One of my favorite blogging buddies left this comment on a recent post:
Trumps come and go. Sometimes humanity has to step back to make a bigger step forward. Most important is to stay human in any circumstances. Better future comes when people change their mentality, not when they change their government.
And she should know. She’s Irish and they’ve had their fair share of Trumps. A few years back we embarked on a suicidal mission to see as many historic sights in the United Kingdom as possible in just two weeks. We undertook this mission with only rudimentary knowledge of the English monarchy. This is akin to mowing the lawn with nail clippers. After only a couple of tours of places like the Tower of London and Westminster Cathedral we were forever lost in all those Plantagenet, Norman, Beaufort and Tudor spats and back stabbings. So we bought this book to help us make sense of it all:
It promised to transport the reader “on a regal journey from the earliest days of anglo-saxon monarchs, through famous battles and the foundations of historic buildings.” Those of you who know a lot more about the British Royal Family than I do will probably scoff. You can’t really learn much from a 126-page book whose aim is to leave tourists marveling at the enduring institution of the monarchy. For example, the five pages devoted to the current royal family contain not one picture of Princess Diana nor is there mention of the Duke of Windsor’s ties to Adolph Hitler. Indeed, the book ends with this sentence: The monarchy continues to be a strong thread in the fabric of national life, its powers reduced, its pageantry more symbolic but its magic at times hardly any the less diminished.
In the United States we number our presidents and, from the results of the last election, do not favor the idea of dynasties. But it was interesting to read that from the 9th century to the 21st there have only been 56 kings and queens (not counting the formerly separate realms of Wales and Scotland). Since 1776 the US has had 45 presidents. Of course the more frequent turnover, in my humble opinion, has not always been positive. When the Dems get in power they undo what the GOP has done and vice versa. This seesaw only hurts people and the environment.
Another difference between our two systems is we do not elect infant presidents (until now that is), whereas many of the British monarchs were preteens used as pawns in bloody struggles for the crown. Those who had “protectors” with their best interests at heart might just make it to adulthood but most were left in the hands of murderous rival gangs.
One thing I particularly enjoyed while reading the history of the Kings and Queen was learning how monarchs earned their nicknames:
- Harold Harefoot (Harold I) so named not because of his hairy feet but because he was “fleet of foot.”
- And Silly Billy (William IV) who never expected to be king and apparently enjoyed his youth enough to be thought of as “frivolous.” He was also the oldest person to be crowned (64) but it appears Prince Charles will beat that record.
The kings were often known for their interests: there were warrior kings, sailor kings, farmer kings and kings who just liked to ride around on their horses and hunt. There was even one king with a passion for digging ditches (Edward II). The queens also got nicknames: Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen (no sex for her) and Mary I, Bloody Mary (no Protestants for her).
So Inese is right. We will somehow survive and perhaps learn something. Is that too much to ask? By the way – please check out Inese’s blog. She’s an amazing photographer/blogger. And to all my friends in the UK, kindly remember that I got my facts from a book written for clueless tourists!
21 thoughts on “Trumps Come and Go”
I’ve always thought that someone whose surname is Plantagenet is destined for ridicule. And the irony of German kings and queens running us when we’ve the two bloodiest wars ever against them takes a certain chutzpah. My fav nickname is for the current consort Prince Philip aka Phil the Greek; sounds so NY mafiosi. So I think you should stick with the booklet.
I agree – having a German king and then fighting the Germans is beyond irony. I had to read that booklet 3 times before it made any sense. You’ve quite a history!
I’m amazed you found it made any sense!
Good one, Jan. And nary a glitch!
What a comforting perspective in this time of confusion and anxiety. Not surprising Inese was the source. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Gabe.
The tidbits and peculiarities are amusing. Might be a good book if only for them.
Sounds like something I’d enjoy reading for the sake of distraction. Perhaps I’d come across something that would make me feel better.
It was interesting. I could understand why my ancestors left England (probably during the reign of Bloody Mary) and took a chance over here.
I feel similar to Gabe – in the grand scheme of things, the world will keep on spinning, and this, too, shall pass.
And even though I declared that today would be a trump free day, I had a good giggle at your infant presidents quip.
We all need a trump free day every now and then!
At least we can take comfort that we are counting down from a maximum of 8 years. We have a chance in the middle to evaluate if he’s really been as bad as we thought, or if he’s not done anything of substance, or, if he’s just plain nuts.
Yeah, the history of the royals does point out that Trumps do come and go! We just have to survive.
I only call our president, “Trump.” I liked the wonderful book about the background of the UK and it’s monarchy, Jan!
I was also interested in the difference in numbers of “leaders.” There are many more years in some governments than our most possible: eight years.
PS. I love Inese, with her dear foxes and Pat, sheep, mountainsides and puffins. ❤
The book is essential if you’re sightseeing at historic sights in the UK! Otherwise a lot of what you see won’t make sense!
The Monarchs are interesting but then most families are, I guess, when we look beneath the surface.
I tend to agree with @OwainGlyn on this (he loathes Monarchy-but most citizens of the UK seem too).
On the other hand, it is kind of sweet we live in a time when there are still princes and princesses:)
To support the monarchy one has to believe that God has ordained one family line to be worthy of great riches based on the bloody power struggles of their ancestors. At least that’s what I got from reading this book. So I can understand Glyn’s hatred of them.
Thank you so much for the mention, sunshine 🙂
What I think is that we often mix up priorities. As you said, when the governments change, they undo what the previous party has done. Will it take us anywhere? We are divided, many of us use word hate without a second thought. Is that who we want to be? We wish Trump fails this country. Do we really want it?? When we straighten our priorities, we will know what to do, and it basically is – live, be a good person, help where it is needed, don’t waste your country’s resources, don’t call people names because they think different – they have mixed up priorities, most likely, the same like you. As they say, we are all in one boat, and we don’t want it drown because we have a lousy captain and cannot go a minute without fighting with each other.
Sorry for the long comment 🙂 I like to visit with people 🙂 ❤
Haha I read this again and it sounds like I say that YOU have mixed up priorities, which is not the case of course. I speak to a hypothetical human who hates the different one and has no clue that they both actually want the same thing. I am always like that, speaking too much 🙂
I understood where you were coming from – not to worry. My hope is that 45 miraculously sees the light or that enough Republicans decide to grow a backbone and stand up to him. They’re the ones who can limit the damage. I think that’s where we’re at – do what we can to limit the damage which means no name-calling of people with different views.
Growing a backbone is a good plan 🙂 He is not an emperor anyway. What I really hope for is that both politics and us people stop playing this dem-rep game and ask ourselves what we really want, and I am sure we want pretty much the same which means that both these parties are bankrupt and it is the time for something new – something that works for all of us as the citizens of the earth. But as you say, it takes a bit of backbone, in each of us.