Monday, July 11, 2011

Card of the Day: The Prince at the Boy Scouts’ World Jamboree

Usually, I try to put these daily cards into some kind of historical context of some importance relative to the enormity of the event for which they were produced—the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary, both of whom I am especially fond. However, this one seems quite silly and humorous to me.*

Here, we see the Prince of Wales at the Boy Scouts’ World Jamboree. Somehow, I never really imagined the Prince of Wales, the future briefly-reigning King Edward VIII and, subsequently, the frivolous Duke of Windsor, at a Boy Scouts’ meeting, let alone a “Jamboree,” or even being remotely aware that Boy Scouts existed. Perhaps he enjoyed the uniforms and the opportunity to earn badges. The Royal Family has always had a weakness for badges.

It’s just plain odd. The text tries to justify this.

The back of the card reads:


The Prince of Wales, who is the Chief Scout for Wales, and a firm admirer of the movement, spent the night of August 1st, 1929, under canvas with Sir Robert (now Lord) Baden-Powell and the youth of 42 nations at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead. The following day, the Prince inspected the camps of different nations and addressed the scouts on the Rally Ground. The Royal Visitor is seen talking with Dr. Victor Temesi of the Hungarian contingent. The occasion was made doubly memorable by the announcement that the King had conferred a Barony on the Chief Scout.

*Here, I feel it’s only right to point out that I don’t care for the Duke of Windsor as a person.  As an historical figure, yes, I think he's interesting, but otherwise view him as loathesome.  Of course, I never knew him and base it solely on what I know historically. However, I do know that he caused a lot of trouble and grief for his family and his nation and find him rather a detestable figure—if not entirely interesting for just those very reasons. True, most people don’t have strong feelings for deceased former monarchs, but since I spend so much of my life surrounded by these personalities, it’s inevitable that I should develop opinions. I suppose if I judge him too harshly...well, that’s too bad.

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