Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Royal Bastards

Next time someone calls me a royal bastard*, I may be slower than usual to take umbrage.

PBS is showing a program called "Lost Royals" which consists of a British woman named Jennie Bond traveling the world with camera crew in tow knocking on doors to inform people that they're descendants of illegitimate children sired by members of the British royal family.

(King John was a prolific sire, having fathered about 20 children out of wedlock, according to the show.)

As soon as she springs the surprise on someone, after we see their shocked faces, the show cuts to a "Certificate of Bastard Descent" with a sound effect of a stamp banging down on it.

She has no compunction about calling them "royal bastards" to their faces. And they don't seem to mind. In San Francisco she found a society of royal bastards, led by a man who proudly called himself the "bastard-in-chief."

What fascinated me was how elegant Ms. Bond made calling someone a bastard sound. English accents make everything sound flattering.

*Usually I don't get the "royal" added to the appellation. "Complete" is more common.


vierthaler said...

I am a bastard of british royalty of Henry I or II, his daughter Joan or Johanna. I saw you on PBS. I live in Suisun City, CA, that is right next to Fairfield, one hill over from the Napa Valley off I-80.

vierthaler said...

Oh, FYI my name is Katherine Brown, i'm interested in your organization.

John said...

Hi Katherine,

I don't think it was I you saw. I have never appeared on PBS. I just happened to catch one of the shows on TV and think it worth commenting on.