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04:30 PM on 12/17/2009
God Save the Federal Republic of Britain!
11:21 AM on 12/18/2009
But Britain has a monarchy...
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NotesFromME
11:36 AM on 12/18/2009
Never will happen. If the monarchy goes, Scotland will bolt, as will Wales.
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mratcheson
04:28 PM on 12/17/2009
I know I'm going to love this film. Looking forward to see it!
07:17 PM on 12/17/2009
Same here. Good work.
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PhilipB
04:21 PM on 12/17/2009
I have been looking forward to seeing this movie. it opens tomorrow!
04:20 PM on 12/17/2009
Royalty today is an anachronism. Indeed, it has been since the Middle Ages.

There was once a role for royalty as leaders but that was long ago. With the advent of democracy the whole idea of kings and queens is absurd and enormously expensive. The British royal family is large and with all the earls and countesses and lords and ladies and dukes and duchesses and other hangers on (most of whom do nothing except exploit their titles) the cost dramatically outweighs the benefit. They now all have to be protected at taxpayer expense and most live rent free in "grace and favour" homes.

In Victorian times it was even worse. The arrogance was astonishing. Victoria behaved as if she were a godess and, unfortunately, the plebs treated her as though she were.

Britain, Holland, Sweden etc will eventually realize that it is a luxury that they can no longer afford.
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TwinX
Avast Ye, Birthers!
05:26 PM on 12/17/2009
"The Queen and the Royal Family cost the taxpayer 62p per person per year, Buckingham Palace accounts revealed today." from a report in The Independent, a UK newspaper in 2006

Many Brits - aside from those who definitely want abolition - have mixed feelings about various members of the Royal Family, but that doesn't mean calls for abolition are wildly popular - they are not.

Dunno about the mood of the Scands...you certainly can't lump them in with the Brits.

I would love to know what Sarah's opinion is of The Queen being sighted (and photographed) using a commuter train recently. That is something I never thought I would see. I was impressed. My own mother is the same age as the Queen and she is way too spoiled with family taking her around in cars to get on a train these days :)
09:29 PM on 12/17/2009
62p times 60 million is about 36 million pounds. However, the Duchy of Cornwall makes very large amounts of money for Charlie and, I expect, there are various other sources of vast income. This does not even take into account the fact that huge wealth has been passed down over the generations and that, until recently, the queen was not even subject to tax unlike the rest of us plebs. There are lots of other things paid for by the state. Again until recently, the Royal Yacht Britannia was at her beck and call. Is the Royal Flight (planes) paid for by the Crown? When Andy boy flies up and down to St Andrews to play golf who pays?
As I said before, there was a time for royalty, when people believed them to be "superior". That time has long passed. They are just human beings like you and I.
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greymom
01:56 PM on 12/18/2009
62 pence? That is nothing, just about a buck. A bargain at any price. Did you see the queen boarding a train today? Priceless, the old dear is a winner.
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NotesFromME
11:54 AM on 12/18/2009
You obviously know very little about the monarchy. Most of the other peerages (Dukes, Earls, etc.) are supported by their own properties, those who obtain peerages don't receive income for it, and the Civil List (family members who get stipends) has been pared down to a very small number. The Monarchy in Britain pulls in billions of tourist dollars each year, far more than it costs. If someone "exploits" the fact that they have a title, so what? Don't American boors with money exploit their "positions?"

The Monarchy and the Royal Family have their perks, but also work their tails off giving back to the country. All the males have served in the military which is a far better record than most US politicians.

The Monarchy is deeply rooted in the British psyche and an essential element of governance. The Sovereign binds together some very disparate territories that would be separate countries otherwise. It is far better to have a neutral, stable, and revered monarch at the head of the state than a slimy politician. They are the focus of unity. PMs come and go, but the Queen is always there--as a symbol of the enduring stability of the state. It works for Britain (Spain, the Netherlands, and many other countries), America is something else entirely. The Constitution is our monarch, in essence. What that means is far more problematic than who might inherit a throne.
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04:17 PM on 12/17/2009
It was a great love story - thanks for writing the blog.

The most heart-breaking thing about Albert's death is how Victoria couldn't believe she hadn't died with him. Because she couldn't imagine life without him she had always been convinced that they would die on the same day. After his death, she would fall asleep clutching his nightgown.
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IndependentBadger
07:36 PM on 12/17/2009
Yeah, and George Washington couldn't tell a lie.

And gullible isn't actually in the dictionary (check it out!).
04:03 PM on 12/17/2009
I have read quite a bit about Victoria. It seems her passion for Albert was not returned as much as she would have wished. Also, her reign was doing a great unrest in Europe. Listening to the people and enacting some reforms is the only reason the British Monarchy still exists.

It seems America's powerbase could learn a lot from Victoria.
Robert Mackey
Historian and Retired Combat Veteran
03:58 PM on 12/17/2009
Albert did a final last, great thing before his untimely death. He managed to prevent a war between the United States (then in our great Civil War) and the United Kingdom, by toning down what was basically an ultimatum to President Lincoln (over the Trent Affair). Victoria's advisors wanted to take advantage of the situation and teach the upstart Republic a lesson, and Victoria herself became quite agitated. However, Albert's wisdom and counsel gave Lincoln a way out of the situation and placated all concerned.

Had it ended differently, it is quite likely that the UK and the US would have went to war a third time. And I do not believe that the Union would have forgotten the war anytime soon, as the Americans were in the depth of civil war and were 'attacked' by an outside nation. This would not have boded well for the UK in 1914-1918...

Albert was a great man, and one of the great peacemakers of the nineteenth century; a liberal and wise man ahead of his time.
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dim
one in a can
04:29 PM on 12/17/2009
Yeah, he even wanted to knight Darwin. Didn't work.
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IndependentBadger
07:45 PM on 12/17/2009
You're completely missing the point.

If England hadn't HAD a monarch, and instead had a democracy, NO threat of war with America would have existed in the first place.

The only good royalty, is historical, posthumous royalty.
11:48 AM on 12/18/2009
Are we talking about the same Trent Affair? Monarchy or no the diplomatic blunder would have caused a stir... Also, you speak in tones that lead me to believe you think Elizabeth II is sitting there on a throne yelling out orders that must be obeyed. GB has had a democratic govt. for centuries...
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01:31 PM on 12/24/2009
Democracies don't go to war?
03:06 PM on 12/17/2009
I attended a VIP screening in Seattle last night and I adored this film. I am still thinking about it. I studied English literature in college and the Victorian era was one of my favorites. I've always been fascinated with Victoria and her legend, as well as her humanity.

This is a beautiful film and I think it truly spotlights Victoria's spunk, wit, intelligence, curiosity, and sense of wonder. And it is also a gorgeous love story.

Bravo!
03:02 PM on 12/17/2009
As a very young military wife 40 years ago living away from home in Gemany for our first year, I was fortunate to receive a box of books- among them the biography of Queen Victoria by the Countess Longford. My goal after that was to visit the mausoleum of Victoria and Albert at Frogmore at Windsor. It's only open to the public on the Wednesday closest to Victoria's birthday in May. I got to visit it in 2002- in fact we planned our whole trip around it. It is worth a visit. The likeness of Albert was done at his death of course, but Victoria had hers done at the same time. The result is that her likeness is youthful, and her head is tilted, oh so slightly, in Albert's direction. Very moving.

Can't wait to see this film.
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boitexas
03:01 PM on 12/17/2009
Thanks for the post. I can't wait to see it. I'm not well read on Queen Victoria and the only movie I've seen is Mrs. Brown with Dame Judy Dench. I thought that was a great film.
Congrats on completing what sounds like a true passion. And glad it helped you get through the lonely times without your prince!
02:48 PM on 12/17/2009
The Victoria and Albert museum was just one of the many highlights I enjoyed while in England in 2000. It was beautiful, I'd love to go back and spend even more time there. I also saw one of the older versions of this love story and thought it was pretty good. I've just saved it to Netflix. The fact that you mentioned this is an all Brit cast and shot in Britain was enough for me. When I hear Hollywood, I just cringe. I am looking forward to it.
01:39 PM on 12/17/2009
My first experience with Queen Victoria was a book with a title something like "Girls Stories of Great Women." The chapter about Victoria began with her studying her ancestory in her schoolroom and realizing that she was next in line to be queen---don't know if this is historically correct but it was an interesting concept that she was not raised from birth to be queen. This story about her as a young girl never quite fit in with things that I read/heard about her later. I will be looking for this movie and am so glad that the intent was for it to be historically correct. The movie and book "The Other Bolyn Girl" drove me crazy because it was so far wide of history.
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04:18 PM on 12/17/2009
You'll be happy to know it really happened. She was eight, I think, and said very seriously to her tutor: "I will be good" when she realized that she was next in line.
10:29 PM on 12/17/2009
Thanks, jajenkins, for the information. It's a nice story and I was hoping it was true. Now I'm inspired to do more research.
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Jennifer Hagan
Expat Mother of two living in France.
01:23 PM on 12/17/2009
I saw it this summer. It was a beautiful love story. Except for the historical accuracy in one scene. For me, it didn't need to be added. It seemed like fluff. Albert didn't get shot during the attempt on Victoria from what I know. That was so unnecessary to add to the film. The film was fine already without all that dosh.
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CynAnne
Laureates in Fact and Reality
01:19 PM on 12/17/2009
Thank you, Lady Sarah, for giving us such personal 'behind the scenes' details on your research for what will no doubt become one of my favorite movies, and without a doubt your compassionate nature played a great role in your dedication and devotion to the telling of this true love story. I too am an admirer of Victoria and Albert's ardent love for one another, in a time when displays of affection were still given a 'proper time and place' - the way they cared for each another is evident in their correspondences (I have read some excerpts, and they are filled with tenderness that is timeless). I look forward to seeing this movie, and congratulate both you and the many other talented people involved in this film - it will surely be noted in the annals of both historical detail and fabled romance... :)
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natturnerx
i always ask myself
01:09 PM on 12/17/2009
wasnt that broad the queen of the brits during the height of their imperialism & arrogance? you'd have to be to the right of george the 3rd to support something like that.