Upon the Prince’s arrival at the cemetery there was a picture set out of his mother laying a wreath at the same location 20 years earlier. William took a moment to view the black-and-white photo, which showed Diana wearing a navy coat as she paid her respects on February 7, 1995, before signing the book of condolences on the table.
A photo of Princess Diana was laid out showing her visit from 20 years earlier Photo: Getty Images
Often keeping the thoughts of his mother private, William opened up about his grief last year after becoming the royal patron of the Child Bereavement Charity.
“Never being able to say the word ‘mommy’ again in your life sounds like a small thing,” he said. “However, for many, including me, it’s now really just a word — hollow and evoking only memories.”
Princess Diana at the Japanese War Cemetery in 1995 Photo: Getty Images
The Duke took time to tour the cemetery before following in his mother’s footsteps and placing his own wreath at the memorial. He accompanied the arrangement with his own heartfelt message. “May we never forget all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” he wrote.
The Duke took a moment to view the photo of his mother Photo: Getty Images
Later that day, the 32-year-old had a more lighthearted engagement in which he helped launch the Innovation is GREAT campaign in the Tokyo district of Roppongi Hills. He then donned a traditional Japanese Happi coat and took part in a sake barrel breaking ceremony at Mori Academy. The father of Prince George then spoke about some of the dream jobs he had as a child.
Later in the day, William took part in a sake barrel breaking Photo: Getty Images
“When I was younger, I dreamt of being an astronaut,” he said. “But I also thought that I was going to be a policeman one day, as a very small boy.” And showing off his humorous side, the Prince added, “I’ve always wanted to say I’d be something like a fire breather. But that’s far too alternative. So sadly, just a policeman for me.”
Audiences were delighted to see the Prince in traditional Japanese garb Photo: Getty Images
The future king arrived in Tokyo on Thursday as part of a weeklong tour through Japan and China, a first for the royal. Also on the royal itinerary are visits to Beijing and Shanghai, where he will be highlighting British links with Japan and China and addressing issues such as innovation, trade and creativity. US HELLO
Princess Diana’s visit to the Newland Estate and her tour around the premises.
Many people from the society lined up outside behind police security tape cheering for the arrival of Princess Diana. The Sailors’ Children’s Society band is set up outside the house playing music for the day’s events. With a police escort, Princess Diana arrives and is greeted by the High Sheriff.
He then gives her a quick briefing and introduces her to the Newland management team as well as the Lord Mayor. Princess Diana does a brief meet and greet. After more introductions, Diana stops to talk to some of the children lined up for her visit.
She is given a tour of the Hannah Pickard House. Inside she chats with a boy in his bed room as well as a group of boys and the housemother seated at the kitchen table.
After the tour, Princess Diana leaves the house, briefly talking to a few people on the way out, and then goes to a different part of the estate. The crowd gathered was thrilled to meet her.
Diana enters the auditorium below which has a large welcome banner on the outside. Inside, the auditorium is packed with many of the older members who live at the estate. On stage, a man presents Princess Diana and thanks her for her visit. Diana pulls the string which opened a curtain to unveil a plaque commemorating her visit to the estate.
This plaque was unveiled by H. R. H. The Princess of Wales to commemorate her visit to the Sailors’ Families’ Society, Newland, 26 February 1991 and also to commemorate the new name – the Sailors’ Families’ Society. The Princess was also presented with a large book of artwork done by the children, and after looking through it, she exited the stage and auditorium.
Lady Diana Spencer was launched into her new life the morning of February 25, 1981, when she awoke in Clarence House, the London home of the Queen Mother. She was also to experience that morning, far too soon for her liking, what would become a regular pattern in her life with Prince Charles – saying goodbye.
As she was driven to Buckingham Palace by her new protection officer, Chief Inspector Paul Officer, Prince Charles was readying himself to leave for three days of official engagements in Scotland. Lady Diana said good-bye to the Prince and she immediately started to tackle the sackfuls of mail and telegrams of congratulations that had arrived at the Palace.
She was later driven to Coleherne Court to collect the rest of her personal possessions, pausing briefly to say good-bye to the photographers who had camped out on her doorstep for the past five months. A police guard had been stationed at the outside doors since the engagement became official.
Diana’s mother, Mrs Francis Shand Kydd arrived at Heathrow from Australia the next day and reporters in the airport scrambled to get a few words from her about her daughter’s engagement. Mrs. Shand Kydd told them that she was proud of her daughter and thrilled with the news of the engagement. She also stated that she was sure Diana would cope well and would learn very quickly. In the evening of February 25, 1981, they joined Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes and her husband Robert, for dinner at their Kensington Palace apartments.
Lady Diana had earlier resigned from the Young England Kindergarten and had been sorry to give up her work there. As a good-bye gift the children presented her with an engraved goblet and a selection of their hand drawn pictures of the future Princess of Wales.
Extra staff were brought on in the office of the Prince of Wales to cope with the huge volume of congratulatory mail. Lady Diana was assigned a temporary aide to assist her whose name was Oliver Everett. He became one of the first permanent members of her household and was her Private Secretary from 1981-1983.
London – 25 February 1997
British auctioneers Christie’s announced that they are to sell eighty of Princess Diana’s dresses in New York. All the money raised by the much heralded auction, which will take place in June, will go to two charities which research cancer and AIDS treatments in the United States and Britain and have been chosen by Diana.
For the first time The Princess of Wales has launched a libel suit against a British Sunday newspaper which this weekend suggested she personally would benefit from the sale. Christies in London displayed five of the dresses which will be auctioned on June 25th. The idea for Diana to clear-out some of her extensive wardrobe is thought to have come from her son Prince William.
PRINCESS Diana was no stranger to Swindon, visiting the town on numerous occasions through the years.
Her first trip was on 25 February 1985 when she visited the Taurus Training Workshop in Cheney Manor. She chatted to 36 teenagers who were taking part in Youth Training Scheme projects. The workshop has been offering vocational training to the young people of Swindon for over 22 years.
Hidden in the hills and protected by signs that warded off the press and onlookers, Princess Diana spent much of the week on the hilltop estate of top photographer Patrick D. Marchelier. She was obviously enjoying the Caribbean sun with temperatures of 80F degrees at this time of year
St. Barthelemy, 12 miles long and five miles wide, is an exclusive resort which boasts 22 beaches. Tourists flock here year round to enjoy the clear water and luxurious island resorts.
At 1100GMT 24 February, 1981, Buckingham Palace made the engagement official.
Lord Maclean, the Lord Chancellor made the following statement at an investiture at the Palace by command of HM The Queen:
“It is with greatest pleasure that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh announce the betrothal of their beloved son the Prince of Wales to the Lady Diana Spencer, daughter of the Earl Spencer and the Honourable Mrs Shand Kydd.”
Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana three weeks ago at a private dinner at Buckingham Palace before she went to Australia.
He wanted her to use the trip to think over his proposal but she accepted immediately and he gave her a diamond and sapphire engagement ring.
“Delighted and frankly amazed that Diana is prepared to take me on”
Despite the intense public interest, they managed to keep their news a secret.
Lady Diana, who is 19, will leave her job as a kindergarten teacher and move out of her flat share in Kensington to live in Clarence House until the marriage.
The couple will then move to the Prince’s house in Highgrove, Gloucestershire.
In a BBC interview, the 32-year-old Prince said he was “delighted and frankly amazed that Diana is prepared to take me on”.
Looking shyly up through her long blond fringe and giggling occasionally, Lady Diana said she too was “delighted and thrilled, blissfully happy”.
Asked how she would cope with a dramatic change to her life she said: “With Prince Charles beside me I cannot go wrong.”
Tributes to the couple were made in both Houses of Parliament. The Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, said the news brought “great pleasure” to government and MPs.
They will be married in late July, but exactly when and where has yet to be decided.
Earl Spencer, Lady Diana’s father, said he was also very happy for the couple.
Speaking outside Buckingham Palace with his wife Raine, daughter of novelist Barbara Cartland, he said his daughter had handled the pressures of constant media attention over the last six months very well.
“It will be easier now. She will be under some protection whereas before she had to face the music on her own,” he said.
February 23, 1981 dawned with rumours and more rumours that an engagement announcement would be forthcoming. James Whitaker, in his book, ‘Settling Down’ claims that most of the day there was nothing but speculation and as he fielded calls from Germany asking for some type of confirmation on the engagement, he still had nothing solid to report. But, as he was delivering a letter of condolence to Prince Charles on the death of Allibar at Buckingham Palace, her mini-metro car had been spotted near Constitution Hill and later that day it was parked in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Diana was at the Palace and it was nearly time to let the world into her secret.
Diana later said that leaving Coleherne Court for the last time felt ‘like a sword through my heart.’ Before Diana left her flat and moved into Clarence House, the Queen Mother’s residence, on 25 February 1981, she left a note for her roommates that said, ‘For God’s sake ring me up – I’m going to need you.’ Her new protection officer, Paul Officer, told her that it was her last night of freedom so she had better enjoy it! One door was closing, but another door was soon to open to a whole new world. The story continues.
After the death of Prince Charles’ horse, Allibar, on February 20, 1981, Diana left the stables of Nick Gaselee in a Land Rover with a blanket over her head.
Charles, although devastated, carried on with a scheduled engagement in Swansea. He returned to Highgrove that evening and the two spent the evening alone according to the Daily Express.
Diana returned to London early. However, the pending engagement could not be hidden forever. On February 21, 1981, Prince Charles telephoned Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, to ask for his youngest daughter’s hand in marriage. The Earl was delighted and told him “well done!” He later quipped that he wondered what the Prince would have done if he had said no to his request!
According to Penny Junor, in her book, ‘Diana, Princess of Wales,’ the Queen gave her immediate approval and had been in on the plan right from the start. Charles required approval for his marriage as the direct heir to the throne under the Royal Marriage Act of 1772 and there was no doubt at the time that he would get it. Junor writes that the Queen and the Royal family had liked Diana very much right from the start and had been quite impressed with her skill at handling months of press and media intrusions.
On Saturday, the Queen threw a big family dinner party at Windsor for Charles and Diana to celebrate, and on Sunday, he gave her the now infamous engagement ring, initially described by Diana as a wonderful ‘sapphire and diamonds.’
By Monday, February 23, the Prime Minister and the government were secretly notified of the news via coded phone calls and the Commonwealth Heads of State and the Archbishop of Canterbury were told via coded telegrams. Diana’s family spent the day notifying close family members in the strictest of confidence.
Diana was photographed stepping out in style in London on the evening of February 22 in medium length wine coloured culottes which the Daily Express termed the ‘Express Woman Look,’ a fashion they were showcasing in their newspaper that very day. At this point, the engagement was less than 40 hours away and Diana’s life was about to change forever. The long journey was almost complete, but more difficult days were coming. Diana on the verge of engagement continues . . .
Clothes You Could Di For From Conran
LONDON 1985 — Advancing at a stately pace through a packed reception at Lancaster House here recently, the Princess of Wales suddenly stopped, beamed with pleasure, broke into a delighted laugh and said, “Why, Jasper, you`ve cut your hair.“ The object of this royal scrutiny, a handsome young man of 25, sported a bowl-shaped thatch of blond hair, which he promptly tossed forward in a brief, courtly bow to the princess.
It was the sort of casual exchange that might pass between friends, but Jasper Conran, one of the hottest and most successful of London`s young designers, is loath to elaborate or capitalize upon his sartorial relationship with Princess Diana.
He is equally loath to take advantage of his own illustrious family name. He is a son of the internationally known retailing magnate Sir Terence Conran, whose home furnishings empire extends throughout the world. He also is a son of the even-better known Shirley Conran, whose deliciously racy best-selling novels “Lace“ and “Lace II“ have also recently lathered up Americans in made-for-TV-movie versions.
But Jasper Conran has done very well all by himself, thank you. A serious, stylish young man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Peter O`Toole, Conran has already had his own business for eight years and he will proudly tell you he got it the old-fashioned way: He worked for it.
He knew what he wanted to do early, dropping out of boarding school at 15 to enroll in the fashion program at Parsons School of Design in New York. “I was the youngest student they ever had,“ he says, a statement Parsons officials confirm, to the best of their knowlege.
He was never graduated, however. After a few years, the academic discipline began to grate (“I started out as the blue-eyed boy but I became what they called a `disruptive influence` “) and he was impatient to start designing. He left Parsons, designed for Fiorucci and then returned to London, where he began designing special items for adventurous specialty stores, such as Henri Bendel in New York and Alan Bilzerian in Boston.
At 17, he borrowed money from a bank and formed his own business. “From then on, things grew quite quickly and things got very tough,“ he says, citing such problems as how to produce $6,000 worth of orders on $3,000 worth of ready cash. “I never missed a payroll, but I never paid myself for three years.“ And he never took money from his parents. “I wouldn`t do that for the world,“ he says, sitting in the new, sleek, airy, white showroom he designed on Great Marlborough Street here.
Conran`s clothes got a royal boost when they began appearing on the regal back of Princess Diana, who started wearing Conran designs just after her engagement. Conran, who is deeply reluctant to exploit his favored position at Buckingham Palace, has to be coaxed into talking about the princess; when he does do it, he insists that a reporter`s tape recorder be switched off.
“She has to wear color, because in a crowd she has to be able to be seen. And she can`t wear black, unless it`s a funeral, or purple, because purple is reserved for the High Church. It`s a royal tradition,“ he explains solemnly. “There are certain tartans she can`t wear, because they`re not her tartans. Her clothes have to really, truly work for her.“
“He was 16 years old when we started working with him,“ says Be Bilzerian, who, with her husband, Alan, operates the Boston store that bears their name, one of the savviest upscale retailers on the East Coast. “He had an image of a very sophisticated, elegant, working woman who had a career, who was active–a very efficient-looking woman. It was actually my personal condition at the time–working, traveling.
“And his clothes are refined to the extreme. You feel very luxurious, really good about wearing them. But they are very simply done, so you don`t look flashy.“
“To me,“ says Ellin Saltzman, vice president and fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, “Jasper Conran makes marvelously understated fashion that is similar to American designer sportswear. I think he has very good workmanship and a flair that is less basic than American designer sportswear.
Indeed, Conran`s clothes stress quality fabrics–such as good wools, cashmere and silk–and quality construction, still a rare commodity among young English designers. “Just because I`m in England doesn`t make me cute. I realize that I sell to people who also buy from Armani and other top designers. You`ve got to be on a par with those people. You`ve got to present the same quality, and you`ve got to be able to deliver,“ he says. His designs offer a strikingly clean, trick-free look that he likes to call classic with a twist.
This fall, however, along with the sleek, elegantly versatile looks his clients have come to expect, he surprised them with whimsical, playful touches such as a black leather minidress, black jackets sporting mink lapels dyed fuchsia, red, emerald and orange and the rather arresting combination of lacy black bras worn under bright ruffled blouses in sheer chiffon.
“I like the fact that I did things that were sexy, fun and a little silly,“ he says, smiling at the thought. A visitor mentions his gambit with the unmentionables. He lifts his chin, looks straight back and announces,
“I`m selling those chiffon blouses with the black bras. A lot. To Florida. Can you see the chicks strolling up and down with the poodles? It`s so tasteless that it`s all right.“
Conran believes this season also marks his transition, in the perception of international retailers, from a tasty garnish (“I don`t think they`re looking at me as a one-season wonder“) to a full-fledged entree. “Until this season, people bought just pieces. This is the first season people are buying the whole collection. This is a very important time for me.“
Conran`s business has almost doubled in the last two years. This year, he expects to generate more than $2 million in sales. About 65 percent of that represents exports, a large proportion of which goes to the United States. Conran is intent on broadening his U.S. distribution.
As is the case in England, he is carried primarily by top specialty chains here, such as Saks, Ann Taylor and Bonwit Teller.
Ironically, one of the very reasons he appeals so much to American retailers may also be an obstacle in the way of his penetration of major U.S. department stores. The breezy look and solid quality of Conran`s ready-to-wear reminds many retailers of top American designer sportswear. Indeed, his prices, from about $130 to $1,500, fall into the same line. As a result, when dollars are tight U.S. department store retailers with this perception will take the homegrown over the import every time.
But there is a difference, Be Bilzerian says: “No matter how you look at it, he still has a very European flavor. It shows up in the fabrics he uses (primarily English) and the shapes he makes.“ In any case, she adds, “I think Jasper`s sophistication is beyond the mass market.“
But Conran`s American client list is growing fast, his new men`s collection is doing well and, in general, business is good. “Well, yes,“ he muses, “but I`m not about to become complacent. Now, I`ve got to follow it up.“
Jasper Conran: Clothes You Could Di For; Chicago Tribune; June 1985.
Lisa Anderson, Fashion Writer
Photos copyrighted to original owners;
Used here for entertainment value only
February 21, 1996: Princess Diana is welcomed to Lahore by Jemima Khan at Lahore airport in Lahore, Pakistan. Jemima is the daughter of multimillionaire British businessman James Goldsmith. She and Khan have two sons. Khan led Pakistan to victory in the cricket World Cup in 1992 and later formed his own political party in 1996.
Princess Diana was on a private visit to Pakistan to participate in the fund raising campaign for Khan’s cancer hospital. At the time, she had been advised not to undertake the trip due to political tensions between Great Britain and Pakistan.
There is little doubt that Diana Spencer’s step-grandmother, Barbara Cartland, influenced her greatly with respect to notions of love and romance. Cartland romance novels were plentiful after Diana’s father, Earl Spencer, married Cartland’s daughter, Raine in 1976.
Nevertheless, Cartland famously quipped at the time of her step-granddaughter’s engagement in 1981 that Diana would “reign forever as the queen of love.” When, however, the marriage had failed, Dame Barbara allegedly said of Diana in 1996, ‘She never really understood men. Of course, you know where it all went wrong. She wouldn’t do oral sex.”
But in April 1981 the story was thus;
Barbara Cartland, the flamboyant queen of the romantic novel, is about to acquire a genuine royal connection. But with a reticence that has seldom been a feature of her long and remarkable career, Miss Cartland has resolved to say nothing about the coming marriage of her step-granddaughter, Lady Diana Spencer, to Prince Charles.
Well, almost nothing. ”You see, my dear, they’ll all die of fury if I say anything about it,” the 79-year-old novelist explained over a sumptuous afternoon tea at her 400-acre estate just north of London. ”After all, I’m the only one who’s got anything to sell, and I don’t want people to say, ‘Look there, she’s just clinging to the royal bandwagon.”
24 Books in a Year
An energetic one-woman romance industry, Barbara Cartland does indeed have things to sell. Her basic work is books – she wrote 24 last year, mostly romantic novels with a single basic plot. At the moment, she is at work on her 305th book. With 150 million copies of her books sold in more than a dozen languages, she is already one of the largest-selling authors in the world.
Lately, concentrating on the United States market, she has branched out into curtains, sheets and wallpaper (”Decorating with love,” the advertisements call it); a monthly magazine, Barbara Cartland’s World of Romance, published in New York; a romantic comic strip appearing in 52 American newspapers and, in association with British Airways, a package of ”romantic tours” to India, Britain and half a dozen other countries. (”I find Rome has an atmosphere of age, spiritual ecstasy and love which is different from any other place I know,” she declares characteristically in the brochure advertising Italy.)
Just Like One of Her Books
Barbara Cartland’s daughter, Raine, is married to the eighth Earl Spencer, Lady Diana’s father. In one of the five autobiographies that Miss Cartland has written, she describes the way Raine broke the news in 1976 that she had decided to leave her first husband, the Earl of Dartmouth, and marry Earl Spencer, who had divorced Lady Diana’s mother seven years earlier:
”It is just like one of your books, Mummy. I am wildly in love and there is nothing anyone can do about it.” When Miss Cartland herself was in her 30’s, she divorced Raine’s father, Alexander McCorquodale, and married his first cousin, Hugh McCorquodale. Does she still keep in touch with the family that both her husbands came from? ”No, I never liked the McCorquodales very much, and they didn’t like me because, you see, in those days people didn’t have divorces. They were furious that I married again into the family, but I was terribly happy with my second husband. We had 27 years together before he died.”
Barbara Cartland, with her bouffant halo of platinum hair, her extravagantly long false eyelashes and her limitless talent for self promotion, seems far from the pattern of the English Establishment grandmother, and monarchy-baiters are already speculating delightedly about how she will get along at the July 29 wedding with the ever staid and conservative royal family.
And yet beneath the thick mascara, the powder and the fluff, and discounting such props as the feather fan in a color she calls Cartland pink, she turns out to be a well-informed conversationalist with a wide range of interests.
Over the years, Miss Cartland has thrown her considerable prestige behind campaigns for the rights of such groups as old-age pensioners and the gypsies who still roam parts of rural England. Her special interest, besides romance, has always been nutrition. She is fond of pointing out that the two are related and that ”a wife will not get an exciting, virile husband out of a paper bag” (an argument in favor of hot lunches instead of packed sandwiches).
Miss Cartland takes several dozen vitamin pills a day and thrives on such foods as honey, fruit sugar, Indian ginseng and garlic, staunchly avoiding most medicines. She says she gets 10,000 letters a year about health and tries to answer them all.
Someone to Turn to
”People have no one else to turn to,” she said. ”In the old days they had their family doctor, and he’d know all about them and comfort them. But these days he’s a perfect stranger who just gives them Valium and they get worse and worse. And so they write to me. Lots of people are genuinely terrified about what their doctors are doing to them.”
Miss Cartland’s strict dietary regime and her deep suspicion of modern medicine are easy to ridicule until you look into her clear, steady eyes and realize that she appears 20 years younger than she is and follows a work schedule that someone half her age might easily find daunting.
Most afternoons she writes, lying with a furry white rug on a couch under an ornate chandelier in her bright blue, book-lined study. Writing lasts from precisely 1 o’clock to 3:30, and it consists of dictating one 7,000-word chapter – seldom more, seldom less – to a secretary sitting behind her, out of sight, psychiatrist style.
”I have the story in my head and I just tell it,” she said. ”Then the next day I just tell some more.” Seven days of this produces a 50,000-word book, which is rushed into print and sent all over the world. In the United States, paperback Cartland romances are published by Bantam and sold, almost exclusively to women, for $1.75.
Always the Happy Ending
The plot line is standard: a young woman and an older, distinguished man, often a duke or other nobleman, fall in love in an exotic setting that Miss Cartland has thoroughly researched for historical and geographical accuracy. They always get married in the last few pages and never – but never -have sexual relations before that.
”That’s true romance,” said Miss Cartland, who regards the virginity of her heroines as a kind of crusade for morality. ”Fifteen years ago, the publishers said I should go modern and write about divorce and people getting into bed, but I said no. I know it happens, but it’s not romantic.
”So I hold to the old values, even though some people say ‘Ha-haha, virginity,’ and I know I’m doing some good, beginning to have some impact. Every phone-in I do in America, mothers say: ‘Thank you for those values. I’ve said exactly the same thing to my 13-year-old daughter, but she won’t listen. She’ll listen to you, though, Barbara Cartland, so thank you.’ ”
Excerpted from WILLIAM BORDERS, Special to the New York Times
Barbara Cartland’s Touch of Royalty
Published: April 12, 1981
A gala concert in aid of the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for Children and Royal Naval and Royal Marines’ charities was held at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in the presence of HRH the Princess of Wales. Susannah Simons and Desmond Carrington introduced the concert, which included a tribute to Kenneth Alford along with three special pieces to feature the brass and a medley of Beatles music.
More to come! http://www.princessdianabookboutique.com
“Well,” Kidd says efficiently. “Let’s begin with a quick rundown of who’s who, shall we? The queen is Her Majesty the Queen. Her eldest son is His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. His eldest son is His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales. Her husband is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
But if you look up Prince Philip on the royal family’s official website, it appears that he is also Baron Greenwich and the Earl of Merioneth, only Merionethshire doesn’t appear to exist anymore, and — Oh dear indeed.
Mr. Kidd, it appears that this is getting all too confusing. Perhaps it is necessary to begin with a more remedial lesson. Perhaps one must call someone who can break all this down into simple words.
Perhaps one must call . . . an American.
“Anytime you see ‘peerage,’ it means nobility,” explains Washington-based Kitty Kelley, author of “The Royals.”
“There are two kinds of peerage: the life peers, whose titles die with them, and the hereditary peers. Hereditary means you were born into the lucky-sperm club.” The royal family’s club is naturally the luckiest of lucky. Out of dozens of existing duchys, a few are typically reserved for royals.
The trouble is, most of those are already in use. The title of Duke of Gloucester belongs to Prince Richard, the queen’s first cousin, who inherited it from his father. Another cousin, Prince Edward, is the Duke of Kent, a title he also inherited from his father. The queen’s youngest son, also Prince Edward, is the Earl of Wessex, a title he inherited from — well, apparently from no place, because it hadn’t been in use for nearly a millennium. The London Telegraph reported that Edward was a fan of the film “Shakespeare in Love,” in which Colin Firth plays a fictional earl of Wessex.
“Oh, honey, they can just make them up,” Kelley says. “Catherine Middleton is going to have titles heaped on her,” to make up for the fact that she wasn’t born with any herself.
Example: When Princess Margaret married the commoner photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, he was given the title of the 1st Earl of Snowdon, and started going simply by “Snowdon,” much like Madonna is just “Madonna.” Example: Princess Royal, the title currently held by the queen’s daughter, Anne, was invented in the 17th century when Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I, decided it was neat how the oldest daughters of French kings were referred to as “Madame Royale.” All of this — the naming and renaming and dukes and earls, it all begins to seem like some sort of diversionary tactic. Look, the emperor has no titles! “Americans get very confused when a prince becomes a duke,” Kidd says wearily. “They think it’s a demotion. But really it’s just — if you’d just describe it as a tradition. A sign of recognition.” One would have assumed the future king of England would have all the recognition he needed, being, after all, the future king of England.
There are Americans who know all of this stuff, who own copies of Debrett’s or its competitor Burke’s, who go on message boards and pooh-pooh the people who refer to Princess Diana, when there was never a Princess Diana. While she and Prince Charles were married, her correct title was Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales; after their divorce, she was styled Diana, Princess of Wales.
Why do they know these things? Is it a way of separating themselves from the rest of the heathenish Americans? Or maybe the people who pride themselves on understanding the peerage are just the people who always stand on the right, walk on the left, and remember to rotate their winter and summer clothes in a timely manner. The peerage seems to represent the frank resignation particular to Brits. Yes, it says. There are people who are just born lucky. There are social spheres you can never reach. This is possibly true in the United States, too, but we are not crass enough to admit it.
British titles are a way of declaring that there is wealth, and there is standing, but only one can be acquired.
BaronyTitles.com is a site that auctions off Scottish titles, starting at around 75,000 British pounds, presumably so that the title-rich, cash-poor nobility can keep themselves afloat. Two titles are available: The barony of Denny, which dates from the 16th century, and the barony of Kerse, from 1390.
But back to William and Kate.
If he takes no new title, he will continue to be Prince William of Wales, and his wife will be Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. Of course, people will mess up and call her Princess Catherine.
(Speaking of Middleton and titles — her name is Catherine. She goes by Kate. Does she not realize that she has violated the sacred C/K non-crossover principle upheld by Catherines, Katherines and Kathryns? Please refer to Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale.)