and millions poured out their grief when Diana died in 1997. However, critics dismiss such things and go on to point out that: the Queen’s personal staff are drawn from the topmost drawer of the aristocratically connected and Eton educated; while her garden parties annually involve a total of 35,000 people, the Queen takes her tea in a tent separate from her guests; and the Diana outpourings were in some measure critical of the RoyalFamily, which was seen as dysfunctional and unable to empathise with the woman married to the heir to the throne, let alone understand
for what she considered to be gauche imposters. The roll-call of European nobility who attended her 1947 marriage to the Duke of Sotomayor’s son was absent from the 1950 wedding of Franco’s daughter, Carmen, to playboy doctor, Cristóbal Martínez Bordiú – awarded the title of Marquis of Villaverde – even if the ‘wedding itself was on a level of extravagance that would have taxed any European royalfamily’. 3 Readers developed a taste for such displays; the 1959 marriage of the Shah of Iran to third wife Farah Diba – wearing a Yves Sant Laurent dress and a tiara by
Walter Bagehot, the most famous authority on the British constitution, made a distinction in the nineteenth century between those aspects which were ‘dignified’ – those that had a mostly ceremonial function, like the monarchy, Privy Council and, to a degree, the House of Lords – and the ‘efficient’ or ‘working’ aspects – like the Commons, departments of state and the law courts. (Moran, 2005, p. 71, points out that ‘dignified’ is not precisely the correct word to describe some of the behaviour of the RoyalFamily in recent decades.)
Humanitarian diplomacy and the cultures of appeasement in
the German Red Cross, Duke Carl Edouard Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was able to fraternise and proclaim his message of goodwill in the impeccably courteous manner of a member of the aristocracy (as grandson of Queen Victoria, he was related to the British as well as to many European royalfamilies). 24 Saxe-Coburg was a frequent guest of Queen Mary. That he was able to attend Buckingham Palace in full Nazi uniform without negative comment in the British press reflects both the appetite for appeasement in Britain at this time, including amongst the highest members of the
groundwork for fragile counter-intuitive alliances. Samaranch effectively redeemed himself for his Francoist past by becoming the first President of the Olympics Committee to see the Games hosted on home turf. He claims that, under the patronage of the Spanish royalfamily: ‘The unity amongst everyone and common sense prevailed: an efficient and innovative formula was found to integrate the always active Catalan civil society into the project; hence, the creation of the Barcelona-92 Association of businessmen.’ 34
If, as Keith Dinnie notes, ‘[i
-third of the land granted to him for allocation to the Swazis, the remainder of the land under concession would be held in freehold title. Native Swazis who resided on the land that had been made the private property of concession holders were given five years to live on the land without eviction.
The Swazi royalfamily enlisted the services of Seme to assist in claiming back its land. He represented King Sobhuza II when the matter was brought before a special court in Swaziland. 24 The Swazis lost the case, as well as a further appeal in
Philippa Gregory’s narratives of national grievance
mourning that was, according to Hilary Mantel, ‘a “natural and necessary” act of communion’ (Mantel, 2017 ). Diana’s death facilitated a form of national solidarity, of Benedict Anderson’s simultaneity, but its articulation was retrospective: it took the form of yearning for something that had been taken away (Anderson, 1983 : 23). The feeling engendered was grievance.
Popular disaffection with the rest of the royalfamily, though temporary, would have important long-term implications. The nationalism that emerged from it left the underlying principles of monarchy
favoured a parliamentary republic). Leka has been living in Albania
since 2002 and has been trying to move opinion polls in favour of the monarchy.
Even though he had been indicted for illegal weapons smuggling, after a long
debate, he obtained a diplomatic passport as an expression of Albania’s effort to
reintegrate the royalfamily into post-communist society. The party advocates
awarding the royalfamily special status and returning their property. It has very
little support in society and should be classified as a monarchist party.
21 This party emerged from a 1997
of everyone to set up their own organisations representing common interests, like political parties or trade unions, and to vote in choosing the government in regular elections.
Some aspects of the constitution are more controversial. Some of these are ancient and regarded as possibly past their utility:
The House of Lords has been mostly stripped of its hereditary peers but still (in 2009) awaits comprehensive reform.
The role of the monarchy is disputed by some who feel an elected head of state might be preferable. Since the lives of the royalfamily have
. Similarly, he argues (1995), on the basis of sixty-three in-depth
interviews, that the monarchy is generally accepted and that royalty is constantly in the news, not just for big events but in relation to minutiae and gossip
about the royalfamily. People are shown to have complex attitudes towards
royalty. They are accepting of them, but they may assume a ‘cheeky’ and critical familiarity with them. They may have an undertow of anger against the
‘hangers-on’ or propose that they would rather not have, themselves, to live the
life of constraint that must govern the lives