Friday, September 19, 2014

Understanding Britain's Princes

Prince Harry (left) and Prince William (right)
I am not usually one who reads gossip columns much, nor am I one who obsesses over celebrity. Maybe being involved in broadcasting for decades inoculated me. Having met and interviewed a few on radio through the years, you quickly find out they're really human beings with feelings like everyone else.

Like many, I was very saddened at the death of Princess Diana, and furious knowing that slavering paparazzi contributed to her death by their relentless pursuit. It is reported that both Prince Harry and Prince William loathe the media, and I can understand why. Take a peek at this Daily Mail piece from a while back when the royal brothers attended a friend's wedding here in the U.S. Memphis, Tennessee, to be precise. It's sad, because not all "media" are the type the princes justly loathe. Yet if they paint with a broad brush, I have to cut them some slack.

Wouldn't it have been nice if they could have quietly come to town, and been able to enjoy quiet, slow, relaxed, friendly Southern hospitality as it is without a media circus? A traditional barbecue on the lawn, sweet tea, fried potatoes and peach cobbler? Not that they couldn't have had those things, but it would have to be like a prison camp to keep unwanted jerks and their cameras away. It has to be tiresome to always have to be on your guard on what you say and what you do for fear some hidden camera or microphone will capture your words and spread them all over for the world to see.

For the purposes of this post, I am not considering any of the controversial things that either may have said or done, and have been caught out on camera. There are people out there who really loathe the monarchy and wealthy people in general, and seldom hesitate to throw out hateful remarks. I was on Twitter not long ago and had a British far lefty decry today's royal family, noting the "bloody" history of the monarchy. I don't think we can hold Queen Elizabeth II and her children personally responsible for the actions of monarchs 400-500 years ago. Haters gonna hate.

As a Bible teacher, I recognize that most of the royals haven't exactly lived the lifestyle of committed Christians. It is said that the Queen is a devout Christian as was the Queen Mother, but we can't know that unless the Queen elects to share her testimony, and protocol demands that the sitting monarch does no interviews. I have no idea whether either of the princes have made any profession of faith.

As a Christian, I have concern over their spiritual welfare as I would anyone else's. But we're not talking about personal behavior here. This is being written by one human being recognizing that two other human beings might actually like to enjoy a bit of life like any other human being, and to be left alone to do it. Regardless, both recognize the fact that they are royals, and with that comes duty. I suppose theoretically they could divorce themselves from it, but that is not likely. I do wonder, though, on particularly stressful days, whether the thought MIGHT have crossed their minds to chuck it all, leave for the States, and run a surf shop in Florida. Or perhaps a Colorado ski lodge. Fun to ponder.

Being a royal puts you at physical risk as well. The Queen's second cousin, Lord Mountbatten, was assassinated by the IRA back in 1979. They certainly didn't ask to be in that kind of danger. But it "comes with the territory." Another sad fact of a fallen world.

So, whatever the case, I wish the guys well. I'm sure there is plenty of privilege and perk for being a royal, but it probably can't compensate totally for living in a bubble. Rumor has it that when King George the VI passed, Princess Margaret said to her sister Elizabeth, "Poor you."

I know I wouldn't want the job. May God bless them.

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