It is no secret to many Haggis readers that I am not a fan of the British monarchy. I could go on and on with my thoughts on the absurdity of the whole notion of aristocracy in general (ie, why do humans feel the need to elevate other humans and then deify them based solely on their bloodline?), but I'll spare you my thoughts on human psychology (being that my "Ph.D" in psychology was earned at two institutions: L'universite de la Famille Ecossaise Folle and Betrügende Freunduniversität, which translate loosely to "crazy Scottish family" and "cheating boyfriends," neither of which truly qualify me to bend your ear about the human mind).
Anyway, I am swamped at work, which is why the posts have been less frequent of late, but seeing the item on CNN where Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a party just completely blew my gasket and demanded that I put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?).
WHO THE HELL WEARS NAZI COSTUMES FOR FUN IN 2005??? Or more precisely, WHO THE HELL IN A ROYAL FAMILY WEARS A NAZI COSTUME FOR FUN IN 2005??? How stupid ARE these people?! And, how completely useless are they? These princes are very wealthy young arrogant men who have no concept of human suffering beyond their own, which they define as dealing with paparazzi. Yes, they lost their mother, but gimme a break. Of all the kids in the world who have had every opportunity and resource to heal from that event, these princes would be it. They have no excuse for their behavior.
Royalists will argue that the royal family represents the best of a nation and lifts up the spirits of its subjects. Okay. Say we agree that the monarchy serves a purpose. How do you square that purpose with a 20 year old man--who should know better--wearing a swastika?
On the other side of the issue, I am feeling a bit annoyed that all of the quotes are from "Jewish leaders," rabbis and politicians who happen to be Jewish. In Britain, the Nazis do not simply represent the Holocaust. They represent the Battle of Britain, the carpet bombing of most of London, food rationing, blackouts, incredible hardship that most Americans (and royals) can only begin to imagine. My mom didn't even see a very exotic thing called "an orange" till she was about 5 years old because of the war. My dad heard air raid sirens and jumped into ditches with his friends to hide from the suspected Luftwaffe overhead. The war against the Nazis took 350,000 British lives, almost a full percent of the British population at the time. My great uncle's RAF bomber went down over Germany; all they found was his flight book, which means he was probably captured and tortured till he died. My great grandmother, according to everyone who knew her, was never the same woman after getting The Telegram and the standard letter from the king offering condolences. Britons of every religion suffered terribly during World War II on both the macro and micro level.
CNN reported that Prince Charles was "incandescent with rage" upon hearing about the costume contretemps. That is a very accurately stated reaction--for EVERYONE, not just Jewish people. The Nazis did indeed perpetrate the Holocaust. But they also killed many, many people as part of the war itself. THIS is the reason why a potential future monarch of Britain should get on his knees and beg for forgiveness from his subjects. Not because he offended Jewish people, but because he stomped on the memories and legacies of the hundreds of thousands of his subjects who died, the hundreds of thousands who were injured and who never recovered, and the hundreds of thousands who sacrificed "blood, toil, tears and sweat" so that his lazy, rich, effete ass could live in a palace and never work a day in his life.
So. Tell me again why Britain needs a monarchy?