Many people wonder just what these archaic titles mean in today’s world and, though it is often left unsaid, there is great responsibility to the public to make the world a better place, to set a good example and to carry oneself appropriately.
Prior to the first world war, royals and noblemen seemed to have no real function in society and we were often thought of as a rather hedonistic group of spoiled rotten humans with no meaningful purpose. It was during the first world war that we were finally able to define a meaningful role for ourselves and that role continues today…to work in service to those who cannot help themselves…to make the world a better place, whether it’s through building schools for underprivileged children or helping those who cannot help themselves by raising money through charity events to feed the hungry of the world or bringing medicines to those in need. It is an unpaid job and yet one in which we are so proud to be a part of. As you have probably already come to realise, life is much richer if we are able to give of ourselves to the service of others.
Though one might believe that this is an easy job, in reality, the public expectations are really quite high. This is why the Duchess of York is always under such public scrutiny and why her subtle mistakes are always blown way out of proportion. She is human, after all, and none of us are perfect.
Easier is it to stay out of the public eye and to conduct ones business rather privately but we choose not to do that.
Of course, I am partial to Sarah. I understand that she was a commoner and then woke up one day with an enormous set of new rules by which to live.
The advantage that Kate Middleton had was that she was able to behave in private for the first several years of her relationship with Prince William, allowing both she and her family to prepare for the expectations of, first, dating a prince, and then landing the prince. Every bit of it was dependent upon her ability to act with great care in the public eye. In the privacy of their years at St. Andrews she was able to carefully tweak herself until she was just perfect for the job.
If we go back in history, most royal relationships did not have this advantage. Marriages were consummated after only short engagement periods and there were not paparazzi hiding around every corner to find every little mistake or flaw that a commoner-turned-princess might make.
Today’s world has turned the tables. Because of the paparazzi we tend to want to surround ourselves with very close and trusted friends and are wary of anyone new trying to come into our little world of close associates. I often imagine that this is the way American celebrities must have to live, as well, and this is why I am partial to them. As one of my readers so aptly put it, a gilded cage is still a cage, so don’t kid yourself into thinking that it is an easy life.
Sarah did not have the advantage of secretly dating Prince Andrew for a few years and being groomed to take on the role. She trusted when she should not have trusted and she continued prior friendships with not the most trustworthy of friends. Princess Diana was raised a Lady so she was well-versed in the expectations that awaited her.
See the difference?
What recently came to light is that the “sting” Sarah was caught in was really the work of Rupert Mudoch’s team of sleazy, under-handed dealers and, had they been operating in a forthright manner, she would not have so easily fallen victim to them. This does not negate the fact that what she did by trying to sell access to Prince Andrew was inappropriate but, rather, that she might not have been in this position were she not goaded into it. In other words, selling access was probably the furthest thing from her mind.
For those who argue that the archaic system of royalty and nobility has no place in today’s world, I beg to differ. We ask nothing of anyone and give an enormous amount of our time and effort to help make the world a better place. In my heart today is the concern for the families starving in other parts of the world.
Have you or has your family ever been in the position of not having food in the cupboards and no money to go buy it, if even waiting for a paycheck that’s a week away? This situation in Somalia and Ethiopia, for example, is far worse. These families are having to walk for days, sometimes losing family members along the way, just in hopes of finding something, anything, to put in their tummies to sustain them. The world needs to find a way to help these families and the families in America so that their lives can be sustained. My heart always sings when American and British celebrities quickly use their star power to raise much-needed funds during a crisis.
Raising much-needed funds and awareness of very real problems is the role of Royals and Noblemen alike in today’s world and, although we all become spectacles when we’re out in public living our daily lives like every American celebrity, we have only one job and that is to serve others.
It is what we were born for and it is why we live.