Hereditas Historiae

Website hosted by Irène Diependaal to foster some historical knowledge necessary to understand our present times

A royal engagement in a troubled age

Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution, 1867:

'A family on the throne is an interesting idea also. It brings down the pride of sovereignty to the level of petty life. No feeling could seem more childish than the enthusiasm of the English at the marriage of the Prince of Wales. They treated as a great political event, what, looked at as a matter of pure business, was very small indeed. But no feeling could be more like common human nature as it is, and it is likely to be. The women - one half the human race at last - care fifty times more for a marriage than a ministry. All but a few cynics like to see a pretty novel touching for a moment the dry scenes of the grave world. A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such it rivets mankind... Just so a royal family sweetens politics by the seasonable addition of nice and pretty events. It introduces irrelevant facts which speak to 'men's bosoms' and employ their thought.'

Nicola Jennings - The Observer, 26 November 2017

Marten Morland - The Times, 28 November 2017

Martin Rowson - The Guardian, 28 November 2017

Dave Brown - The Independent, 28 November 2017

'MARKLE, Philip, dear. MEGHAN MARKLE! Harry's not marrying Angela Merkel!'

Mac - The Daily Mail, 28 November 2017

Matt - The Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2017

Brookes - The Daily Telegraph, 28 November 2017

Blower - The Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2017

Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution, 1867 (following the former quotation):

'To state the matter shortly, royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions. A Republic is a government in which that attention is divided between many, who are all doing uninteresting actions. Accordingly, so long as the human heart is strong and the human reason weak, royalty will be strong because it appeals to diffused feelings, and Republics weak because they appeal to the understanding.'

Postscript: Irène Diependaal has collected some editorial comments on the engagement and the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in another section of Hereditas Historia: On monarchy and royalty. Also a commentary by the present "Bagehot" in The Economist is published in this section. Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) was editor-in-chief of The Economist. In honour of his contributions The Economist's weekly comments on current affairs in the United Kingdom is called "Bagehot". It is  more or less the pen name of a modern editor of The Economist. 

Andrzej Krauze on the royal wedding: 'Across Europe, millions watched the ceremony as Britain’s preparations to leave the EU rumbled on' - Andrzej Krauze, The Guardian - 30 May 2018

Meghan is expecting a baby while Prime Minister May is in deep political trouble - Morland - The Times, 3 May 2019

"It's a boy!". A royal baby is delivered while a Brexit deal is overdue. - Morland - The Times, 3 May 2019

In the section "On monarchy and royalty": some more news and comments on the "royal baby", the first royal Instagram baby.