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Thursday, December 6, 2007


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the only monarchial government in the world who claimed a direct opposition to divorce for their heirs who might succeed. The Church of England prohibits this as the monarch will automatically sat as Supreme head of the Anglican church and therefore he/she is expected to be married in the church rites ONLY ONCE. In British history only one monarch was divorced at the time of his accession, George I, the first of the Hanoverian sovereigns, he divorced his wife Sophia Dorothea because of misconduct while he was still ruling Hanover, a tiny electorate in Germany, he never remarry however and Sophia Dorothea died in seclusion. One monarch who was divorced during his reign was Henry VIII, who got six wives during his life time, he first divorced Catherine of Aragon (the mother of Queen Mary I)his first wife and secondly Princess Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife.

In 1936, this issue became controversial again generating international media interest when Prince David became Edward VIII on the death of his father, George V. The new king posed a complicated problem threatening a constitutional crisis. He was so besotted with Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced american woman that he wanted her to be his consort, but the British establishment is against this and would not accept Wallis as their Regina. According to Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin: "for the oldest monarchy on earth who revered tradition and mystique, it's unthinkable to call a woman with two living husbands a fairytale Queen.

When his father, George V was still alive, he warned his wife, Queen Mary not to receive Edward's unholy lover and the elderly Queen in return made swore all members of the royal family not to treat Wallis as" one of them". The Prime Ministers from the commonwealth of nations gave a unanimous decision to either abandon Wallis or abdicate, Edward choose the latter. In his unforgettable abdication statement he announced that it is impossible for him to continue his reign without the support of the woman he loved. He was created the Duke of Windsor with His Royal Highness status. It is understood also that along with his renounciation of his inheritance, his future children would not be in line of succession to the British Throne, luckily for the Duke, he didn't produced children with Wallis, he died in 1972 from a throat cancer and people remembered him as the most popular and the most handsome Prince of Wales in British history with "shining gold hair" and a "sad blue eyes".

Nobody predicted that decades later this issue would resurfaced again in the ground of Windsor through his great nephew, Prince Charles. The Prince of Wales, who was called by the press as a ditherer and a plodder, embraced his destiny as a way of life, unfortunately, his duty to his nation brought priveleges as well as obligation. His "honorary grandfather" Lord Mountbatten once said "Love is not an option for the man who would be King of England, it is a consideration in marriage but not a guiding force". The Prince who was still unmarried at 32 was already pressured by his countrymen to settle down to produce an heir, the media published his numerous affair and made no hesitation in commenting who were suitable and who were not and his quest for a bride became an international past time. In July1980, he found his fairytale princess, the fresh and lovely 19-year-old Lady Diana Spencer was invited to a house party organized by their mutual friends and the fairytale story paved the way.

Diana was the pretty aristocrat daughter of a wealthy nobleman, Johnny Spencer, the 8th Earl of Althorp, and the former equerry to both George VI and his successor and daughter Elizabeth II, The Earl is also a direct descendant of King Charles II through his two illegitimate sons The Duke of Grafton and the Duke of Richmond. With the Spencers remarkable background in royalty and nobility and Diana's purity and innocence, she was proclaimed as the most suitable future Queen Consort of England. During their engagement announcement Prince Charles commented "whatever love means" giving an impression that his choice for a wife is a way of duty and not based on feelings. The wedding of the century took place on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London and was broadcast nationwide with an estimated 700 million viewers worldwide. The union produced to sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. But decade later they made a sad announcement of separation and divorced 4 years later.

It was being said that one of the reasons of the fairytale collapsed was Camilla Parker Bowles whom The Princess of Wales described as "a dog who sucked into our marriage and refused to go", she was even quoted saying "there were three of us in this marriage, that's why it's a bit crowded". Mrs. Parker Bowles was the former Camilla Shand and had a brief affair with the Prince of Wales in 1971, but the royal family especially Lord Mountbatten, discouraged this relationship because Camilla lacked aristocratic background that must produced royal children. Before Diana's death in 1997, Charles and Camilla openly admitted their relationship which made his mother's subjects furious. The British media aired their comments on Charles's unsuitability for the Kingship and some even called for his voluntary concession from the line of succession infavor of his eldest son Prince William. Charles's position as a divorce man already undermined his chances to the throne according to many, to marry a divorce woman would even create a more complicated scenario. But the feckle-minded heir apparent was determined to acquire the crown, so much so that in 2005 he stubbornly asked his mother's permission to marry Camilla. In April 2005 they married first on a civil rites and received a church blessing afterwards. Camilla was created the Duchess of Cornwall, taken from her husband's secondary title, the Duke of Cornwall.

This controversial issue made headlines through out the world. While Camilla, seems enjoying her new title and status and roaming around Britain with her cheap smile and fancy wave, her husband's popularity rating drop to the bottom. Monarchy relies heavily on public approval as the sovereign became a unifying symbol of its nation, without people support his reign would be very impossible. Queen Victoria's Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli talked on the very importance of family in binding a kingdom: "this country(UK)-is represented by a family-the royal family-and therefore they should be above scandal and immorality...they reflected people's values and image"... Charles' situation is catastrophic to British people, his past adultery with Camilla which tormented Diana emotionally and his unpopularity made him unsuitable for the kingship.

Charles and Camilla, to the eye of the outsiders, contributed much stain to the most revered throne on earth. The mistress (term for Camilla) hurts the establishment by openly conducting a forbidden love affair with the Prince of Wales much to the pains and suffering of the mother of the future king, Prince William. To officially allowing her to join the establishment whom she previously mocked, is inconceivable, calling her HRH is even more ridiculous. She should stay away from the background to prevent further controversies. Today, they are seemed to be a happy couple, but whether their union signifies a continuation of the House of Windsor, remains to be seen.

The monarchy needed someone who is very popular, well-loved by the public and could carry the aura of royalty with magic. Pomp and pageantry invigorates monarchy, and this can only be felt when its ruler symbolizes compassion and beauty and not to mention popularity, enchanting image can add a public fascination. Immorality can tarnish the crown, that is a fact, this is a betrayal to the people because they looked up to royalty as the model of virtues and graciousness. Common knowledge teaches us that fairytale no matter how modern our world is, remains to be a fairytale, a great escape that life on the other side of the world seems to be surrounded by mystique and magic and almost perfect. The curtain is slightly lifted and we saw the ugly faces inside we would not want to cast in the show and these antagonists must be vanished to continue the fascination.

The monarchy is Britain's symbol to the world, without its mystique, it's hard to imagine this country playing beautiful music in Europe's majestic stature. The British monarchy slowly entering the danger zone of crumbling, with Diana's demise, they needed somebody who could outshine controversy, someone who could represents the monarchy at its best and could carry the explicable magic of a fairytale facade that binds its subjects together, someone who, not only beguiling, but well-mannered, passionate enough to the people and can hold the crown to its regal position, someone who dazzles and shine in the darkest hour of crisis. Prince William may be can change this, with his popularity and affection to the British people, he can put back together what have been lost. The 25-year-old Prince, who looked so much like his mother, has inherited Diana's compassionate manner, and together with his younger brother, Prince Harry began establishing charities, a crusade which made his mother popular. He can rescue the throne and revitalize the monarchy, he should be cautious not to commit the same mistakes his parents did by marrying well. Whatever the decision of Her Majesty in the future could greatly affect the monarchy in the long run. What to expect is as debatable as the existence of King Arthur, so as the old adage goes:
May they live Happily ever after.

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