The culture that is Buckingham: what is the underlying structural model?

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of his “sadness” at the broken bond with his brother and voiced sorrow that the royal family is no longer a “team”.

As the Queen called emergency peace talks tomorrow at Sandringham to end the Windsors’ civil war, The Sunday Times can reveal that Prince William has said he feels sorrow that he and Prince Harry are now “separate entities” and expressed hope that they might pull together again in future.

“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” he told a friend.

…Tom Bradby, who did the recent ITV interview in which Harry and Meghan confessed their sense of isolation, warned failure to keep the pair on side could lead the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to do a “no-holds-barred” interview that could damage the monarchy further.

…Harry and Meghan may have their security downgraded, with protection squad officers armed only with Tasers rather than guns.

Here is the full piece from the London TimesSome reports say Meghan now has a deal with Disney, maybe she will do voice-over for a princess…


How much is too much?

Sympathy for the royals: Poor Harry!

I'm just amazed they admit that guns are the ultimate tool for protection, and taking them away is a "downgrade." Makes you wonder why Dems are always trying to stop ordinary Americans from protecting themselves.

It's not only GUNS!. They're out to tell you what - electric - car to drive; with what - renewable - to heat and light your home; ration - most will die on a wait list - your health care; and more. And, all of it will cost you a great deal more than now.

"Public safety" has been the consistent alibi of totalitarians.

I wonder if you had to pay for the negative externalities of your choices if you would be such a mouth-breather.

What are the negative externalities of enjoying your constitutional rights?

A murder a day in West Baltimore. Twice that in Chicago.

So, will they be bringing "Suits" back?

"Harry and Meghan may have their security downgraded, with protection squad officers armed only with Tasers rather than guns."

According to gun control advocates, that should make them safer, right? There won't be as many dangerous guns near them.

More realistically, they should avoid fishing as a family. Unless you believe the only way to stop a bad guy with a bomb is a good guy with a bomb.,_1st_Earl_Mountbatten_of_Burma#Assassination

North Korea developing nukes seems to have kept it from being invaded, so yes, in their eyes having a bomb keeps the bad guys with bombs away.

Re-invaded - the U.S. already invaded North Korea once.

Your grasp of history is poor. Egged on by Stalin, the Norks invaded. It went well, then not well, for them when we — sanctioned by the UN — sent our troops. This wasn’t an invasion. And, we stopped. Had we continued there’d be no fanatical Stalinist dynasty in the north of Korea now.


Glad you are a fake god, because you are spouting fake history. something about the Chinese you seem not to know about, GoT.

There is a reason it is called the forgotten war.

Barkley Rosser is absolutely correct to point out the role of the Chinese. You may want to discover for yourself why the Chinese got actively involved in the Korean War. Think Yalu River and borders.

"According to gun control advocates, that should make them safer, right?"

I see, because preventing every crazy guy from getting guns is the same as preventing professional security from having guns. Crazies will be crazies, I guess.

You can totally trust in the government to find a way to prevent crazies from having guns while security details do have guns. The government, as we know, is super duper competent.

"The government, as we know, is super duper competent."
Do you want to ask Mr. Soleimani if the American government can be competent when its leaders really want do something?

And yet in your prior comment you stated armed security was preferable to common people being armed.

I wrote that "preventing every crazy guy from getting guns" doesn't mean "state armed security" can't exist. Do you have any problems to understand the word "crazy"? Too close for comfort?

In my opinion you are crazy. We shouldnt allow people like you to spread your crazy ideas least you corrupt the youth. And guns are obviously a non starter for people like you

Yes, they succeeded in taking out a foreign military leader who was carrying a peace proposal to a prime minister who had invited him to his country to do so with the US fully informed, with the upshot of this assassination being that the Iraqi parliament has demanded that US troops be withdrawn from the nation, which is not "advisory" as a Pompeo and some claim, but for real. And it is now coming out that the original attack that collaterally killed an American contractor in Kirkuk may not even have had anything to do with Soleimani at all, but given that Trump had decided to kill Soleimani seven months ago at the first excuse, well, this was highly competent, even though by a two-to-one margin Americans now feel less safe. But, hey, it at least momentarily distracted us from the forthcoming impeachment trial!

I’m sorry for your loss, Barker.

More of a loss for Saudi Arabia and Iran, given that it was their peace negotiation that got blown away.

So, Woah, tell us exactly which of the statements I have made is incorrect. You are going to have a tough time of it. As it is, I simply remind you of the final point I made in the first comment: by a two-to-one margin the US public thinks that this assassination has made the US less safe. That is a fact. So a majority of the American population regrets that Trump took out Soleimani. Got it? Or do you think that a majority of the American population is not rational?

Don't know of many people who are against cops or trained security professionals carrying firearms.

I'm a retired police officer, here in Australia I can no longer carry a gun. Why not? Nothings changed, I'm the same person.

Not according to Heraclitus.

And depending on maintenance, the gun isn't the same either.

By that logic, then ex-soldiers should be allowed to walk around with combat weaponry.

I'd definitely enjoy driving my ol' rusty tank again!

With this playing in the turret -

Scotland Yard prides itself on the fact most of its policemen are unarmed.

funny how police officers feel comfortable with fewer guns when citizens are dramatically less likely to have them too...

"Don't know of many people who are against cops or trained security professionals carrying firearms."

And do all these people you know think that anybody who undergoes professional training should be able to carry a gun to protect their families? Or are only royalty, politicians, and celebrities to be afforded that privilege?

Also-- just how confident should we be in the cops and security pros? There many ridiculous stories of their 'professional' behavior, but this one is probably my favorite although this one also gives me a good laugh every time. The FBI story had a happy ending, though -- no jail time for the acrobatic young agent (and since the FBI won't discuss his status, I think we can assume that he didn't lose his job over that little bit of innocent fun).

"Also-- just how confident should we be in the cops and security pros?"

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what modern con-servatism became. An affiliate of the Militia of Montana.

And this is a modern Democrat ladies and gentlemen. A totalitarian at heart.

Evidently. Few people know that, but American police was invented by Joseph Stalin. America's Continental Army's Commander-in-Chief was Lenin, who afterwards went to better and bigger things with his band, The Beatles.

Not a conservative or even a gun owner -- just definitely not a fan of special privileges for the well-connected and deeply skeptical that government training makes its agents trustworthy -- rather it tends to make them unaccountable. I could fill this blog for a good long time with stories of cops misusing their weapons -- often with tragic results. We could have a whole week just of stories of cops shooting people's dogs.

And that is why, apparently, we can't prevent crazy people from getting guns. I am sure our dogs feel much safer now.

It always comes down to the money in the U.S. The arms manufacturing lobby has performed an excellent and thorough campaign against gun regulation in recent decades. They have deluded common people into thinking that owning a small arsenal, including automatic war weapons, is every Americans right. Why? Out of the goodness of the gun lobby's hearts? No, its the money. Ask yourself why the gun lobby loves when democrats get elected? Their sales go through the roof, and the dems never end up taking anyone's guns anyway.

It's certainly true there are some dumb and irresponsible people in law enforcement but that's hardly a ringing endorsement for shall issue carry permit laws. There was also a guy in Texas who started a conflict with his neighbor over loud music, wound up shooting and killing him, and is now serving a life sentence for murder. Some sort of screening for maturity and impulse control not to mention basic training on conflict management seems to be in order.

To other posters, U.K. and Australia are outliers but Special Branch officers in the U.K. are armed, as are some specially trained police officers.

You should ask people with skin in the gamehow they feel safer.

Attention would seem to be the answer to what is the underlying structural model?

And it works.

I suspect that public opinion will divide in two sharply opposing , irreconcilable sides over this . I personally find it appalling and sad that a royal prince of GB will now become a peddler of tacky mugs and tshirts and that a storied honorific title will now become a "brand" . I'm looking forward to the junk email sollicitations . But "markets in everything" I guess . For all its faults and hypocrisy the British royal family stands for values that cannot be sold, bartered , exchanged, traded or transacted like vulgar commodities. Thats its only raison d'être so I don't know where it goes from here .

Shame you feel that way about Prince Charles, though maybe you also feel his products are not tacky.

The idea that any family should have official state positions based on blood and birth is beyond antiquated and should be offensive to anyone who believes in human equality. It would be great if Harry and Meghan's shenanigans could help bring the whole sorry, embarrassing institution to a well-deserved end.

You really nailed those continental Scandinavian socialists - all of whom are ruled by monarchs.

Well, the Scandinavian countries actually have very high levels of wealth inequality ( I’m not sure they are that egalitarian, especially not spiritually egalitarian.

An ideal egalitarian society would be fundamentally capitalist. I could see a role for an inheritance tax to prevent generational fortunes, but I view the ultimate expression of egalitarianism as a system where everyone gets to participate equally in the market regardless of their lineage and your wealth is based on what other people are willing to pay in the free market for the services you provide. Socialism is less egalitarian than capitalism in practice because socialism is inevitably national-based and it thus privileged people who were born in rich nations who get to enjoy a much nicer welfare state just based on their lineage over people born in poor nations.

Narrator: none of these countries are ruled by monarchs.

Neither is the UK.or the Netherlands, or Spain.

They just have royal families with the monarch having the title king or queen.

Narrator: Britannia doesn't rule the waves either.

In all the countries mentioned, the monarch reigns but does not rule.

Iceland is a republic.

Thus 'continental Scandinavia' intending to exclude Iceland, which is not actually attached to a continent.

That would do it, but nobody said that.

Of course Finland is also a republic, but then it is technically only Nordic, and not Scandinavian, which is a linguistic category.

Scroll upward.

OK, fair enough. Spotted it.

Does anyone really believe in human equality, though? That idea, too, seems antiquated.

Britain is a diverse nation now. It's monarchy should represent the ethnic, sexual, and religious diversity of it's people. Now that is a modern view!

Oops wrong "its". The inability to spell, also very modern.

Not to worry overmuch, you're in fair company: Thomas De Quincey commonly used an apostrophe with the third-person singular neuter possessive pronoun (at least in unpublished manuscripts)--see Appendices A and B in the anthology On Murder (OUP, 2006).

Au contraire. We are all royalty, all BAMFS, by virtue of our bullet-proof lineage, which has survived and reproduced successfully over billions of generations without a single slip-up, resulting in you. Congratulations for making it here, defying ridiculous odds!

A yet understudied line of business would be adoption of commoners, so they can call themselves a prince. Some people are willing to pay princely sums for this.

That has already happened.

... or as his friends call him, Freddie Prinz!

"A storied honorific title", you say?

There has only ever been one prior Duke of Sussex, back in the early 19th century. No relation whatsoever.

They wanted to make Harry a duke and they just picked a name. It sounded better than the Duke of Scunthorpe.

Suggestions for potential business lines for the new Sussex spin-of:

Sussexcoin - obviously, which will also increase financial inclusion (for poor royals).

Princebot - an artificially intelligent prince that can cut ribbons etc modelled on Harry’s mind powered by a pocket calculator.

WeHoliday - sharing holiday accommodation, people would pay to rent a suite a holiday location as opposed to using a palace or being lent a billionaire’s mansion. Based on a suggestion from Prince Andrew

Asset strip the Queen as a last resort..

More like a fungus breaking down the dead traditions of other nations and turning them into money. Markle will dump Harry for a rapper and Harry will be dead before the Queen.

The more interesting exercise is to assess the entire British royalty conglomerate from a private equity perspective. New management, better branding, better asset management and more modern retail engagement just for starters. Succeed with that and a partial tender offer for more government power is completely plausible.

The British royal family's wealth is mostly in land, but many UK descendants of robber barons (a.k.a. "aristocracy") are far richer, as is the Dutch royal family because they had the good sense to invest in Royal Dutch/Shell.

Funny that people who built businesses are called “robber barons,” yet people who own land that their ancestors literally robbed from the previous inhabitants are not.

This is not a serious argument. All sovereign lands are held by force. An original chieftain or adventurer-conqueror takes it, bequeathes it to his heirs and then to their heirs and so on.

If you want to get exercised about theft, then the first reparations need to go to the royal families dispossessed by World War I.

What about the dissolution of the monasteries? The English regime literally stole those lands!!

Yeah, but the Catholic Church never should have had them in the first place if not for the Anglo-Saxon invasion in the sixth and seventh centuries. They stole 2/3rds of the island and erased native Celtic culture!

At the time of their invasion, the Anglo-Saxons were pagans and the Celtic society they conquered and committed a mass genocide on was Christian.

The celts had used the opportunity of imperial weakness, and stole that rightful Roman clay!


Actually they were the ones there, with only a few Romans protecting them. After those remnant Romans left in 410, the poor Brythons were left holding the bag. See the King Arthur legends, which have their basis in this episode.

As time goes on - if he's not already thinking it now - he's going to regret pulling Wallace Simpson v2.0 into the family. Every day he looks at his sister-in-law he has pangs of what might have been. What a dupe.

Can't be that fun to be the spare heir and have to do all the crap and never get to be king. He may even be the one driving this, or at least equally wanting out.

" Meghan now has a deal with Disney, maybe she will do voice-over for a princess… "
Playing themselves in the Crown, I reckon is the obvious choice

“The use of the Queen, in a dignified capacity, is incalculable,” according to Bagehot

In a 2007 study, Harry van Dalen, economist at the Dutch University of Tilburg, attempted to determine the effects of a royal head of state on real GDP growth. Comparing World Bank data from constitutional monarchies with other forms of government, he concluded that, on average, the presence of a royal house accounts for 0.8 to 1.0 percentage points of additional economic growth. According to van Dalen, a ruler in a constitutional monarchy adds stability, efficiency, and social capital in the form of trust. In the case of the Netherlands, this “monarchy bonus” has added an estimated 4 to 5 billion euros to its 2006 GDP. Not a bad investment, considering the royal family’s budget of roughly 100 million euros a year.

That's the same bullshit logic that gets trotted out when trying to convince a city to host the Olympics or fund a new football stadium at taxpayers' expense. The nebulous but enormous economic benefits somehow fail to materialize and people have gotten wise to it by now.

Feel free to crown me emperor, though, if you really think it will help.

Actually, the one royal who probably did give the taxpayers their money's worth was Andrew. He tirelessly traveled to promote British businesses and trade opportunities abroad, especially in places like the Gulf states where princely status opens doors.

Who is more likely to get rid of their constitutional monarch: a prosperous, stable country like the UK or Liechtenstein, or a country with frequent turmoil, like Greece? And that's just internal. Is the takeaway from the UK growing faster than Romania really "constitutional monarchy is good" and not "the Soviet Union installed a communist government"? Sure, Romania would have been better off with their constitutional monarch, but that's not the central issue. The central issue is the communist regime.

The lesson here is to not ignore survivorship bias.

A reality-tv show within one year.

What will it be called, "Keeping Up With the Sussexes" or "Battle of the Sussexes"?

"Sussex In The City"

Duke Dynasty

I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

The fact that anyone but the British themselves cares about this affair is amazing, as is that someone would buy a product because it had a "Sussex Royal" logo. But does anyone, especially a Yankee, really give any serious thought to this or is it just fodder for a media desperate for any kind of trivial content that they hope appeals to a portion of the unwashed masses?

The US media, and all the other Dems, are so desperate for a US Royal Family to exist that they've adopted Britain's.

The Kennedy brand just isn't what it used to be, as well as the Clinton. No doubt when the oldest Obama daughter reaches the proper age, they'll be pushing her to run for congress and eventually for president.

In a thread fully of lots of exaggerated drooling about guns, this happens to be dumbest comment posted. Did you read this silliness in yet another half-baked novel by Michael Crichton?

Maybe Americans should not care about this affair, but obviously they do and they will, and if you cannot figure out why, well, chuck, i suggest you do some shopping in a grocery store sometime and pay attention to what you see when you go through the checkout line.

But plenty of Americans who are not "unwashed masses" watch "The Crown" assiduously. And there are lots of unwashed masses who buy those tabloid rags because are fasinated, and, sorry, but not the Kennedys or the Clintons or any of the rest of our leading families has ever gotten as much of that press, not to mention attention in the MSM when things go pop with the British royals, as those British royals get. This is not a "reading comprehension problem" on my part. It is more iike a "you have no idea what your compatriots think and are interested in" problem.

You may not approve of this fascination by Americans of the British royals, but it is a hard fact and extends to all classes, with indeed some of the uppers, especially old time WASPs, even more interested than some of the lower sorts, even if they are quieter about it and only glance over the covers and headlines of the grocery checkout tabloids rather than actually buying them.

In Heinlein's writing (which is not quite the same as a quote of Heinlein), he noted that the people most fascinated with royalty were those living in the U.S.

Whether that is still true, particularly after the global branding success of Princess DI, is debatable.

Clever, that Cowen would post this immediately following the post about Parfit.

Tawdry increases the value of the Kardashian brand, but I'm not sure it does with royalty. It was somewhat true with Di, but she wasn't royalty - she was married to royalty. Tawdry may enhance the Meghan brand, but not the Duke of Sussex brand.

Look at the photo of Harry and Meghan at the following link and tell me that Harry isn't being led into this by his wife: The British royals aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Would having Henry VIII back help?

No, but Charles II in charge would be make for more interesting times, what with the crazy Puritans, plague and fires he had to deal with. At the same time he was able to establish the Royal Society and begat a battalion of upper-crust drones that survives to this day. Rode his own horses in races, too.

But so-called "interesting" times are times of turmoil.

Elizabeth had a direct connection to monarchs who had some weight, George VI, whose great grandmother was Queen Victoria. Once they receded into history, how long could the monarchy last as mascots for England? Princess Diana started the trend toward trashy royalty.

Women apparently like this “royal” stuff.

There were trashy monarchs long before our era. The sons of George III were a bunch of boozehounds and womanizers whose scandals make today's royal look like a synod of saints. George IV'S public divorce trial- he and his wife both slept around a lot- caused one moralist to grump "For the last week the whole people has been obscene."

So, they want to separate from the Royal Family, but cash in on it. If it wasn't for his royal heritage, why would anyone listen to them?

....what former U.S. presidents do.

I am inspired by this. After thousands of years of commoners being oppressed by royalty, now we are all commoners in a sense. This reminds me of a few years ago when I touring a famous palace and the tour guide was talking about the throne and then made a comment like “my sofa at home is more comfortable.” I am very happy to live in modern times.

This is about as sad

As when

Steven Bannon, Rex Tillerson, General Jim Mattis, Ryan Zinke, Michael Flynn, John Bolton, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort

and Donald Trump

Went their separate ways

They were such a Team but will always be brothers,

The nutjobs came out, bravo, not surprised.

I guess you must be part of the brotherhood.

Can't remember if it was a legit-seeming source but I read somewhere yesterday that Harry had been specifically asked by palace staff to draw up a "plan" for his future in light of the Queen's decision that the monarchy must be pared down (to reduce their exposure and the size of the target?) - to the line of succession. Even little Charlotte is ahead of Harry. He was said to have been hurt.

The Queen is great and all but I don't think reading people's feelings is her strong suit.

And consider ... they chased his mother to her death, but nothing was done about the paparazzi. In some quarters, perhaps, there was even a sigh of relief. Diana was getting to be a liability, but the press keeps the royal family vivid in the public imagination. Maybe he found that hard to take.

Oh, yeah: woman here, Crown fan, fairly ardent monarchy watcher whenever there's anything to see. But I get where y'all are coming from with the "I can't imagine why anyone would care ...?" I feel that way when y'all dive into the weeds on a trivial topic like health insurance.

Diana's driver went racing through a tunnel at high speed with a BAC of .17 (i.e., really drunk). No one to blame for her death but him.

The conspiracy theory is that he was dosed. Also he supposedly swerved to avoid another car. Could have been a clever intelligence operation. Dose the driver with something, then run him off the road in the tunnel, thus resulting in a crash. Not that I really care that much or buy into any of it.

Ah, well, if he wasn't responding to their pursuit, perhaps so - but they were only a beat behind, given that they were photographing her amid the wreck before the emergency personnel arrived.

Baby Archie is a US citizen. Once he gets elected president, the US will invade UK to assert his claim to the throne.

Meghan plays the long game.

Damn, you are good.

Yep, that's the thread winner. +10 i.p. to Bob from Ohio

Archie has expressed explicitly his contempt for monarchy.

...and, he will make England a colony of the United States.

He's not called "Harry" for nothing!

As children of privilege, should they just make money the old fashioned way?

There are obvious advantages and disadvantages of the American system, where we have celebrity as royalty. Celebrities have less decorum, but we churn em. No one stays on top for long. Embarrassments are left behind like so much Bruce Jenner menswear.

You and I have very different ways about what "making money the old fashioned way" means.

More on American royalty.

If the billionaires want to be out noblesse, how about a little oblige eh?

Give them State power or just do away with nobility entirely.

Is it true that no British wag has accosted the pair as "the Dunce and Duncess of Sussex"? (No sentiment that I myself would necessarily endorse, granted.)

If not, the Brits have perhaps lost much, much more than they may prefer to realize.

I don't think there is an underlying structural model. They are people in an institution that is unmoored from everything useful except tradition. If the institution wasn't sovereignty itself, it would have crumbled by now. It may be crumbling in slow motion.

Harry continues to be the most interesting member of the Royal Family.

I remember when Diana died some suggested that the crown pass right over Charles and land on William or even Harry, take the throne in the name of the House of Spencer. At least, that outcome might create some drama that would revive interest in the Royals and drive up sales of Royal merchandise. Nothing like a good scandel and some court intrigue to refill the coffers.

Harry's the best looking of that crowd (or was, before the mangy beard).

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