On Wednesday, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, led by the bearskin-capped regimental band of the famous Coldstream Guards dedicated a new monument to the regular British soldiers who courageously turned the tide at the battle of Waterloo.
The ceremony was quietly dignified and Charles provided just the right amount of humanity and humor as he talked and joked British with re-enactors, including a chubby-cheeked young lady portraying a male member of the royal artillery circa 1815.
The 9th Duke of Wellington added knowing commentary for Prince Charles as they walked the battlefield where his famous ancestor, the very first Duke of Wellington finally, soundly thrashed Napoleon Bonaparte in a tenth round knockout with the help of German and Dutch allies.
The King of Belgium’s sister Princess Astrid attended, as did the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Prince Pieter-Christian of Holland, and Prince Nikolaus Von Blücher—a direct descendant of senior Prussian General Von Blücher—were all conspicuous participants in the ceremonies. Former conservative French politician Charles Bonaparte, the great, great grand nephew of Napoleon attended on his own.
The current French far-left socialist government of President Hollande did the unthinkable and proved once again how the left thinks so ill of history, the military, and those who have gone before us—merely sending France’s ambassador to Belgium as the country’s official representative—in effect doing what President Obama did during the world leader’s solidarity march in the support of France after the Charlie Hebdo murders back in January.
How incredibly clueless of Hollande, especially after conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron marched arm in arm with him in the aftermath of the deadly radical jihadist attacks that shook Paris and the French people to their core. Hollande didn’t send a higher-ranking member of his government, not because Napoleon lost at Waterloo, but most likely because he and his ilk despise that fact that Napoleon, the most famous Frenchman in world history, is a revered icon to his more conservative political rivals.
As far as the Hollande government is concerned Napoleon represents everything they hate–big government, socialized education, a united Europe, rewarding performance over social standing. But wait, aren’t those all things that the far-left bows down in praise of? Indeed they are, but in a France were Napoleon is conspicuously absent from schoolrooms, none of that seems to matter.
On the other hand, with his daylong participation in the Waterloo commemorations Prince Charles seems to finally be stepping into the role that his Royal birth has ordained him for. The sad memory of the late Princess Diana and the rather tawdry affair he carried out with his now wife the Duchess of Cornwall, have faded.
If Charles finally inherits the crown, with his now grey hair, a new quiet dignity and a sincere down earthiness that comes across publicly, he just might prove to quite a good monarch, a King for the people.
To watch Prince Charles walk the most famous modern battlefield side by side with the current Duke of Wellington, listening intently, offering his own observations and occasional historical knowledge in what certainly was a thoughtful and intelligent manner paid quiet tribute to the British soldiers who fought there. Prince Charles’s mannered example is one that that some far-left French government types could take quiet a few good lessons from.