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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Working Class Monarchy

The wives of future European monarchs: Mary of Denmark, Maxima of the Netherlands, Letezia of Spain, Mette Marit of Norway and Kate Middleton are not part of the middle class, their family came from a working class stock.

The recent royal trend is far from the definition of the magical existence of royalty. Gone were the days of royals marrying fellow royals where the charm and enchantment of the throne had been safely kept and guarded. But that was during medieval times. When the 21st century arrive, the monarchy knew exactly what to do to sustain its survival - look down below the palace windows and get in touch with the common people.

Thus, the future Kings of European court began looking for a bride outside the royal circle. But most of them gone too far by crossing the bridge to what ancient Kings and Queens were dreading--marrying commoners with no aristocratic background therefore allowing the whole world to eavesdrop what is happening inside the mystical tent, consequently, eroding the charm of the institution.

In the past, direct heirs to the throne were not allowed to take a commoner spouse because of the monarchy's belief that thrones are sacred therefore should be kept only by the blood royals. Their only responsibility in life is to look for a suitable spouse within the bound of royalty or nobility.

Queen Victoria of England once told her children about marriage: "Just close your eyes and think of England".
King Charles I of Spain (who was also Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V) admonished his son, Philip II: "You are not marrying to enjoy sex but to produce heirs"

But that was all in the past. As the years gone by, the concept of royalty and their role in the modern world had also changed. They must be responsive with the call of times and would want to lead a normal existence.
Prince Felipe of Spain and his wife, Letezia, a former TV news anchor
Prince Wilhelm of the Netherlands with his wife, Maxima, a former investment banker

Future Monarchs like Prince Felipe of Spain, Prince Frederick of Denmark, Prince Wilhelm of the Netherlands, Prince Charles of England and his son Prince William, Prince Haakon of Norway, Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Philippe of Belgium have taken commoners as their consorts deliberately reducing the enchantment and allure of the once revered thrones into merely a working class monarchy.

Among the future Queen Consorts, it's only Kate Middleton who had no established career when she joined the royal family and probably Mette Marit, the wife of Prince Haakon of Norway, though many reports stated she had worked and gone to different places before the marriage. Among the future monarchs of Europe, it's only Prince Philippe of Belgium who married an aristocrat.
Prince Frederick of Denmark with his wife, Mary, a former marketing executive
Prince Philippe of Belgium with his aristocratic wife, Princess Mathilde. She is a grand daughter of a Belgian nobleman and worked as a Speech therapist before her marriage to the future Belgian King.
Prince Haakon of Norway with his wife, Princess Mette Marit. Haakon was largely criticized with his choice of a bride because she was not only a commoner but a single mother as well who had partied aimlessly during her youth.
Prince William and Kate Middleton. She is the first commoner with no artistocratic background to marry a British heir. After completing her Art History degree, the only job she took was at Jigsaw as an accessory buyer (and not a fashion designer as what other people claimed). Her family is not part of the middle class but descended from the working class which is relatively lower than the middle class

So how does a Queen Consort functioned?

Aside from appearing glamorous next to their husband during a photo shoot and give their sweetest smile in every public appearance, the only function a Queen Consort hold is to bear heirs. They are not allowed to mix with politics and their role are merely ceremonial. So, naturally, they must appear elegant and pretty always.

The fabled existence of the monarchy is partly due to the myth and charm of what royal is all about. During medieval times, there was a high regard for royalty and they were largely adored by their subjects, but in recent decades, the fascination eroded and royalty's status was reduced into merely celebrity, they are still admired though but rarely adored.

The public amusement relies on the pretty and glamorous consorts maybe because people are innately fascinated with individuals with a celebrity status. Every time female royals appeared in public, their fashion style is heavily criticized, as if their only main job in this world is to please the public with their gorgeous dresses and shoes.

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