A passing remark by Prince Charles during his visit to Canada had disproportionately provoked a vigorous response from Russia. President Putin sees the crisis in the Ukraine as a threat from fascist forces but finds himself the butt of Charles’ comment comparing him with Hitler. The history lesson that ensued is personal pointing out not only the British royal family’s history of links with Hitler but the German origins of his family and his own links with the Nazi past. I doubt whether it will go onto the National Curriculum as things stand.
In the year commemorating the centenary of the beginning of World War 1 no one promoting the sacrifices of so many wants reminding of its architects, which of course includes Charles’ own great grandfather, George V:
“Charles’ great grandfather George V was one of the three ‘great’ architects of World War One, the so-called ‘Cousins’ War’, four years of mindless slaughter that began exactly a century ago. With two more Saxe-Coburg Gotha cousins, George’s hapless subjects slugged it out in trench warfare with Germany’s Wilhelm II and Russia’s Nicholas II’s unfortunates leaving, by 1918, a total of some ten million dead for no discernible purpose.”
The writer continues reminding us that Charles’ family name changed at this time from Saxe-Coburg Gotha to Windsor in order to distance himself from any German link because of widespread public hostility…
“When in 1917 ill-mannered soldiers began pointing out that German Gotha bombers from another branch of the King’s family business were killing them, George V blithely announced that his surname was changing from ‘Saxe-Coburg Gotha’ to the more English-sounding ‘Windsor’.”
A history of the monarchy and the obsession with secrecy, maintenance of an elite and advancement of capitalism add discomfort to Charles inheritance, but a personal attack on his continuing expenditure on ensuring a positive PR against even higher costs of keeping the lid on anything else doesn’t help the monarchist cause. Not a bit. Thus at Highgrove Diana is a taboo subject. She, it is explained, tried to protect her sons from the unreality of their life as royals. While she is mentioned in books large sums are paid to ensure they are not seen here when they claim that the “arrangement of an accident” was something desired by the Windsors themselves.