Success can only be measured in relative terms.
Sure, a guy who lives in a palace and is married to a literal princess might sound like he’s wildly successful, but if the same dude had six royal titles and a full crew of servants before he learned to walk, then his situation as a grown up is a little less impressive, innit?
So when we call Prince Charles and his siblings losers, we’re not blindly hurling the Trumpian L-word at some undeserving targets who have actually accomplished a great deal.
No, by the only metric that matters — namely, the effort an individual puts into availing themselves of the talents and opportunities that are presented to them — the Queen’s kids deserve the loser label at least as much as their various lord- and ladyships.
And apparently, the Queen is well aware that she birthed a crop of failsons (and one daughter).
Author Robert Hardman has written a new biography of QE2 titled Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II.
In a new excerpt published by Peoole magazine, Hardman claims that the Queen has been known to lapse into depression when she considers that three of her four children have gotten divorced.
“Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting,” Hardman writes.
“Another former member of the Household recalls that, every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair.”
“It distressed her much more than she let on,” a former staffer reportedly told Hardman.
“I said, ‘Ma’am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice.’ But she just said, ‘Three out of four!’ in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn’t underestimate the pain she’s been through.”
Yes, it seems that the Queen was quite upset about the fact that her children encountered so many marital difficulties.
We would have thought that she would be more upset about the fact that Prince Andrew recently settled his sexual assault case out of court with money he borrowed from the Crown.
But maybe that’s a generational/cultural difference between mere mortals and centenarian monarchs.
Through all the ups and downs of her many, many years on the throne, however, Liz has maintained the stiffest of upper lips.
“I don’t remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she exclaimed, ‘No! What next?’ ” her former press secretary Charles Anson told Hardman.
“The issue was sometimes embarrassing, but she got on with it. It is immensely reassuring in those situations to work for someone who isn’t knocked back.”
Hardman says the Queen learned her approach to difficult times from her father, George VI, best known to Americans as homie from that King’s Speech movie.
“Her mother’s strategy in these situations— to carry on as if they were not happening—had earned her the nickname ‘imperial ostrich’ among royal staff,” Hardman writes.
“The Queen’s response, as ever, was to follow the example of her father, absorbed from his days at sea, and to treat adversity like the ocean.”
“Storms will come and go, some worse than others,” says former UK prime minister Sir John Major of the Queen’s mentality.
“But she will always put her head down and plough through them. The Queen has always lived by the doctrine, ‘This too shall pass,” Major recalled.
“While the Queen has sometimes been accused of being slow to act, there has never been a charge of panic. Her default mode in the face of a crisis is stillness,” Hardman writes.
Well, that stillness has certainly been on display in recent years amid the Andrew scandal and Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family.
The only problem is that the Elizabeth’s chronically inert children seem to have learned a little too well from that example!