In a nutshell, the takeaway message from my previous post, “Lessons Learned from Queen Elizabeth, Part 1,” was this: duty and love rarely mix well. We looked at duty and love specifically through the eyes of the Church – between the Queen and her sister Margaret and her son Prince Charles. In both instances, all parties chose duty over love. In accordance with prevailing church doctrine, Queen Elizabeth denied her sister’s request to marry the divorced Mr. Townsend. And decades later, Queen Elizabeth dissuaded Prince Charles from pursuing Camilla.
In Part 2, we will see how love and this sense of duty became increasingly muddled as time passed. We go back to the early 1970s, when Queen Elizabeth’s son, Prince Charles, fell in love with Camilla. Although Charles was smitten with Camilla, his family disapproved. And the Queen made it quite clear that Camilla didn’t fit the mold for Prince Charles.
Love and Worthiness
Most of us are familiar with the love affair of Camilla and Prince Charles. Meeting in 1971, it was widely reported that they had fallen head over heels for each. However, from the very start, this relationship would prove to be problematic. According to a book by Penny Junor, The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown, Camilla was not “perceived as aristocratic enough to be a princess.” Perhaps Queen Elizabeth didn’t think so either.
So, why was it so crucial for Queen Elizabeth to have a more “suitable” daughter-in-law? No one will know for sure, yet one can surmise it was due to the public’s perception that Camilla wasn’t “good enough.” In other words, this potential spouse of the prince would not be a positive role model. Would the future princess have what it took to be a royal? The Queen and many others no doubt didn’t think so.
Questions to Ask
What does it mean to be “good enough?”
What does it mean to be a positive role model?
What does it mean to be a suitable wife to a future king?
In Proverbs 31, characteristics of a godly woman include lacking nothing of value, opening her arms to the poor, exhibiting dignity and strength, and speaking with wisdom. No one would argue that it would take a unique, powerful woman to hold such a public office. The potential princess must have a sound mind and a sense of duty to the monarchy and her husband.
Back to Queen Elizabeth. No one would argue that the Queen put duty first. Clearly, she did not see Camilla as a suitable wife for Charles. And consequently, she did what she could to derail the Camilla and Charles romance. Had the Queen minded her own business, Camilla could have very well been Prince Charles’ first and only wife. For him, it was a matter of love. For his mother, it was a matter of duty to the monarchy, the Church of England, and its traditions.
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