Sunday, November 1, 2015

More Etiquette and Dollar Princesses

English society resented the way the Prince of Wales, Queen Victoria’s oldest son, was so keen on the interlopers. But he defended his choice saying, "American girls are livelier, better educated, and less hampered by etiquette. They are not so squeamish as their English sisters and they are better able to take care of themselves." The prince, or Bertie as he was known, almost certainly had an affair with Jennie Churchill and was friendly with a number of the dollar princesses. 

Bertie once said to Winston Churchill, "If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t be here" – the implication being that without Bertie’s patronage, a British aristocrat such as Lord Randolph Churchill would not have married a mere American like Jennie Jerome. As Jennie says in her memoirs in 1910, "Thirty years ago, in England as well as on the Continent, the American woman was looked upon as a strange abnormal creature with habits and manners something between a Red Indian and a Gaiety Girl."
– Daisy Goodwin for Daily Mail Online's "Cash for Titles: The Billion Dollar Ladies"

Transatlantic Marriages Begin with a Show and Usually End up with a "Show—Up" 
– More from "Rita" on America's Dollar Princesses

"Example after example we have had, and still will have. The American Duchess, or Princess, or Countess, or Baroness soon learns to loathe her empty honors. She is been spoiled, petted, adored in her own land by her compeers. But when it comes to holding her own against blue-blooded rank, against European exclusiveness, against the heredity assurance of the well-born and a haughty aristocrats of Court circles, she feel she is as out of place as a ballet dancer in a monastery.

This does not mean that the American Duchess or Countess is not very charming, very chic, very popular, but it doesn't mean that she is only a sham Duchess, a copy of a Countess, and that the genuine article always makes the imitation look–well, let us say– an imitation. No one is to blame except the nationality that marks division. When the Daughter of Independence takes a fancy to a title, or desires to exchange democracy for royal prerogatives, her adoring parents never seek to deny her wishes. On the contrary, they beat them with such glittering temp that the foolish princeling or needy peer rushes into clinch the bargain with all possible speed.          
Winston Churchill, Lady Jenny Jerome, and Randolph Churchill – "American girls are livelier, better educated, and less hampered by etiquette." – Queen Victoria's son, the Prince of Wales, aka "Bertie"

It's a purchase money is paid; the press has a good time in cataloguing presents and making ludicrous mistakes over the arrogance of titles. The beautiful bride (no American bride was ever anything else) is carried off into exclusive banishment, there to find out the worth of her bargain, or reconcile herself to its obligations.

But the free and enlightened spirit usually kicks at restraint, mocks at feudal customs, and lives by "comparisons," the aristocratic union soon falls short of promised bliss. Sometimes for sake of pride, for fear of mockery, the disappointed wife puts up with dissolution and consoles herself with frequent visits to her own beloved land and the home of her dyspeptic but heavily dollared "poppa."
From 1933 – Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage comprises information concerning the royal family, the peerage and baronetage. First published in 1769 and revised every 5 years. It is a comprehensive guide to the titled nobility of the United Kingdom.

Sometimes the English husband or the foreign "blackguard" agreed to go their way and leave the American wife to go hers–irrespective of confusion in Debrett, or the Almanac de Gotha. Sometimes a real desire for genuine happiness and the real things of true marriage give one or other the courage to break conventional fetters. But very, very rarely doesn't happen that the transatlantic marriage is a suitable or happy one.

When I visited American homes and noted the paramount importance of the wife I was not surprised that the American girl does not bear transplanting. We may be "cousins"; we may even regard ourselves as belonging to the same race, but apart from far-off claims of blood or birthright, the American, and the English are absolutely foreign to each other. They live a different life, they hold a different creed, (of honesty,) they speak a different language (metaphorically,) they are domestically and physiologically apart in all matters appertaining to domestic life. Each in his own country is admirable and admirably suited to what that country demands, but let them change places and they are a failure all the time." – By " Rita" in the New York Times, 1910

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber is the Site Moderator and Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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