In recent years Prince Harry was third in line to the British throne after his father Charles and brother Prince William. With William marrying Kate and the arrival of their children George, Charlotte and Louis, Harry’s new position is sixth, which I’m sure he’s happy and relaxed with!
For the past few weeks I have been thinking about the process of making comparisons which we all engage in on a daily basis. The ‘act of comparing’ is to consider and assess things around us that are similar or different.
In comparing the weddings of William and Harry they were similar but very different. William and Kate got married on the 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey London. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle on the 19 May 2018 at St George’s chapel Windsor Castle. William’s service was more formal, compared to Harry’s who invited members of the public. The churches, guests, reception and protocols would have all been similar yet varied in one form or another.
In 1936 King George VI (6th) ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth and reigned until his death in 1952. He was the second eldest child to Queen Victoria and Albert after Prince Edward and known as Albert or Bertie. In 1936 Edward abdicated the throne because of his love to Wallis Simpson which meant that Albert was to become King in his brother’s place.
Albert suffered from ill health and had a severe stammer. In being a King he was expected to speak very eloquently to all his subjects which would have been quite a challenge for him! In the film the Kings Speech (2010) it records how Albert had to face his difficulties. It revealed how Lionel Logue, an Australian speech therapist and actor, coached Bertie to overcome and work with his speech impediment.
In life everything can be similar, whilst being very different. We note the differences by comparison and comment. The act of comparison is fundamental to us all and can cause us to feel inferior or embrace an attitude of being superior!
To compare is also to consider alternatives. To think about what might be better or worse and make various decisions accordingly. However, when we compare life in a personal and material sense we often go to the negative rather than a positive!
King George was expected to speak perfectly. He had to work on his speech deficiency which improved and by previous standards was almost perfect. So everything can be comparable in its perfection and imperfection.
In completing my ‘Theology and Religious studies’ degree at Manchester University, I did not choose to study ‘Comparative Religions,’ which gives insight and understanding to different religions and beliefs. However, in such studies there is always a point at which each person has to conclude their own form of belief and practice.Such a choice may be Religious or Secular and will include a leader, with tradition and a sacred text! In the context of the Christian faith, Jesus is central to the life and witness of the church that includes the Holy Bible.
In the UK there is a familiar advert by ‘Go Compare’ that encourages us to use their comparison site when looking for insurance and other quotes. In choosing a quote we have to remember that it is not always the cheapest that represents the best value.
In making comparisons about our homes and the cars we drive we may conclude that they are excellent but not as good as other people’s, thereby placing a negative on their value.
Alternatively we may feel that our home and car is average but not as bad as other peoples and so place a positive spin on their value.
This week I heard someone say that they were going to write a song about a loved one who had let them down. When the time came to write the words the person realised that there had been far more positives than negatives in their time together and ended up writing a song of thanksgiving rather one of complaint!
Consider for a moment your relationships. In comparing and contrasting, weigh up the negatives alongside all the positives you have experienced over the years? It’s quite a powerful exercise to realise what we have, over what we feel we have lost.
Prince Harry’s position as successor to the British throne has decreased but that does not mean that he and Meghan will not have a happy and fulfilled life as Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I’m sure they will have enough to think about when supporting and being alongside the future King and Queen, be it Charles and Camilla or in time William and Kate.
To conclude let’s revisit Go compare;
• Realise that you are good enough?
We are all unique and loved, especially in the context of our ‘faith and practice.’ It’s important to give the best of ourselves, realising that it is good enough. It’s better to be our authentic self than constantly having to impress others.
• Understand who you are?
Don’t let other people define who they think you are. Know and understand who you think you are. Appreciate your gifts and callings and maintain a deep joy in your heart and mind in what you ‘are and do’ on a daily basis.
• Who is my neighbour friend and colleague?
Give thanks for everyone around you. In your comparisons appreciate who they are and all they seek to ‘be and do.’ Don’t be jealous, envious, or frightened of their existence and presence. Do not worry about any form of opposition or competition that might come your way. Be happy with and for your friends, neighbours and colleagues.
So as a Prince and Princess be joyfully ready to be next in line for whatever may come your way, ‘confident in comparision.’