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The British Royal Family in the 20th Century

The British Royal Family in the 20th Century

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Published by hopeyj
Comic essay on the British Royal Family.
Comic essay on the British Royal Family.

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Published by: hopeyj on Mar 29, 2007
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01/01/2013

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There are certain institutions of which every person who hopes to be considered educatedand cultured should have a basic understanding. One of these is the British royal family.Today’s topic is the history of that gang since 1901.Why 1901? Because that is when Queen Victoria, very conveniently for our purposeshere, died. Because she died at the beginning of the century in which most of us havelived much of our lives, we need not deal at length here with the Victorian era, which wasvery long, which was Victoria’s fault because it was named for her and she ruled from1837 to 1901 and that long interval is called the Victorian era for obvious reasons, unlessyou are a little dense and don’t pick up on these things very quickly.Before she died, Victoria gave birth to several children. That is to say, she gave birth well before she died and to only one child at a time, as far as I know. She had several children,many of them daughters. I won’t go into the daughters here because I have to move alongto Victoria’s son Edward VII and also because I don’t really know very much aboutVictoria’s daughters except that there were quite a few of them and that of them one wasthe mom of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who ended up in Holland after losing WWIand was Edward’s nephew. I know that because in magazines writers are always sayingthat Wilhelm was related to Edward in some way or other that is not correct and later some historian or well read reader writes in to say that no, no Edward was Wilhelm’suncle.Anyway, with Victoria conveniently dead and mourned by her people and other people’s people to some extent, Edward assumed the throne. At least I am assuming that heassumed the throne. He may have ascended to it--or both. The terminology of royalty ishard for Americans and other non-Britons to master. That is why this essay will be sovaluable to you.Edward was king from 1901-1910 and stopped being king when he died, except in thehistory books. The Edwardian era was much shorter than the Victorian era. That is because Edward had bad health habits and Victoria did not. Edward drank, smoked, ateand philandered too much, which of course was all his mothers fault--go figure. But hespoke French quite well, which endeared him to the French, thereby helping to causeWWI. So it is a good thing that President Bush doesn’t speak French. Neither do I, somaybe I shall be president someday.Edward was succeeded by his son George V who reigned from 1910-1936. Edward mighthave been succeeded by his eldest son Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence andAvondale but Eddy, as he was known (to really confuse people the British royal familycalls some of its members by names different from what historians call them after theyare dead—the royal family members, not the historians—although, on second thought, Idon’t think that the royal family does this to confuse people on purpose or eveninadvertently—I should have said to confuse matters, which they also don’t do on purpose, only inadvertently—Edward VII being called Bertie and George’s son Edward being called David), had died years earlier. I mention the Duke of Clarence because thereare nutsy theories that he was Jack the Ripper. That’s a bunch of hooey. But I mention the
 
Jack the Ripper thing because people who do a Google search on Jack the Ripper (whichis a potentially large number of people, as people are interested in gruesome subjects)will come across this blog, to which I hope to attract millions of readers someday soonalthough not necessarily the kind of people who like reading about Jack the Ripper.Anyway, George V was a very stern father, very much like his grandmother Victoria whowasn't a father but who was stern. That made it hard for his sons such as Edward VIIIwho became king and who had the bad taste to fall hopelessly in love with an American,which might have been okay, maybe, kind of, except that she was a divorced Americanwhich was a double no no (actually a triple no no because she had been divorced twicefrom two different men--actually only once from each--although being divorced twicefrom the same man probably wouldn’t have been acceptable to Edward's relatives either or to the Church of England), so Edward had to give up being king and spent a lot of timethereafter being the Duke of Windsor in France and the Bahamas and other places. His brother succeeded to the throne and reigned as George VI 1936-1952.You have been very patient up to this point. We have almost made it to the juicy parts inour grave and somber survey of the British monarchy in the last roughly 104 years.George VI was the father of the present Queen of England Elizabeth (and of her sister and that was it, as far I know), who is roughly my mom’s age and we both admire QueenElizabeth, as she seems like a lady who takes duty very seriously, as does my mom.George VI was a very gentle, decent man and his wife, the Queen Mum (the sweetlooking pudgy lady in all those photographs) lived a long, long time as did Victoria andas Elizabeth II seems set to do, which is why there’s all this talk of Charles never gettingto be king at least not for very long and maybe even deferring to his son William who is acute blond and doesn’t have all that baggage of a turbulent marriage at least not so far, being single.George VI died in 1952 and Elizabeth became queen as a very young woman. She’smarried. But her husband is not the king of England and there isn’t one right now or of the rest of Britain for that matter. Elizabeth’s hubbikins is known as the Duke of Edinburgh and is Prince of the United Kingdom but known mostly as the Duke of Edinburgh and is a royal highness, which I am sometimes called when people think I am putting on airs.There are quite a few dukes in the royal family and some of them are also royalhighnesses. Maybe all of them. Charles’ younger sister Anne is a royal highness and a princess royal but is obviously not a duke. I think most women, even hardcore feminists,have thought about how nice it would be to be princesses. I think I would prefer to be acountess, as you would have more privacy and maybe more money. A countess is marriedto an earl, apparently. I know that because Queen Elizabeth’s son Edward is the Earl of Essex and his wife is the Countess of Essex (or maybe Wessex). Actually, I know that because I read it not because of to whom the queen’s son is married.

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