kings were not allowed to tax in many places so had to be good managers (the English king in the middle ages famously had to 'live off his own'); diplomatic skills were required, not just to deal with foreign powers but to manage quarrelsome nobles at a court (with the thought always in mind that some of them were powerful enough to take your job from you if you weren't careful--something that did happen)--in short the job was no sinecure.

The nature of monarchy changed a lot in the modern period (beginning 17th century and going into the 18th) and as kings had to do less militarily people began to see less point to them (the 17th century saw the execution of Charles I, the interregnum and the Blrious Revolution and the eighteenth saw the French Revolution and the American Revolution). However, interestingly, with the exception of the British and the US (basically heirs of British political thought), 'who got rid of monarchies usually ended up with something much worse. The period when monarchy basically died as a system was jsut after the First world War. What most of the nations who had had monarchies then got were brutal totalitarian governments where 'the people' supposedly were charge and the country was (supposedly)completely equal and the old ' unfair' aristocracy was crushed (exiled or murdered) to be replaced by a new set of people in charge who were somehow a little more equal than the rest of the citizens and tortured, gulaged and starved them into submission. I think if most had a chance to choose, they would CERTAINLY rather have lived (to compare apples to apples) under the last Habsburgs or even the Kaiser (before World War I) rather than in 1930's Germany or the Eastern bloc in the 1950's or 60's.

I want to avoid straying into politics now, rather than history so am not discuss the merits and demerits of the current US system of government, other than to say that I personally prefer it to the other options. But though I definitely do NOT think we need a monarchy, even a ceremonial one such as Great Britain's, I would have a difficult time arguing with a time-travelling royalist who brought up a few problems with our system such as that extremely unqualified and incompetent people can get elected to the very highest office here based on being telegenic and having charisma (or by belonging to the right kind of family--anyone who thinks America has no aristocracy is seriously kidding themselves); that a four year term with a limit of two terms does avoid someone getting entrenched in power as President-for-life but also leaves little time to accomplish real things, especially when one considers that some of the eight years must be spent electioneering and some of them must be spent as a 'lame duck'; that presidents (and congressmen) who don't have to lead armies into battle personally might be a little casual about wars and certainly are often out of touch with the military and its real needs; that having to be elected at all means you come into office owing lots of favors adn that patronage is rife in Washington; that instead of a King living of his own, we have taxes on absolutely everything, which aren't working well, we are in such serious financial trouble--but I think you get the general idea.

As for whether ex-Kings deserve to be fictitiously treated as if they were current kings, I have no opinion--if they can manage to get people to treat them with deference in spite of having no real power, I don't really care. I don't move in circles where I get to meet them so don't have to think about whether I feel like curtsying to them or not. I do know how to curtsy (not sure I am spelling that right); I don't choose to say how I happen to know this. As for calling, let's use her for an example, the Queen of England "Your Majesty' (I don't move in circles where I am likely to meet her either), I wouldn't have a problem with that. I don't see why it's worse than calling a judge, for instance, 'Your Honor' or the president, "Mr. President' rather than, "Barack, my man' or those obnoxious initials POTUS. One pays respect to the office, not the person per se. And I would say that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has lived a life of service and duty which makes her personally worthy of respect, not just for her office. I think we could probably use a little more respect for people for their age, their accomplishments and for other reasons and not just nickname everyone and slap them on the back, as some are prone to do. In general, I think it is better to respect everyone (I was brought up to greet the janitor and the maid when I see them, to address them politely and ask after their families, jsut the same as I would the chief executive officer and am always surprised by how many treat these people as invisible)--anyway, I think it is better to respect everyone than to respect no one and be rude to everyone, and then to call that democracy, as many nowadays seem to do.

When I teach, my students can't call me by my first name or (God forbid) a nickname and I don't dress in jeans but wear dresses or suits and stockings and proper shoes, not sneakers, because I think it is a way of respecting them, to be bothered.
 

TristanC

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I think Royalty is ridiculous if it is not entrenched in the governance of the country, and that they should continue it in whatever fashion pleases them so long as they "Live on their own".

A royalty tax is mentally challenging to me. Yet some governments declare the millions of dollars that go to the royals each year. For the most part, I don't see the good of it at all. More good will come to more people if that budget is used towards the improvement of the lot for the average person or the country's infrastructure.

Hmm, and I love white rice. Asian cultures have been eating it for yonks without many of the inherent issues related to obesity and dietary malfunction. As a staple eaten as much as 3 times a day to boot. Don't know why the vile campaign against carbs has spread to include this particular example. Actually I just think the anti carb wars are silly too.
 

AGBF

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Black Jade|1310262311|2965758 said:
This thread seems to be about several things at once. The original question was, "are you still royal if you are part of a family that used to reign somewhere but doesn't anymore and should you be treated as such or is it pretend and silly." It seems to have morphed into discussing," is royalty ever a good system, either historically or in the present" and 'are some people better than others and if not, why bow to them or treat them with honor, it's undemocratic."
Hi, Black Jade. I am so glad you responded to this thread. I read your entire response, not just the bit I quoted and to which I plan to respond. I found it really interesting to read. I am sure I would love hearing you lecture about history; I felt as if you were giving me an interesting history lesson when I read your posting!

I think that the first question, the one you termed the "original question", was whether one was royal only if his family reigned somewhere. You went on to say that the discussion had deteriorated into other questions including, "are some people better than others?"

The, "are some people better than others?" question is at the root of "are you royal?" in my opinion. (I'm, not going to venture into "Is royalty ever a good system?" and whether the discussion should, logically, have gone there just now!)

In my opinion, the essential quality of of royalty-without-a country is that they are (regarded as) better than everyone else! In fact, that is their only identifying quality! They have often lost everything else! But they have their "royal blood". Their DNA. As another poster pointed out, if one traced their genealogy one could trace it back to someone who committed some hideous crime and, therefore, came to power. If one does not believe in fairies-I mean royal blood-then what is the use of having royalty at all?

Deb/AGBF
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purplesilk

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I'm here to answer some question that I've been asked about the Savoia family members in the royal jewels thread.
The whole thing started as I said they don't have to be called princes/princesses of Italy/Naples/Venice because Italy is no longer their reign.
Italian Constitution says that aristocratic titles are worthless; they are part of the surname only if the titles were established before October 28th 1922, which means that the last Savoias that have to be considered royal family members (also in the surname) are Umberto II and his wife - the last king and the last queen of Italy.
The surname of the living Savoias is " Di Savoia ".
A recent law ( October 23rd 2002) did let the Savoias to come back to Italy and it also let them to become Italian citizens.
 

AmeliaG

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I don't know if the British royals see themselves as being better than anyone else. They call themselves 'The Firm'. Sounds like a family business. A peculiar family business, I admit, providing a Head of State to a nation.

AFAIK, the British royals are primarily supported by the Crown Estates - a trust that was formed when George III turned over almost all his private wealth to the government in return for a steady income. In addition, the Queen holds the Duchy of Lancaster, a hereditary revenue-producing estate. Charles' income mainly comes from another hereditary landed estate - the Duchy of Cornwall. The taxpayer sometimes has to chip in but I don't think its as much as people believe. Maybe a Brit who knows better can chime in.

Yes, the royals have some ancestors who got wealth and power in ways that today would be unthinkable, but a lot of American dynasties got their start by engaging in predatory business practices that would be considered illegal today. A lot of families first gained their wealth by bootlegging in Prohibition. But we don't demand that the Kennedys and the Rockefellers give up their wealth because of what their ancestors did. I see the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall the same as any other inherited wealth. The Queen and Charles do not have to pay income tax on their estates; that is an immense privilege due to their royal status. But their ownership of the Duchies themselves I don't think can be questioned unless one starts questioning the general right to pass down inheritance to your children. I don't think anyone wants to go there.

They do receive some privileges just by being Royal (no income tax on certain holdings, immunity from certain charges) - and the position of Head of State is hereditary. These could easily go away if the British public so chooses but I don't think the Royals could lose their wealth.
 

AmeliaG

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purplesilk|1310292460|2965864 said:
I'm here to answer some question that I've been asked about the Savoia family members in the royal jewels thread.
The whole thing started as I said they don't have to be called princes/princesses of Italy/Naples/Venice because Italy is no longer their reign.
Italian Constitution says that aristocratic titles are worthless; they are part of the surname only if the titles were established before October 28th 1922, which means that the last Savoias that have to be considered royal family members (also in the surname) are Umberto II and his wife - the last king and the last queen of Italy.
The surname of the living Savoias is " Di Savoia ".
A recent law ( October 23rd 2002) did let the Savoias to come back to Italy and it also let them to become Italian citizens.
Thanks purplesilk. I was one of the ones who asked that question. So the names on their passport are just like 'Umberto di Savoia'? Interesting.
 

JewelFreak

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You must be a marvelous teacher, Black Jade. Everything you said was right on imo, perceptive & proportionate.

As to calling someone "Your Majesty" or "Your Grace", etc., okay by me, as I would call anyone by a name they preferred. Retired judges are frequently addressed forever as "Judge," ditto Colonels, et al. Luckily, Americans do not curtsy or bow to anyone, including reigning monarchs (except, ahem, our current prez), so in the unlikely case I ever met one, it's easy.

If we can get zoological for a moment, humans are social animals -- predetermined to live in groups, as are many species. All groups need leaders, or it's chaos. We, like them, are by nature disposed to hierarchies for efficiency & security. Get any size group together to do something & some will end up directing the job, however they are chosen: committees all have chairmen; schools, principals; nations, leaders. Since the responsibility is theirs for success or failure (and usually the lion's share of work & stress), they also are granted (or take) perks. Royalty becomes royal when leadership passes down based on bloodlines, which is also a programmed instinct: all animals try to assure the survival of their DNA & that its bearers thrive. Plus, you get plenty of goodies!

Just? No. Thus dynasties & whole monarchies have been overthrown. As BJ said, though, there never has been (& never will be) a society where some are not more equal than others. In ours, where "all men are created equal" they don't stay equal. Congress votes itself lavish lifelong pensions & medical care, granted on the 2nd term; limos; aides out the wazoo; fancy gym; "educational" trips abroad. Some seats have even become family sinecures, as the Kennedys, Rockefellers, Byrds. Get elected & you're our version of royal.

I can't think why ex-royals should give back inherited money (to whom?) any more than you or I should. I'll venture most don't have enough for a luxurious life without working, themselves. They pay their taxes wherever they live. They did not acquire it by hurting anyone.

Ex-royals provide glamor in a world that needs it. I love to see their jewels -- and love a world where somebody can have gorgeous pieces -- I sure don't feel that because I can't, they shouldn't either. The historical associations of many jewels is wonderful. As BJ says, if these folks can get others to defer to them, I don't care. Some ex-royals do a lot of good works & some are a pleasure to watch. That's enough for me.

--- Laurie

P.S. Queen Elizabeth & Prince Charles have paid income taxes since 1992. In 2009-2010, according to the Guardian, Prince Charles's income from his various holdings rose 4%, while his taxes paid increased by 26% to BP4.4 million. The monarchy in 2010 cost the British public 62p per capita. Not a bad deal, is it?
 

AmeliaG

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AmeliaG|1310293818|2965865 said:
The Queen and Charles do not have to pay income tax on their estates; that is an immense privilege due to their royal status.
Correction: The Queen and Prince Charles pay income taxes on their estates but they don't pay corporate taxes so they still get a royal privilege but not as much as before 1992.
 

Imdanny

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JewelFreak|1310300564|2965885 said:
The monarchy in 2010 cost the British public 62p per capita. Not a bad deal, is it?
62p so Charles could cheat on his wife in secret places all the way through his marriage? 62p so Charles and HM could choose to force Diana into a divorce she didn't want? 62p so Charles could marry the woman about whom he said he'd like to be her tampon? I'm sorry, Laurie. You know I love you, but it would offend me to have to pay for any of it.

They have more than enough wealth to pay their own way through life. It's highly offensive to me that with their castles and palaces, with their jewels, some of which we haven't even seen, and art, and on and on, that they should be living off the taxpayer, and I'm an American, so it doesn't matter what I feel, but I wouldn't want to pay 62p to the royal family. I admit I'm fascinated by them, or I was at one time, but I've had a long time to think about this, and my conclusion is that the idea of "blue blood" is simply a lie. These are with glorified social position, and titles which amount to nothing more than fancy names.

I might feel differently today if Charles had upheld the institution of marriage, but since he couldn't even do that, I don't see why I should want to uphold the institution of the monarchy. Other than HM, who has dedicated her life to her role, none of the rest of them represent anything to me at all, and after she passes, my interest in the British monarchy as an institution will have completely disappeared.

And as far as confiscating their wealth, of course you can do that through taxation, as with an estate tax, for example.

I'm sorry to sound so grumpy, but I agree with Kenny, and Deb if I've read her post correctly. I really do believe that human beings have equal worth, and I find so much about the idea of royalty to be truly offensive.
 

mayerling

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I think only the Queen and her husband are on the civil list, which means only they receive the 62p from the taxpayer. Charles lives off his own wealth.
 

prince.of.preslav

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Imdanny|1310314687|2965944 said:
JewelFreak|1310300564|2965885 said:
The monarchy in 2010 cost the British public 62p per capita. Not a bad deal, is it?
62p so Charles could cheat on his wife in secret places all the way through his marriage? 62p so Charles and HM could choose to force Diana into a divorce she didn't want? 62p so Charles could marry the woman about whom he said he'd like to be her tampon? I'm sorry, Laurie. You know I love you, but it would offend me to have to pay for any of it.
...................
Danny, please have in mind two things:
1) The Queen & The Duke of Edinburgh are the only people on the civil list. HM then covers the expencss of her family (children and cousins) for the official engagements they undertake on her behalf and (more importantly) on behalf of the nation. Remeber that beacuse of their fancy names and titles they do draw quite a lot of attention to good causes (that applies to all monarchies and royals) - just see how many people payed immense sums to have dinner with Prince William & Princess Kate (TRH The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, I mean) last night.
2) The Prince of Wales, as already explained, receives his income from the revenue of the Duchy of Cornwall, with which the taxpayer is not directly involved.
3) That Diana, Princess of Wales was the ultimate royal and role-model for you is one thing; that both she and her husband had extramarital affairs is another, but it doesn't mean that all royal personalities are like that. I'd be more than surprised if you don't know about the existence of other monarchies in the world, in which the royals have happy marriages...

Regards,
Bobby
 

Imdanny

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Bobby,

Yes, Diana was a role model IMO. However, she made me see that true nobility is of the spirit.

I know you idealize royalty and that's fine. Truly. You are such an intelligent, well spoken, polite person. I love reading your posts. You and I see things differently. Very differently. But that's ok. That's how life is. Please keep doing what you're doing for the royal jewels thread and please don't think I disapprove of it at all. Because the opposite is true. :))
 

Guilty Pleasure

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To answer the original question, a queen or king without a country is silly after a generation or two, in my opinion. King of what, exactly? I'd honestly laugh at anyone who insisted on a being addressed as "Prince" or "King" if the title wasn't officially granted by a government. If a millionaire loses his fortune, then his great- grandchildren are not rich a hundred years later. If a monarch loses his crown, then his great-grandchildren are not princes and princesses a hundred years later.
 

prince.of.preslav

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Imdanny|1310329477|2966030 said:
Bobby,

Yes, Diana was a role model IMO. However, she made me see that true nobility is of the spirit.
:))
Danny,
I really like you as a poster! We might be at odds about certain matters but never really cross the line of politeness. Like you, I know that nobility is not just your pedigree, it has to be in you ;-)
You might've misunderstood me, though - I don't idealize anyone, literally anyone. But I do like royalty very much, indeed. And there's a very simple reason - royalty, especially European, is like a very large family, a community if you like. The mebers of the individual royal houses (at least those in power) are rather close to one another and they represent their nations and the family values to full advantage. In a way I think this is also the way I feel towards my family - I try to enjoy a good relationship with everybody - my parents and grandparents's siblings, their cousins, my cousins and even some more distant relations. As you say, I'm generally a polote person and in a way I think it helps.
But there's another factor as well - the jewles! To me no one owns more beautiful jewellery than royalty and no one wears them better.
I'm sorry for (probably) being off-topic. I'm not trying to change anyone's view on royalty, just explaing my reasoning.
 

AmeliaG

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Not everybody who follows royals is an idealist.

I don't think they're better than anyone else. They are very human people is a very unusual situation. Where else would you find a family that for generations has had members that are born in the public eye, live their lives under public scrutiny, and die and the public eye? They would be very inhuman if we didn't see something unusual every now and then.

They are also unique in that while they have immense privilege, they also have unique restrictions. Senior royals can't just do what they want with their lives. Prince Harry was born for a soldier's life but when it came time to put him in combat, it became a matter of national security. So he's not going into combat and he can't very well go into business. Prince Edward tried that and there was such a backlash that he and his wife had to retire from their business pursuits. And these guys aren't even the heir.

For the heir, there's an additional burden - marrying and producing an heir. Its very un-PC, but royalty won't survive without it. Marriage takes on an added burden when that's a requirement. An heir to the throne just can't say, 'I don't think I'm the marriage type.' or come out and say he's gay. If he does, he'll just push the burden down to a younger brother or sister. If he falls in love with a woman who doesn't want to have children, he's out of luck. And if the women he is most compatible with are the types that don't want to live under the restrictions of Royal life, then he's got a real problem. They're not required to marry, have children or take on the burdens of royalty but he is and he wasn't asked his opinion on the matter.

Monaco is a much tinier country than Britain but Prince Albert faced the same pressures. There have been rumours that he's gay, not cut out for marriage, etc., etc. but for the royal succession, that doesn't matter. Gay men have married and had children, men who aren't the marriage types have too. Under his circumstances, he wasn't going to come out of the closet or declare he'd never marry because he'd impact his sister Caroline and her children. He was already impacting them by his delay in marrying. When Caroline's oldest son, Andrea Casiraghi, was 17, he was getting inordinate attention on some of his 17 year old behavior simply because nobody knew what was up with Albert. Caroline hadn't marrried Stefano Casiraghi with the expectation of providing an heir, and she didn't raise Andrea with that expectation either. The kids aren't even royal; they should have been able to do with their lives what they wanted but Albert's delay in marriage put pressure on that.

I'm not saying they're to feel sorry for, they do have immense privilege. They are normal people who live in an extremely abnormal situation. I find that fascinating which is why I enjoy watching them. I want to see what they make of their situation. It's inevitable in this situation that some marriages are going to look kinda weird from the outside and some are going to look like disasters. But these marriages weren't made under the same conditions that the rest of the world has.

Like I said, they're like a little family laboratory. If you look at them with rose-colored glasses, expect them to be better than everyone else, or even just act like everyone else, you're going to be disappointed. But if you take them for what they are - normal people who live in an extremely abnormal situation - they can be fun to watch. It helps that I'm an American and I don't have to pay for them.
 

JewelFreak

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Amelia, you are one heck of a smart person; your comments above & in the Anthony thread are well reasoned & well expressed. Yes from here to all of what you wrote above.

On one hand I confess to a teeny bit of envy of royals -- oh, how I'd love love to wear those jewels & have immortal art all around me. On the other, I find myself pitying them sometimes. Endlessly touring factories & opening parks, duty-bound to pretend an interest in it all; never free to drop out for a day & read a book in the garden. Scandal if you're involved w/the wrong sort of person -- and who among us hasn't been in our youth? Scrutinized & sneered at by the media -- the battle with the wind of the skirt on poor Kate's dress, e.g., got inordinate ink. Is Princess XX pregnant or just getting fat? If not pregnant, why not -- him or her? To many prospective brides the privileges are nowadays not attractive enough to outweigh the restrictions.

Danny, I do see where you're coming from & differing opinions make us think & learn. Doesn't in any way affect my enormous affection for you, because you're a honey. I'm not trying to change your opinions; they're as right or wrong as mine. Royalty, though, are still citizens of their countries & I can't picture how it would work to take away their money when their matrimonial morals go down the pipes. How could you avoid doing it to everyone? If their ancestors acquired their fortunes in bloodthirsty ways or by theft, how are they responsible today? One of the monumental developments in modern thought is that the "sins of the father are no longer visited on the son." You'd also, to be fair, have to separate the wealth gained legitimately from that gotten crookedly; how do you do that? My head aches!

a queen or king without a country is silly after a generation or two, in my opinion. King of what, exactly? I'd honestly laugh at anyone who insisted on a being addressed as "Prince" or "King" if the title wasn't officially granted by a government. If a monarch loses his crown, then his great-grandchildren are not princes and princesses a hundred years later.
What I was trying to spit out, Guilty Pleasure, only you said it better. That is the root of my problem w/the Greek royalty -- can't call them Greeks because they really are not, as Bobby pointed out. They've done more good deeds than I give them credit for, thank you Bobby for the correction, but they still seem pretentious to me about their ex-titles. Maybe it's not them, but the press. One of them marries an enormous fortune. The media gushes that the fortune is so lucky to have married into royalty, when it's patently the other way around. Could be I'm jealous, have to admit that.

All that said, I still love to see them. Their connection to history, their glamor & sparkliness, are attractive. I know they're as human as I am & keep in mind that each is worthy only for what he's accomplished, himself. It requires a bit of Pretend on both sides, mine & theirs -- but I always loved to play dress-up & enjoy watching them do it.

--- Laurie
 

Imdanny

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prince.of.preslav|1310336893|2966085 said:
Imdanny|1310329477|2966030 said:
Bobby,

Yes, Diana was a role model IMO. However, she made me see that true nobility is of the spirit.
:))
Danny,
I really like you as a poster! We might be at odds about certain matters but never really cross the line of politeness. Like you, I know that nobility is not just your pedigree, it has to be in you ;-)
You might've misunderstood me, though - I don't idealize anyone, literally anyone. But I do like royalty very much, indeed. And there's a very simple reason - royalty, especially European, is like a very large family, a community if you like. The mebers of the individual royal houses (at least those in power) are rather close to one another and they represent their nations and the family values to full advantage. In a way I think this is also the way I feel towards my family - I try to enjoy a good relationship with everybody - my parents and grandparents's siblings, their cousins, my cousins and even some more distant relations. As you say, I'm generally a polote person and in a way I think it helps.
But there's another factor as well - the jewles! To me no one owns more beautiful jewellery than royalty and no one wears them better.
I'm sorry for (probably) being off-topic. I'm not trying to change anyone's view on royalty, just explaing my reasoning.
Bobby, I'm sorry I misunderstood you and I'm glad you explained your viewpoint to me!

Thanks for the nice compliment too!

You and I both have "royal" avatars so I don't want to pretend that it's not a subject that I find extremely interesting.

This was a really good idea for a thread!

Thanks, Deb! :))
 
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