Monday, May 9, 2011

Kate is class, but which one?

Some fear that the monarchy is no longer considered "relevant". Well! those that turn on the television: they will see that the British (or their journalists, anyway) look more passionately than ever to queens and princes. Two things are obvious. One is the elasticity of the term "middle class", which belongs to this class, according to most observers, Kate Middleton.

The young woman is certainly not an aristocrat. She counts among her ancestors workers, and parents have worked in aviation (his mother as a stewardess, her father as coordinator of flights). But they have become millionaires after running Party Pieces, a company specialized in organizing parties for children.

Kate Middleton had a privileged childhood: studies at Marlborough College, a posh institution where the cost of education amounted to 30,000 pounds [34 000] per year, or about 4500 pounds [5100 euros] of more than the average annual salary for full-time in the United Kingdom. In my opinion, expression [middle class] that applies to the Middleton family as well as households whose annual income is less than the tuition of the old school of the future princess does not mean anything.

The second striking fact is, in some ways the exact opposite of the first. It concerns the reactions to the idea that a person without family crest dared to think of marrying a prince. In the UK, it is not enough to be rich to belong to high society, it must be long. The media, while rejoicing (at the very edge of the obsequious) in appearance, often leave their comments be reflected in a haunting and unpleasant snobbery.

In a prerecorded program, hastily broadcast on television [private] ITV2 at the announcement of the engagement, we questioned many college friends of Kate and William. Celebrity journalism has clearly struggled to accept that Miss Middleton has ideas well above his social status. The question that kept coming up was, in substance: "Kate is she an opportunist? "She prepared a plan to seduce the boy as soon as she knew they were studying the same university?" As if intriguing was the only way to win a vulgar commoner heir to the throne.

Friends of the couple, should be stressed, stressed that it was not. But as far as their obsession with the monarchy, the obsession for the British social classes has, alas, die hard.

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