Monday, July 22, 2013

Blue Blood

Waking up to social networking updates and news about the royal birth and that too a male heir to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, I smile. Hate it or love it, the lives of the monarchy continue to fascinate us. Quite reminds me of the movies I've been watching in recent times about the nobility and aristocracy of England.

A movie that stayed in my mind was "The Duchess" based on the life of Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire, who was quite a fashionista and created quite a scandal in the late 18th century. Keira Knightley does a brilliant job portraying the character of the Duchess and the trials and tribulations that she faced for not bearing a male heir till much later brings out the social prejudices prevalent. Not so different from the mindset of majority of our population in our nation where giving birth to a son is still paramount and female infanticide is pretty common.

This obsession with giving birth to boys reminds me of a whatsapp group conversation with our friend, Ashwini last week. The lengths people go through to have a male child. Apparently, since male baby causing sperms die very quickly, they work best only on the exact day of ovulation and the closer it is deposited to the cervix, the better the chances of fertilization, so there are techniques to get there. Several other superstitions abound such as eating asparagus before coitus (am too influenced by Sheldon  from TBBT these days) and not eating strawberries as they can cause a girl child to be born. Phew!

Back to the royals, the conservative nature and rigidness of the royal customs were and still are a sharp contrast to the infidelities and betrayal played out in their lives. Guess it was a kind of rebellion against very strict protocols. In modern times, it seems to continue going by the tabloid gossip of royal lives such as Prince Charles, Lady Diana, Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson and now Prince William and Prince Harry.

Our obsession with the monarchy remains even after we realize that all those fairy tales we read about finding our Prince Charming and living happily ever after is not so true. It sometimes takes a few takes before happily ever after such as in the case of Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee for whom King Edward abdicates the throne. If you watch the movie W.E. based on the life of King Edward VIII, you realize that it was not quite happily ever either. W.E. is a must-watch brilliant movie for those interested to get a sneak peek into the lives of royalty and is produced and directed by Madonna.

Talking about royalty, wonder why we still cling on to old institutions such as the monarchy that are inherited and not merit-based even in these times of so called democracy? Is it because there is something so romantic about the royal lineage that we hate to let go of archaic conventions our minds have grown so used to after reading all those stories of kings and queens across the world and spanning centuries?

1 comment:

Kateview said...

Sara it's unbelievable what u felt and wrote, I thought on similar lines...very well written and I will watch both the movies