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Jun 30, 2012

God Save The Queen

I learned something today which really drove home how fortunate and convenient we have things in our modern society. I know I take food and shelter for granted, but this tidbit emphasized how spoiled I really am - and how much "common" society has grown complacent with receiving what its members want with little sacrifice.
The piece of trivia: In 1947, Princess Elizabeth of England (now Queen) had difficulties getting material for her wedding dress. Because of the devastation left over from World War II (remember this is two years after its end), even the heir to the throne could not "simply buy" a wedding dress or even the materials for it to be made. Knowing this, the young lady devised a frugal and strategic plan. For the next four months she saved enough ration coupons to purchase the material and hired a designer, albeit an upscale designer, to fashion her gown.
Perhaps she learned this thinking from her royal upbringing, but I like to think it was due to her training as a mechanic in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. Yes, the Queen was original a mechanic in auxillary service to the British Armed Forces.
Despite the surprise of labor skills acquired by the top-upper class, the fascinating thing to me is the royals and politicians were subject to the same laws as the "common" folk of England. The concept of equal application of the law really meant something in America's mother country, especially in a time of crisis and recession.
This makes me think about the changes over the past half of a century. If the then-future-queen of England was not too good to have to ration with the rest of her countrymen, from where has this concept of entitlement come - an attitude that seems quite pervasive among every class today? Is it a social change? Can technological convenience and human laziness be the explanation? Does the reason lie in a more complex web of several factors?
I'm not sure if the answer is knowable, but this simple story of prudence has made me rethink the "snootiness" of royalty and ponder the idea that all upper-class are out of touch.

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