Friday, 29 April 2011

Is it Time to Redefine our Royal Family?

My feelings towards the newly wed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are somewhat ambivalent.  I wish them well as I would any other young couple setting out on the great adventure of married life.  However, there were aspects of the ceremony I was uncomfortable with, such as the military uniforms worn by the groom and others.  Do these have any place in a church, where we are supposed to be worshipping the Prince of Peace?

Why was it necessary to have bombers, machines of death, flying over the happy couple as they stood on the balcony? Is this how the royal family define themselves, as members of the military, aka killers, albeit in the defence of the realm?

Isn't it time we moved forward as a nation, away from glorifying war, just or otherwise?  Surely all war is destructive and should be avoided wherever possible.  I think in the 21st century an enlightened royal family should redefine itself as peacemakers and bridge builders, not as supporters of death and destruction, even if only in name.

The bombers flying over the bride reminded me of this song by Sydney Carter.


Crow on the Cradle by Sidney Carter

The sheep`s in the meadow
The cow`s in the corn
Now is the time for a child to be born
He`ll laugh at the moon
And cry for the sun
And if it`s a boy he`ll carry a gun
Sang the crow on the cradle

And if it should be that this baby`s a girl
Never you mind if her hair doesn`t curl
With rings on her fingers
And bells on her toes
And a bomber above her wherever she goes
Sang the crow on the cradle

The crow on the cradle
The black and the white
Somebody`s baby is born for a fight
The crow on the cradle
The white and the black
Somebody`s baby is not coming back
Sang the crow on the cradle

Your mother and father will sweat and they`ll slave
To build you a coffin and dig you a grave
Hush-a-bye little one, never you weep
For we`ve got a toy that can put you to sleep
Sang the crow on the cradle

Bring me my gun, and I`ll shoot that bird dead
That`s what your mother and father once said
The crow on the cradle, what can we do
Ah, this is a thing that I`ll leave up to you
Sang the crow on the cradle
Sang the crow on the cradle


  1. Well said, I totally agree.

    We've not seen or heard anything about the wedding & having limited internet & no TV, we probably won't for a while.

    Maybe this new generation of Royals will start to make changes for the better, though the military presence at the wedding isn't a very good start...

    Kay :)

  2. Hubby enjoyed watching the pageantry. It was good to have a glimpse of this special occasion in the life of our nation, but I find most of it is not to my taste. Being older, and hopefully wiser, I don't feel about it the way I did about Charles and Diana's wedding. Diana was born the same year as me and I identified with her for that reason. I was also young and romantic in those days.

    I think Charles has some good ideas, but even he was wearing his uniform. Perhaps when his mother dies the family might feel they can distance themselves from the military. I would hope so.

  3. Like you I wish William and Kate well in their marriage and I am reassured by the fact that it appears to have got off to a better start than that of his parents.

    However, because I am a republican and because I resent the expectation that I should be glued to the telly all day, I chose to take a walk in the country with my husband and some friends. The sky was grey but the rain held off and every now and then the sun popped out from behind the clouds. The roads were empty and we had no problem finding a table for lunch at the pub. Perfect.

    So all I've seen of the wedding were edited highlights on the news. I agree entirely with your views on the military presence in what should have been a celebration of love. I hope you're right about its influence declining in the next generation but I fear the links are too strong.

  4. sounds like a good day for a walk, cool but dry.


All relevant comments to this post are welcome, so feel free to have your say.