If you think History is a burden, try being in the centre of a life that perpetually revolves around it, every sneeze, selfie, birth, divorce, illness, nuance, fragment, outfit gets written down everywhere so that everyone can look back and harken on your biggest successes and your most mortifying faux pas. Diana and Dodi anyone?
I wrote a nature vs nurture paper on Mary Queen of Scots, (mutter) years ago for Psychology 101, and it was enough to put me off forever.
In a nutshell…
Mary lost her father at 6 days, her mum at 18 years. She married the Dauphin of France at 16, he died 18 months later… She married her 1st cousin 4 years later and had his baby (because there aren’t many options when you’re a token for land and wealth) and she was unhappy with him, a year later his home exploded, and he died (oops, one of the hazards of his position I guess). The primary suspect upon acquittal, married her two months later. It caused major problem with the peasants and she was imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle.
She was forced to abdicate in favour of her lucky one year old son (next in line to the throne).
After failing the attempt to get her position back, she fled to England where she asked her cousin Elizabeth I to protect her. But because she’d inherited decisions her father had made before he died, and she’d once tried to uphold his claim to the throne of England, she was considered a threat by dear cousin Elizabeth I, who for all intents and purposes imprisoned her – of course it was nicer than the Tower of London, Mary Queen of Scots was kept in selected castles and manors under permanent custody – it must have been a riveting time of piano playing, croquet, tea, dalliances, bible reading and pottering about…
Nearly nineteen years later, Mary was found guilty of planning to assassinate Elizabeth and then executed immediately – freeing her to reincarnate as a talented peasant somewhere far, far away.
Then there are the secrets. Things you’re best never knowing, things its best to pretend you don’t, unspoken regrets, enigmatic treachery. Then there’s never really having the luxury to ever do exactly what you want without it being planned by everyone first. Everything you ever say, do and wear is up for discussion and condemnation. The hardest times in your life, the moments of deep regret and grief, will be isolated behind a wall of lenses and a barrage of flashes from everywhere.
Sure it’s easy to pass off grunt work to hardy and less disposable servants, but there are duties that remain with a sovereign authority for life that exist between the very first cell division, and the very last breath, and for the millennia to come.
I don’t think there is a period in history where I’d want to be born anywhere near the royal line, let alone at the head, or neck of it. All strength to the expectant Royal parents who look so happy and filled with so much love and pride that they are almost bursting with it, it’s lovely… and they have more than enough resources to invest in their babies and give them everything they need to take up their own places in history.