Privilege Blog

If Shonda Rhimes Had “Coronated” Charles, Or, Saturday Morning at 7:47am

I’ve never understood American’s fascination with the British royalty. While all countries enjoy ritual — we have the Met Gala, and the NBA All-Star game after all — why so much interest in London’s variety? Doesn’t seem to be political, as one of my avowed socialist acquaintances is the most fervent fan I know. In any case, I’m neither a historian nor a sociologist and therefore have no particularly insightful, well, insights into the phenomena.

But I’ve been watching Queen Charlotte, the most recent of the Bridgerton series. Absent overt analysis, without any spoilers for your Netflix experience, let me present my interpretation of today’s coronation fashions. In the tradition of the great Shonda Rhimes:

The Queen of Lesotho, Masenate Mahot Seeiso — via WWW

Queen of Lesotho in a blue dress

(Absolute perfection.)

The Queen of My Heart, Joanna Lumley — via WWW

Joanna Lumley in a navy dress with white hat

(Those shoes. I’m hers for life.)

The Queen of Malaysia, Tunka Aziza  — via WWW

The queen of Malaysia in a yellow outfit

(The king looks pretty grumpy but maybe his feet hurt.)

And finally, since we must represent the home nation,

Princess Anne of Great Britain — via WWW

Princess Anne of Great Britain

(Git you some tassels!)

And if anyone wants to discuss below why we are now saying, “coronated,” rather than “crowned,” and for that matter, “gifted” instead of the perfectly serviceable “given,” I’m here for it. To be honest I’m here for all of it but hey, gotta use those current idioms that we do support, in fairness.

Have a wonderful weekend!

23 Responses

  1. “(Those shoes. I’m hers for life.)”

    You’re reminding me of something. If you haven’t already seen the photo of Vanessa Redgrave at her “Damehood ceremony,” as the badge is pinned to her lapel by POW William, then be my guest. Uncombed bed head in a rubber band, WAY oversized bathrobe, house slippers and probably pajamas underneath. This is my version of “I’m hers for life.” I hope the image will screen up for you. xoxo

  2. it’s all ridiculous. we fought a war to get away from them, for goodness sake.

    i have tried to avoid all of it, but instagram is filled with rapturous photos. like i didn’t know it was happening and needed to be updated.

    1. Hahahahaha! But don’t you like the Queens and Princesses I’ve included here?

    2. Yes! A friend of mine said basically the same thing, “Didn’t we fight a war so we could stop paying attention to those [expletive deleted]?!”

      I won’t watch the Coronation, but I do eagerly await the next season of The Crown, go figure.

      1. Full disclosure: I did watch Harry and Meghan’s wedding, and their Oprah interview, and I read his book. The Monarchy is ridiculous and unnecessary. They are overpaid celebrity spokesmodels. Might as well watch The Kardashians.

        1. I have followed his interviews and her story too. The family doesn’t sound like it’s very easy to be part of if you want to be the kind of person I want to be.

      2. And I love so much about today’s Britain. I just don’t get the monarchy fandom.

  3. I could not watch the Bridgerton series. I found it to be ridiculous. At the same time, I do follow the British monarchy–probably because I am a student of history and find the fact that the UK still has a monarchy to be fascinating. There are some substantial biographies of the various members of the British royal family that are great social histories. I never really understood the aristocracy of the UK until I read those books. For me, it is all current history intertwined with a bit of the foibles of a set of people born into a very odd circumstance.

    1. I love the Bridgerton series because I love speculative fiction. That’s the kind of fiction where the author/creator takes the present or past of our actual world and adds speculative (AKA completely made up) bits and pieces. So it’s a What If kind of story. As a historian, I can see how you’d find it otherwise, and I can also see why you’re interested in the monarchy. Less as celebrities than as products of an era/set of circumstances. I also have some close British friends who would really like to see the end of the monarchy for a multitude of reasons, so I have come to share their point of view, as we do with close friends.

      1. I don’t particularly like speculative fiction at all. But to be fair, I read very little fiction. I TRY, but it just doesn’t hold my interest most of the time. I do read a lot of history, biography, and autobiography. I also enjoy history documentaries–especially those concerning English History. For me, following the monarchy of the UK from the very beginning to the present is fascinating. I see the current royal family in the UK as very much a “firm”, which is evidently what they sometimes call themselves. I see it as the struggle of a family to maintain their position . King Charles is very close to my own age so I have been following him all of my life, from the time he was very young and awkward, through the years of his marital unhappiness and finally this later period when he seems much happier as he is finally married to the woman he loves. The reigns of the various kings and queens form a framework upon which to study English History. They have even lent their names to eras. I know not everyone sees the royal family the way I do–as a vehicle for the study of history–both social and political. But for me, they encompass so many levels of ways to look at the world.

        1. And I can’t read long-form non-fiction! I find myself wanting non-fiction books to be articles full of hyper-links;). I do love historians though, who read the texts and help me understand their import.

          1. And I’ve read non fiction 800 page books like they are page turners! LOL It certainly takes all kinds!

  4. Ugh – the Met Gala does nothing for me.
    This event is interesting wardrobe-wise because it’s not celebrities squeezing themselves into the silliest costumes. Yes, there are costumes here, some even infused with tradition, but also some seriously dressed up people in clothing they picked because they wanted to represent their country with dignity, not because they wanted to get clicks. Brigitte Macron, someone whose style I’m not take with, had on the longest hemline I’ve ever seen her in. Charlene of Monaco, wore pants to a pre-event. Ann wore them to the big event, and her shoes fit my requirements. Everyone’s clothes fit well.
    I bought a quiche to commerate the event. They’re very handy. You cut a portion, heat it up, put the rest away for later.

    1. I feel that somehow the quiche should be a metaphor, but I’m not sure how;). I was wondering what Brigitte Macron wore.

    1. Aha! Thank you! I live for futile protest against nouns-made-verbs, apparently. I had no idea the word had ever been used before 2023, but maybe as Americans we get a pass for this kind of ignorance?

  5. Hmmm….I think “dynasties”, and inherited privilege have always held a universal fascination as a theme. It’s Shakespearean. My voyeuristic interest in watching and following the trials, tribulations, and celebrations of the English royals, has very little to do with my feelings about monarchies in general. It’s a real life soap opera, and who doesn’t like those?

  6. My husband being born, raised and educated in England and Scotland is a Royalist. It is in his blood. Americans love fictional royalty on the TV screen. Yet, seem no fan of the British Royal Family. As we all know, even Royalty has their own issues, biases and problems. That is life, regardless of station.

  7. Hehehe ….who doesn’t love a little Royalwood. Every country has “them”. We just don’t recognize it or respect it because it isn’t like our previous ….wood.

  8. There are plenty of us this side of the pond who have little interest in The Royal Family and their doings. Don’t believe the media coverage that implied that the whole population of the UK was glued to their television screens or at a coronation party. Many, many of us were not!

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