Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Thursday, 11 October 2007

The Traditional Prince as Role Model

BY TRADITIONAL, I mean that Prince William is not going to depart from what princes and heirs to the throne historically do, which is to serve in the armed forces and prepare for duty as King and future Commander-in-Chief. This is significant because such a career path can no longer be taken as a given; what was obvious and true for generations past is no longer thus. Although the actual fighting in theatre in places like Iraq and Afghanistan has attracted increased interest to the profession-of-arms in recent times, the universal prestige of serving in the military is still not what it used to be - young people nowadays are just as content at the prospect of becoming an investment banker or management consultant, as they are a fighter pilot or a cavalry officer. Why should it be any different for royals?

Certainly the lack of distinction of our Commonwealth vice-regals (notwthstanding Australia's Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery) has done nothing to overcome our poverty in role models. The last men of true distinction in Canada were Governor General Georges Vanier and Lieutenant Governor of B.C. George Pearkes, VC, both of whom served during the 1960s. Unfortunately the military ethos of our grandparent's generation gave way to the politics of the social revolution, which in turn gave way to the politics of affirmative action. Indeed the current local "Commander-in-Chief" has done nothing particularly noteworthy in her formative life except read the news on Quebec television; suddenly pinning a row of unearned medals on her appointment looks forced and out of place. That this reality has not yet permeated and tainted the royal establishment is due to one reason and one reason only: politicians do not appoint royals. And because they don't, the maintenance of role models representing the old values of honour, duty and service have a fighting chance at survival.

Prince William has said that flying in the RAF and serving in the navy would be the culmination of a lifelong ambition. How many politicians today would ever say that?


Beaverbrook said...

Well said, Strathcona! Welcome to T.M.

Strathcona said...

Not to give the impression that military service is the only form of distinction. But where are our role models, be it hero generals, nobel laureates and accomplished businessmen turned philanthropers? I mean extremely successful people. We haven't had one since Georges Vanier

Greg Benton said...

I'd like to add to the list of Canadian GGs the late Raymon Hnatyshyn. A thoroughly decent and good man, he did serve in the Canadian Army Reserve in Saskatchewan...and once remarked to me that he viewed military service as an important and rewarding experience that should be encouraged among young Canadians.
Indeed, whilst in office, GG Hnatyshyn wore a military uniform on some occasions.