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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:00 pm    Post subject: onward and upward Reply with quote

When George v and Queen Mary agreed that their children could marry British aristocrats instead of German royalty, they didn't mean any old aristocrats. Mary sent a telegram to a son about a suggested fiancee, 'On no account will we permit this marriage, Mama.'

Edward/David was forbidden to marry a titled young lady because her father was 'the man who broke the bank in Monte Carlo', and her mother had some embarrassing romantic connections.

In more recent decades, Anne was permitted to marry Mark Phillips who was rich but not titled or grand. Instead of all royal marriages being arranged, only some of them were. Anne would not have been able to marry another great love Andrew Parker Bowles as he was a Catholic. He later married Camilla instead, she who is now the second wife of Charles.

Charles had been obliged to marry a white Protestant virgin from a noble family. Diana's uncle vouched for her possibly mythical virginity. Charles was obliged to marry a woman much younger than himself, not only because she had more breeding years ahead of her that way, but because by the 80s, there were no mature virgins left who didn't have something wrong with them.

One of the reasons Edward iv had been criticised for marrying Elizabeth Wydvil was that she was a widow with two sons. It was as if any previous lurking sperm might still be active. Edward's mother was not mollified by his reassurance that Elizabeth had proved she was not barren.

A survey of social attitudes in Bristol in the early 70s found that old women in the city generally believed that it was possible for a white woman to have a mixed race baby if she had had an affair with a black man many years ago, as if it was possible for a child to have more than one father.

Diana had famously failed all her O levels twice and that was seen as an asset if anything. William married Kate Middleton who might not have had much of a career but who was a graduate. They had been at St Andrews University together and they had cohabited for some time.

Kate's parents were millionaires but had come from fairly ordinary backgrounds. She had had ancestors who were poor coal miners in the north of England.

There were rumours that Charles and some of William's friends disapproved of the relationship because Kate was 'common', and her mother Carole had been an an air hostess. When they briefly split up, Kate was alleged to have blamed the influence and snobbery of Charles. Yet in the end, she was deemed worthy to be a queen in the fullness of time.

Kings had often had affairs with notable actresses, Charles ii with Nell Gwyn, Prinny later George iv with Mary Robinson aka Perdita and his brother the future William iv with Dorothy Jordan. In Jordan's case, it was more than an affair. She gave William ten children whom the future Queen Victoria's mother, refused to allow her to mix with.

Prince Andrew as a second son was allowed to marry the far from virginal Sarah Ferguson, but even Sarah was a second cousin of Lady Diana Spencer who had married Charles, and she had many other titled relatives.

Andrew would really have preferred to marry the cool headed Buddhist Koo Stark, but this was forbidden as she had starred in 'The Education of Emily', a titilating film with lesbian scenes. That she had been an actress at all, might have been enough to put her out of the running.

It's a new departure that Harry has become engaged to an actress and humanitarian whom he met at the Invicta games for they are presumably both into disability rights.

Meghan Markle has starred in many American soap operas, and at 36 is a youngish but mature woman. She is the same age that Diana was at her death, and will be more able to deal with the publicity.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: stars met Reply with quote

Harry said that the 'stars were aligned' when he met Meghan in 2016. 'This beautiful woman just tripped and fell into my life.'

They both came across as very natural. It was a contrast to the embarrassing interview with Charles and Diana on their engagement when Charles indicated that he didn't know what love meant, Diana could not raise her head, and their body language was awkward to the point of being tortured.

It's true Andrew came across as more natural in his engagement interview with Sarah Ferguson, but he was a bit bumptious and inarticulate, referring to jewellers as 'jewellery engineers.'

Apparently, Andrew was unpopular among his navy colleagues who referred to him as the 'great I am.' One of the navy cooks had dipped his genitals in Andrew's food before serving him to express his disgruntlement. So the media focused on Sarah who was chatty but opinionated without knowledge, and with a great lack of common sense.

People had long suspected the queen's youngest son Edward of being gay before this went mainstream, and it was quite a surprise when he married Sophie Rhys-Jones. Although Sophie had had a career in the media, she didn't catch people's interest. Her comments to the 'fake sheikh' on fox hunting and Cherie Booth, made her sound an unsympathetic character.

Sophie looked like Diana in a distorting mirror, but as Julie Burchill cruelly but accurately said, no one wanted to put Sophie on a pedestal, or anywhere except out of their minds.

Edward took a long time to grow up, and appeared to think he was discriminated against for being a prince as opposed to simply lacking talent. Apparently, fatherhood has made him grow up.

What a difference a generation makes! William and Harry are like nice real people.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:36 pm    Post subject: meghan Reply with quote

It's a bit irritating that Prince Harry's fiancee has a Welsh first name which is spelt as if it was an Irish name. In the novel 'Barti Ddu' by T Llew Jones, Barti's wife is called Megan. But if that was what she was called in real life, it was probably a diminutive of Marged.

David Lloyd George's youngest daughter was the first person ever to be registered at birth with the name Megan. Megan became one of the first women MPs. She was old enough to stand for parliament as she was over 21, but could not vote for herself as women under 30 were not eligible to vote until 1928.

She sat for Labour. It was the death of Lady Megan Lloyd George in 1966 that sparked the by election that brought Gwynfor Evans into parliament as the first ever Plaid Cymru MP.

A later film set in Ireland had a heroine called Megan, and this gave Americans the idea that Megan is an Irish name. It probably has been widely adopted in Ireland by this time. Similarly, people seem to think Sian is an Irish name. This does irritate me, but I'm being very petty.

Meghan Markle's father has Irish and also Dutch blood. Perhaps his ancestors were starving refugees form Ireland. But some of Meghan's ancestors came there in even worse circumstances.


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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:04 pm    Post subject: the spirit of wallis Reply with quote

Clive James wrote in 'Fame in the Twentieth Century', that in the early twentieth century, the British still looked down on America as a kind of kindergarten. American heiresses had been marrying into British noble families from the nineteenth century.

But Jennie Jerome who married Lord Randolph Churchill and became the mother of Winston, stated that they were given a hard time. Society ladies would gasp, ''I would never have thought that you were an American!'' It was supposed to be a compliment.

Meghan Markle married the film producer Trevor Engleton as recently as 2011, and divorced him two years later. Yes, the British royal family has finally got over its antipathy to American divorcees. This has to be a good thing.

Magazines for the great and the good such as 'Harpers and Queen' and 'Tatler' still have the unattractive 'Mrs John Smith' usage. Until recently, Prince Charles' office has refused to use the title 'Ms'. But Charles was obliged to announce the engagement of Harry to 'Ms Meghan Markle' as the actress in question is a divorcee who has never adopted her ex husband's name.

But the press say that it is out of the question that she would be called Princess Meghan. It will have to be Princess Harry unless he is given a peerage. William and his wife are the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but his wife is still mostly known as Kate Middleton.


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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:40 pm    Post subject: matholwch Reply with quote

In a class this week, we were reading of the tragic war resulting from the marriage of Matholwch king of Ireland and Branwen, a Welsh princess. A woman in the class seriously said that these stories taught children valuable lessons. This one was a terrible warning against the mixing of races.

People do still talk like that these days. Wallis Simpson would not see herself as vindicated in the person of Meghan Markle. For Meghan is not only an American divorcee but an African American on her mother's side.She had an ancestor who was a chattel slave in Georgia until he was emancipated in 1865 at the end of the Civil War.

Meghan's mother is a dreadlocked social worker. Wallis Simpson was a typical racist white southerner who complained that Blacks were allowed on Fifth Avenue, and sacked a black servant in Paris for marrying a white woman.

Harry has remarked sadly on racist and sexist attacks on his fiancee in the media and by individuals. Meghan says she found the experience 'disheartening', as well she might.

Barack and Michelle Obama have congratulated Meghan on her engagement. Trump has been silent. Educated and urbane white families in the USA would have been aghast at their children marrying African Americans at least as late as 1963, or so we would assume from the film, 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' The father points out that in some states, such a marriage would be illegal. Inter-racial marriage was not legalised throughout the USA until 1967.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: yyas Reply with quote

When interviewed by Ludovic Kennedy many years ago, Prince Philip floundered helplessly when asked how he would react if one if his children wanted to marry a black person. Philip has often had racist outbursts.

The Royal Marriages Act as such is no longer in force, but Harry is still close enough to the throne to require the queen's permission to marry. Elizabeth ii has apparently been on a steep learning curve.

Yasmin Allibhai Brown writes that some of her black and Asian friends are delighted at this marriage. She feels quite differently.

She has no doubt Meghan will continue to suffer racial abuse after the marriage. Yasmin has received letters from the public complaining that the royal bloodline is being polluted by black blood.

She also remembers about how her own mother Jena used to say that Diana was like a heroine in a tragic Bollywood romance. She warns that the Windsors are a cold and dysfunctional family. In her opinion, the best thing Meghan can do is call it off.

I must make two comments here. The Windsors are cold and dysfunctional, but this doesn't have to be irredeemable. Maybe things can be turned around in William and Harry's generation.

Secondly, if the royal bloodline is being contaminated, it is not for the first time.Contrary to what some papers are reporting this is not the first time that non white blood has been infused into the family.


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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:21 am    Post subject: philiipa Reply with quote

Racism has always existed. Of course it has. But it has broken out freakishly in different ways at different times.

Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was presumably an Arab who lived in what is now Saudi Arabia.Internet sites which are highly critical of him, claim that he had offensively racist views of both black and white people. For instance, he is said to have called Blacks 'raisin heads.' I have no idea if this is accurate.

What we do know is that Islam permits slavery as long as the slaves are not Muslims. We do know that Arab slave traders enslaved black people in Africa. But as Islam itself spread through much of Africa, it may have been that Mohammed's descendants found the natives suitable as spouses.

Mohammed had no sons who survived infancy, but his daughter Fatima was the ancestor of numerous emirs. They are sometimes called the Fatimids.

A recent book on the chivalric age in Europe tells us what a racist time it was, with white skin and blonde hair prized, and swarthy poor people despised. But I don't entirely buy it.

Until Europeans became involved in what became the Atlantic slave trade, they didn't adopt the dehumanising and disgusting attitudes to Africans that some of Meghan's ancestors experienced at their worst. Before that, they often overlooked outlandish appearances, as long as a person was a baptised and sincere Christian.

A Flemish count went to the crusades and returned with a Moorish wife, a Fatimid. She had forsaken the faith of her fathers and became a Christian. Her son Willem became Count of Hainault and Holland.

He welcomed Bishop Stapleton from England who had come to look over his nine year old daughter Philippa with a view that she should marry England's boy king Edward iii. The bishop described the nine year old princess thus:

'The lady whom we saw had not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is clean shaped, her forehead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward.Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than the forehead. Her eyes are blackish brown and deep. Her nose is fairly smooth and even save that it is somewhat broad at the tip, yet it is no snub nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full and especially the lower lip. ...her limbs are well set and unmaimed and nought amiss as far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father, and in all things she is pleasant enough as it seems to us.'

He would obviously have rejected a disabled girl but found a brown one pleasant and acceptable. When Edward iii was 13 he came to stay with Philippa's family, and they fell in love. When she was 14, she came to England.

In 1328 when they were both 15, they married at York Minster. Philippa was 17 when the first of her fifteen children was born. He was Edward the Black Prince. He was described as black as a child. The French called him 'le noir.'

Queen Philippa was a good queen as queens go. She instigated the wool and cloth trade between England and Flanders. She did the original burghers of Calais act.

The Black Prince did not live to be king. His son became Richard ii who died of enforced anorexia without children while imprisoned by the usurper Henry iv.Henry was his first cousin. He was also descended from Philippa, as were all the members of the rival houses of Lancaster and York and all subsequent English monarchs.

A chart shows Prince Charles' descent from the Prophet Mohammed. No painting of Philippa from her own time survives. We only have stereotyped images of her as a lily white rose, later artists' impressions. The story was later put around that the Black Prince was never so called in his lifetime and that the posthumous nickname derives from the black armour in which he was buried.

This does not really ring true. It may be a cover up devised in a later and more comprehensively racist age. Incidentally, it has been estimated that one in five people in the UK today is descended from Edward iii, and - if you believe the genealogy - from Mohammed.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:46 am    Post subject: fat Reply with quote

As a good friend points out, the Fatimids claimed to be descended from Mohammed through Fatima. But some royal genealogies in Europe claim that certain kings are descended from Tiw or from a legendary king of Troy. The Emperor of Japan was said to be directly descended from the Sun goddess.

There may be some room for doubt that Mohammed even existed. But there is no reason to doubt that Queen Philippa and her son Edward the Black Prince had Moorish blood.


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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:49 am    Post subject: and so it went on Reply with quote

In the wake of the Portuguese voyages of discovery, there was no shortage of black and Arab people in Lisbon. Isabel i of Spain had a Portuguese mother, and her first language was Portuguese. She was one of the worst religious bigots to ever live. She set up the Spanish Inquisition at the instigation of Torquemada. She expelled the Jews form Spain. But her best friend Beatiriz de Bobadilla was the granddaughter of a baptised Moor.

At the same time, the concept of 'limpieza de sangre', purity of the blood was gaining hold. People prided themselves on their blue blood. They bragged that their skin was so fair that the blue veins were visible.

Isabel's daughter Isabel junior arrived in Lisbon aged 20 to marry the heir to the Portuguese throne. Her father-in-law was proud of Portugal's links with Africa. He put on a display to welcome the bride which celebrated multiracial Portugal. Young Isabel was dismayed.

She hated ambiguity and later insisted on all Jews being expelled from Portugal. Her younger sister Catalina arrived in England to marry Arthur Tudor, covered in a burqa. Catalina was known as Katharine of Aragon in England. Her mother had financed Columbus' unexpected discovery of America.

But David Starkey believed Catalina had no interest in the Americas. When someone sent her a headdress made for a native American woman, she was indifferent.

Her father Fernando of Aragon had a Jewish great grandmother Paloma of Seville whom he was not too anxious to acknowledge. It was Fernando who sent the first black slaves to the Americas, as Native American slaves were said to be useless.

Catalina's sister-in-law Margaret Tudor became the pampered child bride of James iv of Scotland. The Barton brothers sent her two SubSaharan African girls of her own age whom they had rescued from Portuguese sailors.

Margaret made them her ladies in waiting, and arranged for them to be baptised Margaret and Ellen. She was particularly close to 'Black Ellen'.At one tournament, Ellen presented the prizes, but the losers had to kiss her backside.The Scottish Chaucerian poet William Dunbar was fascinated by the appearance of Ellen whom he called 'my lady with the muckle lips.'

Catalina's daughter by her former brother-in-law and second husband, Henry viii,Mary i of England was a biological dead end. The English throne fell to the Scottish descendants of Margaret Tudor. Her great-grandson James vi of Scotland had no great opinion of Africans, making black men dance naked in the snow to amuse his guests. They later died of pneumonia.

After he became James i of England, James Stuart did welcome the Native American princess Pocahontas to his court, but stubbornly refused to believe that Japan even existed when told of it by explorers.

His son Charles i married Henrietta Maria of France who had had an Italian mother Marie de Medici. During Cromwell's republic, wanted posters described their son, the future Charles ii as 'a tall black man.'

He may or may not have had recent Moorish blood, but his Portuguese wife, Catarina of Braganza definitely had black blood. Incidentally, she brought Bombay as her dowry, and the Portuguese empire in India slowly became the British empire. She also introduced the drinking of tea to English society.

Charles allowed his mistress Barbara Palmer to bully Catarina, but would not divorce his Portuguese queen when she proved infertile. After his death, she returned home and twice ruled Portugal as regent.

Charles' brother James ii had daughters, the future Mary ii and Queen Anne from a rather common source. He had married a commoner Anne Hyde because she was pregnant with his son Edgar who later died in infancy. People disapproved.

They said that if a man got a wench with child and then married her, it was like shitting in his hat, and them clapping it on his head. He and his second wife, the Italian Maria Beatrice of Modena both had massive shares in the Atlantic slave trade.

On Queen Anne's death, the advent of the Hanoverians saw a shift. There would be no more marriages to commoners or Southern Europeans. Only Protestant royal spouses from Northern Europe need apply.

Stormfront whinges that Catarina was not black, and what if she was? The present British royal family are not descended from Queen Catarina. But you can't use this argument about the next black queen of Great Britain.


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dai



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked

How do you remember all of this stuff ?

Are you thinking about Cilmeri on the 9th - Daf is disinclined ...
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:37 pm    Post subject: anorak Reply with quote

I'm afraid I'm looking like an anorak. I did have to look up the quote from Bishop Stapleton on Philippa online. I couldn't just have spouted it vebatim, and I had to check some other things too.

I'm rather disinclined for Cilmeri as I have reason to believe Jac o' the North is a devoted attender. If I find out which one he is, it might end badly. I must avoid occasion for sin, sins such as throwing beer or tea all over him.

If I ever find out that Jac is dead, I will happily go again. Unlike Dafydd, I don't find it boring. The 'Cofia Wlad' song sung in church raises goose bumps. It does though, also clash with the Welsh group I am now accustomed to attend, although missing it once may not seem very important.

I'm rather concerned about the show by the drama group fronted by Richard which is supposed to be held in Pontypool on 3 December. I haven't been able to find out the details yet.

I'm a bit worried about missing it. Are you going? I'd be thankful for information.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: a true mulatto face Reply with quote

The coming of the Hanoverians led to a new level of intolerance. George i's wife Sophie Dorothee was despised by her in-laws just because she was the child of a morganatic marriage, although she was her husband's cousin.

They got off to a bad start. Finally, her lover was murdered, she was divorced and imprisoned, and the future George ii hated his father bitterly all his life. George ii hated his own eldest son Fred too, and was glad when he died.

Fred's widow Augusta was perturbed when her son George iii wanted to marry a British aristocrat even though the candidate was a descendant of Charles ii by one of his mistresses.

Lady Sarah Lennox might have had the blood of the Stuarts in her veins, but Augusta impressed on George that 'one might as well marry a Negress' as marry outside the royal houses of Europe.

The former was of course an absurd idea. The slave trade had so lowered SubSaharan Africans in the minds of European people, that it was quite usual to speculate if they were really human. Black people in Europe often could not withstand the effects of racial theorists on their own lives and had to leave their jobs and homes.

George iii was no liberal on this subject. He later found it screamingly funny that William Wilberforce aspired to abolish the Atlantic slave trade. ''How are your black clients?'', he asked him, doubled up with laughter.

He agreed to marry an unprepossessing German girl from the Baltic coast, Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenberg Strelitz. Charlotte's supposed father had Slavic blood, belonging to a linguistic minority called the Wends, Sorbs or Lusatians. His ancestors had been Pagans as late as the 1100s. But Charlotte was a devout Lutheran who disapproved of Voltaire.

The weird thing was that Charlotte looks like a mixed race person, European and African, in her early portraits that have not been doctored. Walpole said 'she is not a beauty, her nostrils spreading too wide; her lips have the same fault.' Stockmar referred to her 'true Mulatto face.' She has also been described as having yellowish brown skin.

The historian Mario de Valdes Cocom has an explanation for this. He says that Charlotte was descended many times over from Afonso iii of Portugal who lived in the thirteenth century, and his Moorish mistress Madagana. He thinks the inbreeding intensified the Moorish blood which would otherwise have become diluted.

I can think of another explanation. The ducal palace in Mecklenberg Strelitz had an immemorial custom that the lamps in the bedrooms only be lit by footmen, never maids. In the late nineteenth century, one of the footmen took advantage of this, and had a bit of fun with an unmarried young princess in her room. When she became pregnant, Mary of Teck of all people, the ice cold mother of Edward viii, was the only person who would have anything to do with her.

We know that black footmen were popular in European courts, often gazing in slavish adoration at their masters in portraits.

Queen Charlotte's mother had a black footman who corresponded with Charlotte in later life to ask for financial assistance. Maybe he was her biological father.

Charlotte was keenly interested in the work of Linneaus, but people were only just beginning to have a clue about heredity. A generation before, a queen of France gave birth to a mixed race girl. Her black footman had made himself scarce some time before.

The king wanted the baby to be strangled and the queen to be impeached. A doctor said that the skin tone of the baby could be caused by the black man looking at the queen.

''A look!'', exclaimed the king, ''It must have been a very penetrating look!'' He cooled down, and agreed to send the baby to a convent.

Charlotte had fifteen children by George iii. One of them, the future William iv, fought for the British during the American revoloutionary war. He was also pursued by a black brothel keeper in the Caribbean for reneging on his bill.

William supported slavery. He convinced himself that African Caribbean slaves were the happiest people in the world.

It was not until the time of Queen Victoria that the British monarchy began to set its face against slavery. Her husband Albert made speeches to the British Anti Slavery Society. Queen Charlotte was, of course, the paternal grandmother of Queen Victoria.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:18 am    Post subject: victoria on race Reply with quote

It is often said that Queen Victoria, unlike almost everyone around her, did not have a racist bone in her body. This is definitely not entirely true. She was full of contradictions, as we all are. But she was better than many of her peers.

Her young life as heir to the throne at Kensington Palace was blighted by the controlling presence of John Conroy, her mother's evil genius and alleged lover, a man born in Wales to Irish parents.He insulted and bullied Victoria relentlessly, and reduced her to something like a prisoner under the 'Kensington System.'

The discovery that the different Celtic languages were all related, had mutated into a belief in the existence of Celts as a race, impractical, inferior and incapable of self government as Lord Salisbury would declaim in his 'manacles and Manitoba' speech.

But far from insulting Conroy in these racist terms, Victoria fumed in her teenage diary about how villainously Ireland, 'this poor country and nation' had been treated.

She also described without irony a Gypsy encampment nearby as the 'chief ornament' of the area. When a baby was born to the Gypsy family, she urged her mother to send blankets and provisions, and requested that the boy be christened after her uncle, Leopold i of the Belgians.

This is fairly remarkable when you consider that in her grandfather's reign, it had been a capital offence for any man, woman or child to associate with Gypsies. No doubt, the oppression under which she lived, made her sympathetic to other oppressed people.

On coming to the throne at 18, she fell immediately under the spell of her prime minister, William Lamb, Lord Melbourne, a man in his 50s. He was suave and charming. No doubt, his feelings for her were almost paternal, but their relationship was also one of the romances of history.

His influence was not entirely beneficial. He had been very patient and supportive to his now deceased son, Augustus, who may have been autistic, but he was entirely callous about working class people such as Dic Penderyn, the Tolpuddle martyrs and inmates in workhouses.

He persuaded Victoria that child labour in mills and factories was a good thing.''Better they should work than starve'', he said. As for Shaftesbury, that hypocrite disliked his own children!

Victoria must have felt that her previous fierce indignation on behalf of the downtrodden, was childish and ridiculous. She asked 'Lord M' what happened to Irish tenants who were evicted.

Melbourne looked round wildly for inspiration, then said, ''They become absorbed somehow.'' Victoria recorded in her diary, ''We both laughed amazingly.''

It would be difficult to disagree with some of Melbourne's pearls of wisdom. He also told the teenage queen that Hindus had many good points but Sati was not a good custom. Stating the obvious again, he informed her that Maoris were fine men, but their habit of eating people was not a good one.

In this period of her life, Victoria would get sudden intense desires to roll in the grass or to be a renowned lion tamer. She discussed with Lord M, spontaneous abortions, laxatives and flagellation at school. He said, ''It had an amazing effect on me'', which was truer than she knew. Victoria recorded in her diary, 'Lord M says the happiest marriages are the ones where the wife is taken by force.''

Victoria may have been in love with Lord M but her uncle, the king of the Belgians, wanted her to marry his nephew Albert of Saxe Coburg. Victoria became captivated on their second meeting and soon afterwards, proposed to Albert.

But she was not yet blinded to his faults. Victoria was proud that she had knighted a Jew. It was the first time this had happened and she thought it 'quite right'. She was perturbed that Albert hated Catholics and Jews.

She discussed this with Lord M. He remarked that the latter was a common German trait. It did not seem as sinister in 1840 as it would in 1940.

Victoria listened to an African American choir, and asked Albert to tell the singers how much they had pleased her. One of the chanteuses was offended, muttering, ''Why doesn't she tell us herself? We're right here.'' She put it down to racism but it was merely snobbery. Albert often conveyed messages from plebs to Victoria in their presence, in just the same way, as if she occupied a rarefied space.

It was Albert who persuaded Victoria to acquire Balmoral, a holiday home in the Scottish highlands. Rather than looking down on the local Celts, Victoria was always running in and out of her neighbours' cottages. She insensibly picked up Highland dialect over time.

She and Albert recommended that the local kids be taught in Gaelic instead of being forced to speak English in school. They also wanted Welsh children to be taught in Welsh. Albert tried to learn Gaelic, purchasing a great big dictionary, but was defeated by it.

Victoria had a sort of positive discrimination towards peasant Highlanders. She saw them as noble,proud and independent, not to be regarded as ordinary plebs.She appeared to be oblivious to the Highland clearances. The Duchess of Sutherland was a terrible despoiler of her tenants, depopulating the area. Victoria was so deluded that she wrote that the duchess was adored locally and even taught in the schools.

Victoria could not totally delude herself about the famine in Ireland.She said it was too terrible to think about, and so did not think about it. Her state visit in 1849 was designed to prevent her seeing the worst, but she noted that ''you see more really poor and ragged people here than anywhere else.''

She landed at Cork, and noted that it did not look a bit like an English town. It was quite foreign. Victoria reacted as she did when she first arrived in the Highlands, ready to be charmed, but this time, nervously excited, and always thankful that the people were 'well behaved', tacitly acknowledging that this was not to be expected.

Victoria recounted the beauty of the women. Just about one in three was pretty and some remarkably so, probably those that had enough to eat. They had such fine strong teeth and black hair and dark eyes. Perhaps she meant to say that they had black hair but blue eyes, something often seen in Ireland but unusual elsewhere.

She noted that none of these beauties had bonnets. They probably had no coats,shawls, shoes, buttons, petticoats, stockings, corsets or pantalettes either.

Victoria noted a strange trait in these raven haired colleens. They expressed their respect for her by shrieking. Or is it possible that they were expressing some other emotion? I hope they weren't screaming in hunger or anger.

She had a brief shallow love affair with Ireland. Her favourite son Arthur was conceived there. He was christened with Patrick as his third Christian name, and his mother later made him Duke of Connaught. He had a better life expectancy than Irish people born in 1850. He lived until 1942.

Victoria was angry about the offensive way that British people in India, spoke about the natives. After the so called Indian Mutiny, the great reformer Dickens was calling for genocide in India.

Victoria said there was no hostility 'to a brown skin, none!' She rejected the suggestion that the British should take the opportunity to suppress native religions. She said, ''Firmly believing ourselves in the truths of Christianity, we disclaim alike the right and the desire' to impose it on 'our' subjects''.

By this time, Victoria had become blind to Albert's faults, banging on in a deluded way to her children that 'none of you can ever be proud enough of being the child of such a father, so great, so good, so faultless.'' She was starchily offended that her cousin Mary Adelaide had asked Albert if their daughter Vicky had had morning sickness when pregnant with the future Kaiser.

But certain entries in her diary indicate that she was in 1858, already taken with the rough hewn charms of her kilted gillie at Balmoral, John Brown. After Albert's death, she slowly became dependent on John Brown, always quoting his extremely banal remarks as if they were jewels of insight.

Whether she secretly married John Brown may never be known, but she would be buried wearing his mother's wedding ring. She was discovered to have prolapse of the uterus after her death, so she may not have been up to overt sex.

She did allow John Brown to mock and bully her younger children constantly.His younger brother Archie Brown was enabled to hit her son Leopold with spoons and mock him when he was too weak from haemophilia to defend himself. He was to Leopold what John Conroy had been to her.

Victoria was even fine with her daughter Louise marrying Ian Campbell, heir to the Duke of Argyll as opposed to a German prince. It was her son Bertie who opposed it. It was the first time a royal person had married a commoner since the future James ii married Anne Hyde. People wondered if it was even legal.

Victoria was always hoping to find black eyed and black haired princes and princesses to marry her children and infuse 'strong dark blood' into the family. Albert had said that marrying your blond relatives again and again 'made the blood so lymphatic.'

But she was not best pleased to hear of the engagement of her son Alfred 'Affie' Duke of Edinburgh to the Czarevna Marie, daughter of the czar liberator who freed the serfs, but was assassinated anyway. In a private letter, Victoria announced the engagement with the words, 'the murder is out!'

She was not at all keen on Russians. But she didn't insist on Marie becoming a Protestant. She didn't consider that the Act of Settlement required it. Marie was not a Catholic but a Russian Orthodox Christian. She was followed everywhere by an Orthodox priest.

'Referring to the great land mass dynastically', Victoria told her granddaughters, 'Russia I could not wish for any of you.' Perhaps this was not bigotry but far sighted shrewdness. Her granddaughters, the sisters Ella and Alicky, did marry Russian princes and they would both be assassinated in the early twentieth century, as were their husbands.

Victoria wanted German to be spoken in her house, and objected to Bertie's Danish wife Alexandra having any Danish servants, as she should not be able to speak in front of Bertie in a language he could not understand. But she insisted on changing the name of her daughter Alice's husband from the German Ludwig to the French Louis.

Afraid that Vicky might be feeling guilty about her Prussian in-laws' oppression of the Poles,she reassured her that the Poles were a talented race but, like the Irish, incapable of self government. After an Irish town refused to accept a statue of Albert, she wrote, 'Really, they are a terrible people.'

She would not let Bertie have a home analogous to Balmoral in Ireland when Gladstone suggested it. As she saw it, Scotland was her northern kingdom. Ireland, like Wales, was a dominion. They had both been conquered and did not merit such an honour.

Victoria was made uneasy by the spite of her first cousin Leopold ii of the Belgians in social situations, but probably managed not even to hear about his causing the deaths of half the inhabitants of the Belgian Congo.

By personal decree, she famously released an Indian girl Rukhmabai from an abhorrent child marriage. Rukhmabai who later became a doctor, lived to 1955, pegging out at the age of 90. She may have been ambivalent about independence. She had written that one of India's greatest blessings was that it was under the protection of 'our beloved Queen Victoria'.

In 1867 Victoria wrote that she could not get over her disinclination to give Lionel Rothschild a peerage as he was a person of the Jewish religion, and in any case, he did not deserve it as he had made his money in trade.

At the same time, Vicky was recommending Wagner's 'Jewish Influence in Music' if she wanted to read something 'totally cracked.' Vicky had never seen anything so conceited and unfair. She obviously expected her mother to share her horror at the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Germany - and France for that matter. By the 1900s, Victoria was referring to Captain Dreyfus as 'this poor martyr.'

She expressed no such concern for the Afrikaner women and children who were then starving to death in British concentration camps. It was Czar Nicholas ii of all people, the husband of her granddaughter Alicky, who wrote a 'tough love' letter to his British in-laws on the subject. He called the Boer War, ' a war of extermination.'

It is remarkable he did this as his diary shows that he was otherwise oblivious to what was going on, and also because he later proved to be a bloody tyrant himself.But it is always easier to see where other people are going wrong.

Victoria wrote of the Irish insurgents called 'the Manchester Martyrs', 'We will have to hang some of those men, and we should have done it before'. After it had happened, she wrote, 'I prayed for those men last night.'

Victoria's son Leopold suffered the most of all her children from the tyranny of the Browns. He had to break the news of John Brown's death to his mother. He wrote to others that he was sorry she was upset, but not sorry about the cause, adding, 'at least, I can't be a hypocrite.'Almost exactly a year later Leopold himself died of haemophilia.

Victoria's eldest sons, Bertie and 'Affie' hated John Brown almost as much. Her daughter Louise referred, sniggeringly, to him as 'Mama's lover.' After Victoria's death, Bertie - now King Edward vii - had a great clear out and destroyed all statues and other memoribilia of John Brown.


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marianneh



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:47 pm    Post subject: the munshi Reply with quote

Victoria approached her Golden Jubilee with regal gloom, writing lugubriously of the throne where 'I sat alone. Oh! Without my beloved husband (for whom it would have been such a fine day!)'. It was also four years since the death of John Brown.

Victoria had already worn the Koh-i-Noor diamond to meet the Shah of Persia. Although she would never travel outside Europe, she felt the lure of the East which she saw in a mirage of exoticism.

I don't believe she had any understanding of the famine created by Lord Lytton in India. It was now a decade since she had been proclaimed Empress of India. It was high time she had a festival to celebrate the Empire. The Jubilee was her opportunity.

She cultivated Indian princes and princesses.At Windsor, she welcomed two new waiters, Abdul Karim and Mohammed Buksh whose clothes made them look almost princely.

They were both Muslims. Hindus rarely breached the taboo about crossing the dark waters. They both gazed at the ground, and bowed to kiss her feet as instructed.

Victoria noted that Mohammed was 'very dark with a very smiling expression.' Abdul Karim was 'much lighter, tall and with a fine serious countenance.'

Lord Dufferin noted that during the descent of the Maharajahs on London, 'English society seems prepared to put everything Indian on a pedestal, and young ladies appear ready enough to fall in love with Indians at home.'And so were old ladies.

Or perhaps Victoria's feelings for the waiters were more maternal than romantic. She fussed inordinately about the warm clothes they would need for stints at Balmoral. Abdul had been born in Agra, all of two years after Albert's death. Victoria had two grandchildren older than Abdul.

Soon she was listening spellbound to his account of the love story behind the Taj Mahal. Within weeks, she was writing in her diary that she was learning Hindustani, something the household regarded with condescending amusement.

Abdul began making 'excellent curry' for the Kaiser-e-Hind. Victoria was soon confiding in him about her family worries. He listened with rapt sympathy to her story of how her grandson Kaiser Bill had been cruel to his mother, her daughter Vicky. He had ransacked her house, looking for incriminating documents, immediately after the death of her husband Fritz.

The household complained that Abdul was 'a brown John Brown'. Victoria gave him Brown's old bedroom. She spent weekends with him at Glasalt Shiel, a highland cottage where she had often stayed with John Brown. She had always said that she would never stay there again after John Brown's death.

John Brown had been crude and blunt. Abdul was always polite.But Brown had known his place. Abdul aspired to use the billiard room which was getting above himself, in the eyes of Victoria's staff.

Shrabani Basu makes it obvious in her book that Victoria made no attempt to be impartial when she received complaints about Abdul. She wouldn't hear a word against him. Perhaps he was stroppy to the other Indian servants. She didn't want to hear about it.

Her blunt and aggressive Scottish doctor, Sir James Reid, told her that Abdul's brother-in-law had stolen her brooch and sold it at a second hand shop. The overheated British monarch shouted him down with the words, ''This is what you English call justice!''

Abdul was soon promoted to Hindustani tutor or 'Munshi.' He learnt to read Victoria's almost illegible handwriting.

Victoria wrote to Vicky, 'I take a little lesson every evening in Hindustani...it is a great interest and amusement to me. Young Abdul ...teaches me and is a very strict Master and a perfect gentleman. He has learnt English wonderfully.'

Victoria's Urdu script was much neater than her accustomed scribblings in the Roman alphabet. Victoria kept an alternative diary in Urdu. Abdul began to write a diary in English.

When they travelled abroad together, the locals whispered that he was a captive Indian prince, taken around everywhere to demonstrate the power of the Queen Empress.

Abdul appeared in amateur dramatics with Victoria's daughter Princess Beatrice
and her granddaughter Alicky. He may not have been aware of Beatrice's hostility.

Bertie and Affie hated Abdul as they had hated John Brown but perhaps with the added spice of racial antagonism. Victoria was upset that Affie's wife Marie had arranged a marriage she disapproved of, between their daughter Marie or 'Missy' and Prince Ferdinand of Romania. But she insisted that Missy introduce her fiance to Abdul as a kind of initiation ceremony.

Affie put his foot down when it came to the wedding of another daughter Victoria Melita. He did not think it fitting that Abdul be allowed into the church. Nor did many of Victoria's staff want to sit at the same table as Abdul.

It seems to me that Sir James Reid was a bit of a bully. He referred 'humorously' to Princess Beatrice as 'Beltrave', the French for beetroot, in allusion to her red face. He shouted brutally at Abdul that he was no gentleman for his father was only an apothecary in the Agra jail. He accused him of being unable to write a grammatical sentence in any language.

Just before the Diamond Jubilee, Reid confronted Victoria. If she did not sack Abdul, the rest of her staff would resign en masse in protest. He sneered brutally that only insanity could explain her behaviour. Everyone thought she had lost her mind, including himself. The first reaction of the 78 year old monarch was to sweep her arm angrily across her cluttered desk, sending everything clattering to the floor.

Before the recent book by Ms Basu, we have been largely dependent on the literary accounts of Elizabeth Longford and Michaela Reid, the granddaughter-in-law of James Reid. Michaela took it for granted that Abdul was a crook. Longford found it inherently ridiculous for the Queen Empress to become emotionally attached to a brown employee.

After a bit of pressure, Victoria began to weep, saying she had been weak to let Abdul have his way in everything. Reid thought he had won. But he had not.

Victoria recovered herself. She stood up for Abdul against the racist and snobbish attacks made on him by her family and the other servants. Who cared who his father was? She had known two archbishops who were the sons of a grocer and a butcher respectively.

Victoria sent Abdul fond letters signed 'Your true friend' or 'Your loving mother.' She welcomed his wife to the UK, and gave her advice on laxatives and fertility treatment, the latter without success.

On Victoria's death in 1901, Abdul was allowed time alone with her body for silent contemplation as she had instructed. At the funeral, he walked with the principal mourners.

Within days, he was woken early in the morning by loud banging on the door. Bertie, now Edward vii, had sent his sister Beatrice and his wife Queen Alexandra, accompanied by guards, to ransack the place and make an immediate bonfire of Victoria's besotted letters.

Abdul was packed off back to Agra while Bertie obliterated all momentos of him.
People were soon writing that the old queen must have been crazy, and that Abdul was 'repulsive.'

But to an unprejudiced eye, Abdul was far from repulsive. As plain as she was herself, Victoria was an aesthetic snob. She had an eye for a good looking man.

Victoria had anticipated something like this. She had bought an estate for Abdul in Agra, where he died in 1909. His relatives lived there until 1947 when they had to flee to the new state of Pakistan.


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Moritz



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
She has no doubt Meghan will continue to suffer racial abuse after the marriage. Yasmin has received letters from the public complaining that the royal bloodline is being polluted by black blood.

No. Royal blood Line is already polluted by red blood. Charles and William are descended from King Dafydd of Israel and Solomon the Wise, descended from Aeneas of Troy, Maxen Wledig and old King Cole, descended from the One-eyed god Woden etc etc etc. "Prince" Harry is descended from James Hewitt.

Most dukes were spawned from Royal bastards and are royalISH. Ifn Sarah Churchill and Queen Anna Gloria had had babies, then Diana would be Royalish and Harry would be royalish.

Andrew / Koo Stark

Winter is cooming = second son of royal / porn actress.
Harry acts like Andrew so as to look royal.

Quote:
Abdul began making 'excellent curry' for the Kaiser-e-Hind.
Close, but no cigar. I have a rupee coin "KAISAR I HIND". I WILL show U nxt tine U wisit.
_________________
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War is Politics by other Methods - General von Clausewitz
Politics is War by other Methods - Some guy on the Internet
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:58 pm    Post subject: malika e hind Reply with quote

Yes, but there's also 'Malika-e-Hind' and a feminised version. It may be 'Qaiserah-e-Hind.' I've seen the rupee but wouldn't mind seeing it again. I don't agree with Miss Prism that the fall of the rupee is too sensational to study, but it gives one an intense thrill to see and touch gold coins from an empire that is one with Nineveh and Tyre.

Harry is royalish. Queen Anne's father James ii had a long relationship with an Arabella Churchill, producing what you would call four bastards. I, of course, denounce the terminology when I am wearing my 'Primal Wound' hat.

Diana was a direct descendant of James ii through Arabella. She was also descended from Lady Jane Grey's younger sister Catherine who secretly married one of the Seymours.

Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas would have satisfied the Aryan god party. They were both ice maidens with long blonde locks, but they couldn't hack it. No one else wanted to marry Harry because they couldn't take the job description. But Meghan is already famous. She can take it in her stride, or thinks she can.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:58 am    Post subject: the jewel in the crown Reply with quote

I don't usually watch films. I didn't even see the first 'Star Wars'. I'm culturally illiterate in that sense.

Oddly enough I did see Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in'Mrs Brown' where Billy Connolly was John Brown, but I didn't enjoy it. Judi Dench is obviously being type cast as she is Queen Victoria again in the film 'Victoria and Abdul'. I'm glad the story has been rescued from oblivion, but I didn't intend to see it.

I have read reviews which are extremely critical. We are no longer proud of the British Empire and find it hard to believe our grandparents celebrated Empire Day on 24 May. Why that date? Because it was Queen Victoria's birthday of course!

A recent book calls Victoria's dominions 'The Hungry Empire.' People went through another famine in India in 1900. Victoria's grandson Kaiser Bill was a bit concerned about it, but she appeared oblivious.

At the same time people were starving in British concentration camps in South Africa. French newspapers had crude nasty scatalogical cartoons of Victoria and Britannia.

A youth shot at Bertie in a railway compartment in Belgium. The bullet missed. The boy was acquitted.

An Irishman had tried to assassinate Affie in Australia decades before. The bullet had hit him but he survived, and Victoria was not very sympathetic. She snarked that Affie was putting on airs as if he had done something, instead of God's mercy saving his life.

Victoria knew it was not safe to take her usual holiday on the continent in 1900, so she went to Ireland instead! Maud Gonne, W B Yeats and other nationalists arranged demonstrations and speeches that would ensure the Famine Queen knew how the Irish really felt about her.

But oddly, it didn't really sink in. Victoria didn't even notice the Highland clearances that were happening under her nose. Like her descendants, she was a mistress at what the family now calls 'ostriching.' She noticed only what she wanted to notice.

I suppose that was reprehensible. She should have made it her business to know what was going on.

Reviewers are incensed that the Queen Empress is being shown as a social justice warrior ahead of her time as if Gandhi or Nehru had turned up early. They are annoyed that she is shown as standing up to racists.

The criticism is not valid where Abdul Karim is concerned, for the evidence shows that that is what she did. History is complex and nuanced and so are people. As a symbol, Victoria stood for something contemptible perhaps. But behind the symbol was a real person.

Perhaps it is unfortunate that Abdul is shown kissing the feet of a statue of the Queen Empress after her death. Alas, it is historically accurate that that is how he and his colleague greeted her in person on their first meeting. I've no time for servility, but that was then.

The film is not quite sure about Abdul. At some points, it looks as if he might be an exploitative wide boy, no more likable than the palace staff and princes who bullied him. The film is right to equivocate. We don't have enough information to know if his feelings for Victoria were genuine or not.

But there can be no doubt about where she was coming from. None of the critical reviewers have even considered that Victoria might really have been the fierce advocate for Abdul that she appears to be in the film. But she was.

Left wing critics are scornful of scenes where Sir James Reid threatens to have Victoria declared insane. To them, it seems impossible. They have no doubt it is just an unconvincing fiction.

But we know from his own writings as lovingly recounted by his reverent posthumous in-law Michaela, that he did indeed say to Victoria's face that she must be crazy to carry on with a brown man. He referred to her passion for Abdul as 'Munshimania.'

It would have been easy enough for him to certify the queen as insane. Everyone thought her grandfather George iii had been insane. No one had heard of porphyria in those days. Albert was said to have lived in dread of 'bringing on the hereditary malady' by putting up any resistance to her will.

Shrabani Basu also shows that during one of Abdul's holidays in 1888, Victoria busied herself by writing reports on what should be done to catch Jack the Ripper, noting that the serial killer must have been saturated with blood as he left the scene. She was genuinely anxious about the welfare of poor sex workers in the East End, some of whom were of Irish parentage.

Perhaps the reviewers should try to separate Victoria the person from her role as a figurehead of the hungry empire. By fits and starts, she could be a caring and lovable woman. She has gone up in my estimation since I consulted the book by Shrabani Basu.
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marianneh



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: duleep singh Reply with quote

Left wing complainers might have been on surer ground with Frederick Duleep Singh, the last Maharajah of the Sikh Empire who came to the throne at five and arrived in England at 15. Tricked into giving away the Koh-i-Noor diamond, he was lavished with affection by Victoria and Albert.

Victoria fairly doted on him, drooling ''Those teeth and those eyes are too beautiful.'' He gave up his Sikh faith in favour of Christianity. He became known as the black prince of Perthshire when he was regularly seen in the Balmoral area.

Victoria was anxious for her ward to marry an Indian princess educated in England. But Duleep desired a woman with less social polish. He married Bamba Muller, a half German and half Abysinian girl who had been brought up in an orphanage in Cairo.

Duleep suddenly woke up to how he had been betrayed,and killed with kindness as it were, and reverted to Sikhism. He attempted to link up with the Russians and the Irish in his attempts to regain the throne of the Punjab. The Russians lost interest, his backer deserted him and he had a stroke that left him paralysed down most of the left side.

He dictated a letter to his son Victor, ' It seems to me now that it is the will of God that I should suffer injustice at the hands of your people. I can find no one to curse Great Britain, and in spite of all her faults and her injustice, God blesses her and makes her great.' He felt that in opposing the UK, he must be opposing God.

Victoria agreed to pardon him in 1890. He was in European clothes when they met. He kissed her hand but muttered, ''Please excuse my kneeling.'' He was too stiff from his stroke.

As Victoria saw it, she had been wronged and she was prepared to graciously pardon a prince whom she saw as an adopted son. But she would not go as far as receiving his Maharani, the Briton, Ada Douglas Wetherill.

This was out of loyalty to Maharani Bamba whom she had been very fond of. Duleep had begun cohabiting with Ada while Bamba was still alive. Poor old Duleep was a totally crushed victim of the primal wound.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:14 pm    Post subject: harry & barack Reply with quote

Prince Harry interviewed Barack Obama for 'Today.' He asked him what was going through his mind on 20 January 2017 as he sat through the inauguration of Donald Trump. I really expected Barack to slag off Trump in no uncertain terms.

It shows how naive I am. Barack just used this opportunity to deliver a prose poem in praise of his own wife Michelle. Harry didn't pull him up on it but he did come across as professional and laid back, quietly confident and interested in other people. He had the feeling that Obama would have liked to interview him but he didn't give him the chance.

When Prince Edward was trying out a media career, he was hopeless, a petulant prima dona. I still don't see the need for a monarchy but I am favourably impressed by Diana's sons, although I never was by Diana herself.
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dai



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very pleased to see you back - I hope that you were busy over Xmas because I collapsed in exhaustion and slept - I just heard this prince interviewing his prince-daddy on Radio 4 and I have similar sentiments to you ... as you know I argue that Republicanism does not exclude the existence of The Royal Family but I do wish that they were supported by those who profess to adore them by making donations to The Royal Charity e.g. by each mug being taxed slightly ... oh - of course that already happens ... So : what Royalist Charity would you start or at least support ?
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