The Princess Diatribe

Loretta_5_2       From Loretta:
      
      While some of the other Wenches go to Atlanta for the Romance Writers of America convention–which. in my opinion, is very hard work–the rest of us are going to party.

Lc_barbieparty_1_      Here we are.  I know it looks like a lot, but three of us are Geminis, which increases the Wench population exponentially.
      So I’m going to focus on the trivial.  Trivial-er than usual, I mean.
      I was sitting in the doctor’s office the other day, reading last month’s Ladies Home Journal.  The cover story was about the Duchess of York–AKA Fergie-and her two daughters, Beatrice and Benedict.  No, that’s Shakespeare.  I mean Beatrice and Eugenie.  The older one is about to make her social debut.  As a writer of stories revolving around an imaginary aristocracy, I know more than is mentally healthy about bluebloods’ comeouts.
      At about age 17 or 18, privileged young ladies were presented at Court.  The funny thing is, the ladies of the Regency era had to wear clothes from their grandmothers’ heyday:  hoop skirts and plumes.  Because the Queen said so.
      Candice Hern has some fabulous pictures of these costumes:
      http://candicehern.com/collections/06/court_dresses.htm
      Since Candice explains the presentation at Court so beautifully, and with illustrations, I strongly advise those who want to know more to read what she has to say.
      Back to the Duchess of York.
      May I say, first, I am not addicted to the Royal Family.  The trouble is, they, like Angelina Jolie, are impossible to avoid–although at the moment Angelina seems to have beaten them out for the Most in Sight in The Magazine Racks At The Supermarket Checkout Counter Award.  May I also say, for the record, that I am sick to death of Angelina Jolie and I don’t even read those magazines.  Yet one more reason I wish I had servants to do my shopping for me.
      This is not to say I haven’t opinions about the Royal Family.  For one thing, one can’t avoid seeing and hearing more about them than is, in my opinion, strictly necessary to a balanced life.  I don’t think even the Dalai Lama can avoid them no matter how hard he meditates.  For another, knowing their history is part of my job.
      Thanks to my job, I also know that the cult of celebrity is nothing new.  Some say it started in Regency times.  Look at Beau Brummell.  But he at least did something useful, in encouraging aristocrats to bathe more frequently and wear clean clothes.  Look at Lord Byron.  At least he wrote some fine poems (Don Juan is, I think, brilliant).  Even the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who made today’s royals look like models of rectitude and sanity, did leave us some beautiful buildings and a lot of neat stuff in various British museums and libraries.
      Which brings me back to the Duchess of York.  She said that her daughters would share the comeout  party (I think I remember this part correctly) and the theme would be 1888 because, among other things–and this part I remember distinctly–they love PRIDE & PREJUDICE.
      Now, this wasn’t all Fergie had to say in the interview.  People got their panties all in a bunch because she said she and her daughters were couch potatoes–so all the health advocates and diet people and a lot of others got all self-righteous and slammed her for watching TV all day.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how she can be a couch potato yet get her picture taken at this charity event and that celebrity event or fashion show or whatever or doing something people don’t approve of or wearing the wrong clothes or losing or gaining weight or whatever.  If all she did was watch TV all day, what would the photographers have to take pictures of?  And if they didn’t have anything to take pictures of, how could she be on all those supermarket magazine covers, where I can’t escape her, no matter what I do?  Not that I care how much TV she & her daughters watch.  It’s not like they’re supposed to be running the country or are in charge of nuclear weapons or anything.  So all the ranting and raving about the couch potato thing struck me as illogical at the very least.
      But no one seems to have noticed the part that drove me completely insane.  You know, though, don’t you?
Regency_lady       You know that PRIDE & PREJUDICE came out during the Regency period, in 1813 to be precise.  Since I’m one of those dreadful Renegades who uses the broad social/cultural definition of Regency era (I have tomes on my shelves that do the same thing, so let’s not get into that argument, please) rather than the strictly legal definition (1811-1820), I would give more leeway than most regarding what is and isn’t Regency.  Still, as broad as my definition is, it stops at the moment Victoria is crowned queen.  This is in 1837, 51 years before 1888.  Half a century.
      1888 is Victorian.Victorian_lady   Nothing borderline about it.  The world of 1888 is pretty much the antithesis of Jane Austen’s world.
      So fine, I don’t expect members of the Royal Family to know much about history.  If they did, they’d quit repeating it, and then a lot of photographers would be jobless.  But you’d think that somewhere along the road to this big comeout, some one of the advisers and assistants and secretaries and such who take care of these sheltered ladies would have gently pointed out that 1888 and the PRIDE & PREJUDICE theme were not a match, that it’s like saying you want to do a SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER party because you love doing the Charleston.

      But what I really want to know is, Are they going to wear corsets?
      

51 thoughts on “The Princess Diatribe”

  1. I wondered whether 1888 might be the reporter’s typo…for 1798. Which is within a year or so of the actually writing of JA’s first draft of P&P.
    But somehow I don’t think the Duchess is quite that informed about JA’s writing career.
    Fergie has reportedly contracted with a major publisher to write “historical” novels, the first is supposedly the story of some obscure Irish ancestress. I reckon it’ll be a red-haired one.
    Thanks, Loretta, for giving me a good laugh–and a groan!
    From one who–like you–prefers New England to Atlanta in July

    Reply
  2. I wondered whether 1888 might be the reporter’s typo…for 1798. Which is within a year or so of the actually writing of JA’s first draft of P&P.
    But somehow I don’t think the Duchess is quite that informed about JA’s writing career.
    Fergie has reportedly contracted with a major publisher to write “historical” novels, the first is supposedly the story of some obscure Irish ancestress. I reckon it’ll be a red-haired one.
    Thanks, Loretta, for giving me a good laugh–and a groan!
    From one who–like you–prefers New England to Atlanta in July

    Reply
  3. I wondered whether 1888 might be the reporter’s typo…for 1798. Which is within a year or so of the actually writing of JA’s first draft of P&P.
    But somehow I don’t think the Duchess is quite that informed about JA’s writing career.
    Fergie has reportedly contracted with a major publisher to write “historical” novels, the first is supposedly the story of some obscure Irish ancestress. I reckon it’ll be a red-haired one.
    Thanks, Loretta, for giving me a good laugh–and a groan!
    From one who–like you–prefers New England to Atlanta in July

    Reply
  4. Love the post, Loretta, and love that group photo of the Wenches! I think I’m the one in the plaid skirt. 😉
    Just a thought, but I wonder if the reporter may have written 1888 for 1818? It raises an interesting question as to who was more ignorant, Fergie or the interviewer. Or both.
    If Fergie is mistaking Victorian for Regency, and basing her daughters’ joint coming-out extravaganza on that misconception…whew, that is pretty shockin’ for a member of the Royals (even a commoner married into them, and out again). Maybe not so surprising for Fergie, who’s a delight in so many ways…but probably more tuned into contemporary life than any pesky historical detail. Ahem. Though in her position, getting her royal facts right is A Must.
    Candice’s site is truly fabulous and well worth highlighting (Yo, Candice, cheers to you!). I had read about the formal court dress but hadn’t paid much attention until lately, while writing my next Sarah Gabriel book. Interesting stuff!
    Susan/Sarah

    Reply
  5. Love the post, Loretta, and love that group photo of the Wenches! I think I’m the one in the plaid skirt. 😉
    Just a thought, but I wonder if the reporter may have written 1888 for 1818? It raises an interesting question as to who was more ignorant, Fergie or the interviewer. Or both.
    If Fergie is mistaking Victorian for Regency, and basing her daughters’ joint coming-out extravaganza on that misconception…whew, that is pretty shockin’ for a member of the Royals (even a commoner married into them, and out again). Maybe not so surprising for Fergie, who’s a delight in so many ways…but probably more tuned into contemporary life than any pesky historical detail. Ahem. Though in her position, getting her royal facts right is A Must.
    Candice’s site is truly fabulous and well worth highlighting (Yo, Candice, cheers to you!). I had read about the formal court dress but hadn’t paid much attention until lately, while writing my next Sarah Gabriel book. Interesting stuff!
    Susan/Sarah

    Reply
  6. Love the post, Loretta, and love that group photo of the Wenches! I think I’m the one in the plaid skirt. 😉
    Just a thought, but I wonder if the reporter may have written 1888 for 1818? It raises an interesting question as to who was more ignorant, Fergie or the interviewer. Or both.
    If Fergie is mistaking Victorian for Regency, and basing her daughters’ joint coming-out extravaganza on that misconception…whew, that is pretty shockin’ for a member of the Royals (even a commoner married into them, and out again). Maybe not so surprising for Fergie, who’s a delight in so many ways…but probably more tuned into contemporary life than any pesky historical detail. Ahem. Though in her position, getting her royal facts right is A Must.
    Candice’s site is truly fabulous and well worth highlighting (Yo, Candice, cheers to you!). I had read about the formal court dress but hadn’t paid much attention until lately, while writing my next Sarah Gabriel book. Interesting stuff!
    Susan/Sarah

    Reply
  7. Haha, Margaret and I posted our Typo Theories at the same time!
    Mercury is still playing tricks on us mere Earthlings. 🙂

    Reply
  8. Haha, Margaret and I posted our Typo Theories at the same time!
    Mercury is still playing tricks on us mere Earthlings. 🙂

    Reply
  9. Haha, Margaret and I posted our Typo Theories at the same time!
    Mercury is still playing tricks on us mere Earthlings. 🙂

    Reply
  10. see why cousins shouldn’t marry????????? they are an object lesson in inbreeding far superior to my local East Tennessee denizens!

    Reply
  11. see why cousins shouldn’t marry????????? they are an object lesson in inbreeding far superior to my local East Tennessee denizens!

    Reply
  12. see why cousins shouldn’t marry????????? they are an object lesson in inbreeding far superior to my local East Tennessee denizens!

    Reply
  13. Fergie and her daughters are couch potatoes? Excuuuuuse me! Doesn’t she have a job as spokesduchess for Weight Watchers?
    As for dates, a local TV station used to put up little “On this day” messages (like the end-of-column fillers in newspapers) during the fade-to-commercial. One day I caught “On this date in 1805 Nelson defeated the Spanish Armada at the Battle of Trafalgar.” (Admittedly, there was a Spanish fleet involved, but still….)
    Young ladies are no longer presented at Court these days; but back in the days when they were, it was a really important social rite of passage, because they couldn’t be invited to the Very Best Parties until they had been.
    One of the harbingers that Edward VIII (later Duke of Windsor) wasn’t going to be the Best King Ever happened at a summer garden-party presentation. Long lines of young ladies and their sponsors, wilting in the heat, waited to be presented.
    Then it began to rain. Edward grabbed his hat and ran for the Palace, leaving all those poor ladies who had waited so long sod out of luck!
    That bit of data comes from a favorite book of mine about Edward and Wallis, THE WINDSOR STORY by Charles J.V. Murphy and J. Bryan III; it’s wonderful because it’s full of juicy gossip and yet you can tell people you’re reading important contemporary social history.
    As for the pic, I had no idea so many of you were blondes! But you left me out!
    http://www.taguk.plus.com/towngate/images/Moles/Moled%20Wine.jpg

    Reply
  14. Fergie and her daughters are couch potatoes? Excuuuuuse me! Doesn’t she have a job as spokesduchess for Weight Watchers?
    As for dates, a local TV station used to put up little “On this day” messages (like the end-of-column fillers in newspapers) during the fade-to-commercial. One day I caught “On this date in 1805 Nelson defeated the Spanish Armada at the Battle of Trafalgar.” (Admittedly, there was a Spanish fleet involved, but still….)
    Young ladies are no longer presented at Court these days; but back in the days when they were, it was a really important social rite of passage, because they couldn’t be invited to the Very Best Parties until they had been.
    One of the harbingers that Edward VIII (later Duke of Windsor) wasn’t going to be the Best King Ever happened at a summer garden-party presentation. Long lines of young ladies and their sponsors, wilting in the heat, waited to be presented.
    Then it began to rain. Edward grabbed his hat and ran for the Palace, leaving all those poor ladies who had waited so long sod out of luck!
    That bit of data comes from a favorite book of mine about Edward and Wallis, THE WINDSOR STORY by Charles J.V. Murphy and J. Bryan III; it’s wonderful because it’s full of juicy gossip and yet you can tell people you’re reading important contemporary social history.
    As for the pic, I had no idea so many of you were blondes! But you left me out!
    http://www.taguk.plus.com/towngate/images/Moles/Moled%20Wine.jpg

    Reply
  15. Fergie and her daughters are couch potatoes? Excuuuuuse me! Doesn’t she have a job as spokesduchess for Weight Watchers?
    As for dates, a local TV station used to put up little “On this day” messages (like the end-of-column fillers in newspapers) during the fade-to-commercial. One day I caught “On this date in 1805 Nelson defeated the Spanish Armada at the Battle of Trafalgar.” (Admittedly, there was a Spanish fleet involved, but still….)
    Young ladies are no longer presented at Court these days; but back in the days when they were, it was a really important social rite of passage, because they couldn’t be invited to the Very Best Parties until they had been.
    One of the harbingers that Edward VIII (later Duke of Windsor) wasn’t going to be the Best King Ever happened at a summer garden-party presentation. Long lines of young ladies and their sponsors, wilting in the heat, waited to be presented.
    Then it began to rain. Edward grabbed his hat and ran for the Palace, leaving all those poor ladies who had waited so long sod out of luck!
    That bit of data comes from a favorite book of mine about Edward and Wallis, THE WINDSOR STORY by Charles J.V. Murphy and J. Bryan III; it’s wonderful because it’s full of juicy gossip and yet you can tell people you’re reading important contemporary social history.
    As for the pic, I had no idea so many of you were blondes! But you left me out!
    http://www.taguk.plus.com/towngate/images/Moles/Moled%20Wine.jpg

    Reply
  16. Two different quotes from other sources about the ball.
    “The year was picked as Beatrice was born at an unusual moment: 8.18pm on 8/8/1988.”
    “The theme of Saturday’s spectacular bash at Windsor Castle was an ‘1888 masked ball’ – to mark the fact that Beatrice was born, a century later, at 8.18pm on August 8, 1988. It also provided a neat link to her great-greatgreat grandmother, Victoria, after whose youngest daughter she was named.”
    So I’m suspecting that the interviewer incorrectly combined the fact that the girls like Pride and Prejudice and the theme of the ball.

    Reply
  17. Two different quotes from other sources about the ball.
    “The year was picked as Beatrice was born at an unusual moment: 8.18pm on 8/8/1988.”
    “The theme of Saturday’s spectacular bash at Windsor Castle was an ‘1888 masked ball’ – to mark the fact that Beatrice was born, a century later, at 8.18pm on August 8, 1988. It also provided a neat link to her great-greatgreat grandmother, Victoria, after whose youngest daughter she was named.”
    So I’m suspecting that the interviewer incorrectly combined the fact that the girls like Pride and Prejudice and the theme of the ball.

    Reply
  18. Two different quotes from other sources about the ball.
    “The year was picked as Beatrice was born at an unusual moment: 8.18pm on 8/8/1988.”
    “The theme of Saturday’s spectacular bash at Windsor Castle was an ‘1888 masked ball’ – to mark the fact that Beatrice was born, a century later, at 8.18pm on August 8, 1988. It also provided a neat link to her great-greatgreat grandmother, Victoria, after whose youngest daughter she was named.”
    So I’m suspecting that the interviewer incorrectly combined the fact that the girls like Pride and Prejudice and the theme of the ball.

    Reply
  19. Ah, thank you, Denise. I was wondering why Fergie had pulled the date 1888 out of a hat if she clearly knew nothing about Pride and Prejudice. One doesn’t just throw out made-up dates. But I’d still like the corset questions answered.

    Reply
  20. Ah, thank you, Denise. I was wondering why Fergie had pulled the date 1888 out of a hat if she clearly knew nothing about Pride and Prejudice. One doesn’t just throw out made-up dates. But I’d still like the corset questions answered.

    Reply
  21. Ah, thank you, Denise. I was wondering why Fergie had pulled the date 1888 out of a hat if she clearly knew nothing about Pride and Prejudice. One doesn’t just throw out made-up dates. But I’d still like the corset questions answered.

    Reply
  22. Thanks for mentioning my site, Loretta. Glad you guys liked the court dresses. I think they’re perfectly ridiculous!
    I’m lining up here on the side of the reporter being the idiot. Yes, there is the issue of too much inbreeding perhaps affecting the royal brain power. But in this case, I’m betting it was the reporter at fault.

    Reply
  23. Thanks for mentioning my site, Loretta. Glad you guys liked the court dresses. I think they’re perfectly ridiculous!
    I’m lining up here on the side of the reporter being the idiot. Yes, there is the issue of too much inbreeding perhaps affecting the royal brain power. But in this case, I’m betting it was the reporter at fault.

    Reply
  24. Thanks for mentioning my site, Loretta. Glad you guys liked the court dresses. I think they’re perfectly ridiculous!
    I’m lining up here on the side of the reporter being the idiot. Yes, there is the issue of too much inbreeding perhaps affecting the royal brain power. But in this case, I’m betting it was the reporter at fault.

    Reply
  25. Great blog, Loretta.
    When you wrote something about 1888 and P&P I thought too, “Duh? What has one got to do with the other.” But then Fergie isn’t really a royal. And who knows how screwed up the reporters are.
    Where are they living now? See how well I keep up with the Royals and the Queen is still queen of this Dominion of Canada.

    Reply
  26. Great blog, Loretta.
    When you wrote something about 1888 and P&P I thought too, “Duh? What has one got to do with the other.” But then Fergie isn’t really a royal. And who knows how screwed up the reporters are.
    Where are they living now? See how well I keep up with the Royals and the Queen is still queen of this Dominion of Canada.

    Reply
  27. Great blog, Loretta.
    When you wrote something about 1888 and P&P I thought too, “Duh? What has one got to do with the other.” But then Fergie isn’t really a royal. And who knows how screwed up the reporters are.
    Where are they living now? See how well I keep up with the Royals and the Queen is still queen of this Dominion of Canada.

    Reply
  28. All right. If this was Fergie’s confusion, that was aggravating enough. But if it was the reporter’s, grrrr. I could do another whole diatribe, starting with the lack of fact-checking these days. I could ask whether all the copy editors have been laid off or are on really good drugs. (You should see the howlers in my local newspaper.) And now I’m feeling sorry for poor Fergie. As a romance author, I have plenty of experience with interviewers who get things wrong, take stuff out of context, and jump on the tired old “bodice ripper” bandwagon, believing they’ve come up with a really brilliant and original angle. Denise, thank you for the link to the pix. Since the 1880s aren’t my area of expertise, I have no idea how authentic the gowns are, but they are beautiful.

    Reply
  29. All right. If this was Fergie’s confusion, that was aggravating enough. But if it was the reporter’s, grrrr. I could do another whole diatribe, starting with the lack of fact-checking these days. I could ask whether all the copy editors have been laid off or are on really good drugs. (You should see the howlers in my local newspaper.) And now I’m feeling sorry for poor Fergie. As a romance author, I have plenty of experience with interviewers who get things wrong, take stuff out of context, and jump on the tired old “bodice ripper” bandwagon, believing they’ve come up with a really brilliant and original angle. Denise, thank you for the link to the pix. Since the 1880s aren’t my area of expertise, I have no idea how authentic the gowns are, but they are beautiful.

    Reply
  30. All right. If this was Fergie’s confusion, that was aggravating enough. But if it was the reporter’s, grrrr. I could do another whole diatribe, starting with the lack of fact-checking these days. I could ask whether all the copy editors have been laid off or are on really good drugs. (You should see the howlers in my local newspaper.) And now I’m feeling sorry for poor Fergie. As a romance author, I have plenty of experience with interviewers who get things wrong, take stuff out of context, and jump on the tired old “bodice ripper” bandwagon, believing they’ve come up with a really brilliant and original angle. Denise, thank you for the link to the pix. Since the 1880s aren’t my area of expertise, I have no idea how authentic the gowns are, but they are beautiful.

    Reply
  31. Candice, I love your site. It’s where I go to play when my brain stalls and I need visual stimulation. I agree the dresses are ridiculous, but it’s fabulous that we can see them in all their insanity.

    Reply
  32. Candice, I love your site. It’s where I go to play when my brain stalls and I need visual stimulation. I agree the dresses are ridiculous, but it’s fabulous that we can see them in all their insanity.

    Reply
  33. Candice, I love your site. It’s where I go to play when my brain stalls and I need visual stimulation. I agree the dresses are ridiculous, but it’s fabulous that we can see them in all their insanity.

    Reply
  34. For all you Canadians:
    Viagra gelato in Vancouver?
    Posted Jul 19th 2006 12:03PM by Nicole Weston
    At Boing Boing, there was a post that was too odd not to pass along. One of their readers sent them a photo they snapped of viagra gelato.
    Before you get too excited, it’s not really made with viagra. The gelato is really flavored with limoncello, which is a light, lemon-flavored liquor, and dyed blue. It is sold at the Amato Gelato Cafe or in Vancouver, BC, so if you’re in the area and are looking for something novel, head over and give it a try. At the very least, you’ll probably be able to give your friends a little scare. And if you prefer something a little less blue, their other flavors range from green tea to hazelnut.
    http://www.slashfood.com/2006/07/19/viagra-gelato-in-vancouver

    Reply
  35. For all you Canadians:
    Viagra gelato in Vancouver?
    Posted Jul 19th 2006 12:03PM by Nicole Weston
    At Boing Boing, there was a post that was too odd not to pass along. One of their readers sent them a photo they snapped of viagra gelato.
    Before you get too excited, it’s not really made with viagra. The gelato is really flavored with limoncello, which is a light, lemon-flavored liquor, and dyed blue. It is sold at the Amato Gelato Cafe or in Vancouver, BC, so if you’re in the area and are looking for something novel, head over and give it a try. At the very least, you’ll probably be able to give your friends a little scare. And if you prefer something a little less blue, their other flavors range from green tea to hazelnut.
    http://www.slashfood.com/2006/07/19/viagra-gelato-in-vancouver

    Reply
  36. For all you Canadians:
    Viagra gelato in Vancouver?
    Posted Jul 19th 2006 12:03PM by Nicole Weston
    At Boing Boing, there was a post that was too odd not to pass along. One of their readers sent them a photo they snapped of viagra gelato.
    Before you get too excited, it’s not really made with viagra. The gelato is really flavored with limoncello, which is a light, lemon-flavored liquor, and dyed blue. It is sold at the Amato Gelato Cafe or in Vancouver, BC, so if you’re in the area and are looking for something novel, head over and give it a try. At the very least, you’ll probably be able to give your friends a little scare. And if you prefer something a little less blue, their other flavors range from green tea to hazelnut.
    http://www.slashfood.com/2006/07/19/viagra-gelato-in-vancouver

    Reply
  37. Hmm, well, my guess is the reporter was woefully ignorant of history. As are so many people these days. I often hear people talking about ancient history, only to discover they’re referring to something that happened in the 1500s.

    Reply
  38. Hmm, well, my guess is the reporter was woefully ignorant of history. As are so many people these days. I often hear people talking about ancient history, only to discover they’re referring to something that happened in the 1500s.

    Reply
  39. Hmm, well, my guess is the reporter was woefully ignorant of history. As are so many people these days. I often hear people talking about ancient history, only to discover they’re referring to something that happened in the 1500s.

    Reply

Leave a Comment