When you were a child, did you ever pretend that you were a member of a royal family? Did you dream of being a princess or a prince, attending balls, wearing beautiful clothes and jewels? Did you think the lives of royalty was one of people waiting upon them and allowing them to enjoy every day of frivolity? Here is some information that you should know about royal families.
I did a little research on the royal families of England, France and a little information of Spain. The truth is, I am not certain I would wish to be a royal.
If you were a princess you would not wish to be one in France, as there was never a Queen as ruler of the country. The closest France came was Catherine de Medici, who was the wife of King Henry II (died when he was 40), and mother of King Francis II (was 15 when became king, died at 16), King Charles IX (10 when became king, 23 when died), and King Henry III (was 22 when became king, 37 when died). As her sons were young when each became King of France, Catherine was instrumental in their reign and was the regent for Charles IX. In England, there were 9 queens to rule over the country, and the length of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth II were each far longer than most of the men who ruled as King of England. Spain had a few females rule over the country, but nothing in comparison to England.
Another reason you would not wish to be the ruler of France is the life expectancy. Starting in the year 481, there were far more kings who died before the age of thirty. There were only 4 French kings who lived to older than 60. There was one king who was born king, and survived 5 days before dying. Born king, and dying king, never knowing what a king was. There was another French king who was executed at the age of 11. I know teenage years can be difficult, but what 11-year-old king did anything to deserve being killed? On the side of the coin, from the year 899, England has had 22 rulers who lived past the age of 60, including the current queen, who has seen her 90th year.
The break down of ages for the French rulers is as follows.
Died before 20 birthday- (6) kings
Died between ages 20 and 29, (15) kings
Died between ages 30 and 39, (9) kings
Died between ages 40 and 49, (12) kings
Died between ages 50 and 59, (20) kings
Died between ages 60 and 69, (3) kings
And finally, died between ages 70 and 80, (1)
For British rulers, the break down is as follows:
Died before turning 20, (5) kings/queens
Died between ages 20 and 29, (6) kings/queens
Died between ages 30 and 39, (7) kings/queens
Died between ages 40 and 49, (19) kings/queens
Died between ages 50 and 59, (12) kings/queens
Died between ages 60 and 69, (12) kings/queens
Died between ages 70 and 79, (6) kings/queens
Died between ages 80 and 89, (3) kings/queen
Over 89, 1 (current)
To be fair, the French aristocracy was destroyed when Napoleon became the Emporer, ending the line of succession in the early 19th century, while the British royal line continues to this day. There were more British monarchs lived longer since 1800, as life expectancy has continued to improve over the centuries. But the French clearly had almost twice as many rulers died before their 40th birthday than their British counterparts.
Another aspect which would be difficult to live with was the fear of being killed. From people who opposed the rulers’ decisions, to family members of the royal family who were desirous of the crown, being a king or queen would be difficult. Food tasters had to be employed, as poison was common method of doing away with those in power. Some children were sent to other countries to protect them from assassination, such as Mary, Queen of Scots. There adds another problem. How can someone rule their country, when they have been living in another country since being a young child? People ruled on her behalf, but Mary was the queen from birth. She was not safe in Scotland, so she is sent to France, spending more time in that country than her own.
Now, how would you feel to be arranged in marriage from your birth? Marriages were business and power, no room for love. King Francis II of France married Mary Queen of Scots when he was 14 years old. He had been arranged to wed her years prior. It was expected of royalty to be wed to royalty of other countries, as to bring the strength the 2 countries could bring each other. One country needed an army or the other country needed financial gain. And when there was a death of a spouse, such as King Francis dying less than 2 years after his marriage, the other spouse must align with another marriage.
When you look at modern day, the royal families have very little privacy. Nothing they do goes unnoticed, and comments are made to belittle or find fault with them. Though in the 21st century, they have little authority and are more or less a figurehead, we see them in the news constantly. Does it really matter if the Queen of England makes a comment that is considered inappropriate? Why do we insist on the guilty pleasure of seeing them make mistakes? With marriages that have been as business transactions, why are we shocked when the marriages fall apart, such as did Prince Charles and Princess Diana? Do we need to see their failures to make ourselves feel better?
So, if you still dream of being a princess, you might wish to have another think. If only being a princess was like in the fairytales