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Does Britain hate success?



Six cheers to Prince Edward for having the courage to say what is obvious to anybody who lives outside Britain.
David Hughes, the Netherlands

Perhaps it's having to pay for the glorified soap opera that is our Royal Family that the media and the British really resent.
Jon Fergusson, UK

Just two of the comments Talking Point has received so far. Take part below

Background ¦ Vote ¦ Your reaction ¦ Have your say

The Vote:
Does Britain hate success?
Yes No

Background ¦ Vote ¦ Your reaction ¦ Have your say

The Background:

Prince Edward has attacked the way he is treated by the British media.

On a business trip to the United States on behalf of his television production company, Ardent Productions, he said "they hate anyone who succeeds".

His comments appeared in an article in the New York Times about his ambitions to break into the American television market.

Do you agree with Prince Edward or do you think he is merely maximising his business opportunities in the US. Is the media in Britain too hard on the Royal Family or is part of their role to challenge the monarchy?

Tell us what you think.

Background ¦ Vote ¦ Your reaction ¦ Have your say

Your Reaction:

I think Prince Edward, regardless of whether he is rich, Royal, successful or not, has a RIGHT to a personal opinion on the state of the British press - just like everyone else.
Jane, Hong Kong

In the UK people look at the big house on the hill and say, "no man should have so much." In the US we look and say "Every man should have as much."
Geoff Sutton, USA

How do define success Edward? Are you successful because you've grown up in a privileged environment paid for by OUR taxes. Meanwhile many ordinary British people live in miserable poverty through no fault of their own, pensioners are one glaring example. Prince Edward should be quiet and just be thankful he's never had to struggle like most of us.
Peter Benjamin, England

This survey is odd. The opposite of does the media hate the successful is NOT the media likes the successful. These are not true opposite ideas. See a book on logic. The media here have two agendas. One is to make money, which drives most of the exaltation of degradation of ... whoever..., but the second is quite a lot worse. Most of the newspaper props don't even live here. Given the degradation and ignorance that this place now boasts of, can you think of a better way for a hostile 3rd party to bring this place down other than what the media ACTUALLY did in the 80's? Odd, isn't it?
Mark Grindell, England

For people who define success as 'hard work'. Working a 40, 50 or even higher-hour week doesn't strike me as making a 'success' of one's adult life. The amount of money you end up making is pretty irrelevant - we all, after all, have roughly the same amount of time. The only truly successful people are those who've enjoyed themselves and found satisfaction however they choose to define it. Once we break the back of the work ethic which has crippled generation in this country we'll be well on the way to becoming more genuinely 'successful'.
Richard Ewing, UK

Someone has already pointed out that Edward is not on the Civil List. This means that he is not paid out of UK taxes. In fact very few Royals are but I get the impression that some people don't want to hear this.
Stephen Tickell, USA

Yes, the British and the British Press hate success. If you have anything nice in the States, i.e. a quality car, people say, one day I will have one and admire your success. In the UK, they envy you, steal it and wreck it.
David Warburton, UK

I knew that this subject would be a great venue for a little anti-Americanism on the part of some Europeans. It seems to the number one subject for Europeans on the Internet. But the criticism of the U.S. from Brits who live in the U.S. for one reason or another strikes me as odd. Take Mr. Davis of the "U.K/U.S.A" for instance (wherever that is). If you don't like Arizona, move back to Britain. We'll get along fine, thank you. Just don't forget to buy an umbrella.
J Forbes, USA

As a dual national of Australia and the UK, I agree with what Prince Edward says. He might not be successful financially with his company but he's a success unto himself, he is self reliant and proud of the success he sees in himself. A majority of people who say he is wrong to comment the way he has are those people who can't be bothered to work hard to make themselves into a success.
Success doesn't come in financial gain all the time, having a great amount of pride is a success. Too many people expect things handed to them on a plate. So don't pan Prince Edward just because he is not making a profit on his business, I admire and give him lots of credit for doing something off his own back and not expecting to be supported by his family or the state. Good onya Edward .
Cathy, Australia

Who said Prince Edward was a success, his company has never made a profit.
Glenda Meeson, England

The people of this country have every right to criticise the monarchy. After all, we the working class keep them in the style they are so very well accustomed to. In all other respects e.g. sport. I reckon it wouldn't hurt to be more supportive of our own successes
Wendy, Scotland

Perhaps if the Duke had achieved something in his life the comment wouldn't seem so rich. He should go and join the ex-pat brigade and then bore us with tales of how 'he likes Britain but couldn't live there'.
Andy Thorpe, England

The British cross the road to avoid success. They don't seem to associate hard work with it. They only envy the rewards of others industry. Edward's only mistake was to apologise. Up until that point I thought he had a mind of his own!
Ken Day, UK

We British don't hate success. What we do hate is people gaining wealth at the expense of others.
Mark Anderson (16 years old), United Kingdom

All the people who have said get rid of the royal family are the ones. They hate success, we have one of the only monarchies, people like scandal, failure in this country because they fail themselves. Be proud to be British, give encouragement, and perhaps your children may follow.
M Blake, UK

The vehemence of some responses suggests to me the Prince has hit the nail on the head. Isn't there some line about "Me thinks she doth protest too much" or something?
Chris, UK

Remember, he was talking about the press, and it's precisely the British Press that have slated him for making these comments about them. Prince Edward has tried to raise a debate about how the press portray "successful" people, and the press have immediately gone off on a tangent to discredit his comments and distract from the true point he was trying to make, about the British Media serving their own purpose.
Jez Thomas, UK

Constructive criticism is necessary. In this country there needs to be a balance between the influence of the articulate against the evidence of the informed. It is easy to see that most great inventions/ ideas out of this country are either ignored or insulted. History books say it all. The Royals for nearly 1000 years stood for this country. Their commitment to our success isn't something we should be questioning them about.
Mcinerney, UK

It was a stupid remark and only serves to again underscore that the British monarchy is completely out of touch with reality. They need to be abolished ASAP.
Michael J Friend, USA

What does Prince Edward mean by success? Starting at the top and never looking back? Success to most of us means achieving something. Edward isn't successful - he's just rich, over-privileged and arrogant - like all the Royals. Try REALLY working for a living, Edward, and then preach about success. Until then, please keep quiet on subjects you know nothing about, especially when you're talking about a country to which you've so far contributed nothing.
John Luby, Scotland

It strikes me as strange that a fellow who has failed at most of the hard challenges thrown his way would choose to offer an observation about success. Notwithstanding, I tend to think that his observation is correct.
A more insightful comment from Edward on his views on the Monarchy, the absence of a meritocracy and the impact of this on the British psyche might be more interesting than his Duke of Edinburgh-like rant.
J Proctor, USA

What amuses me is that while many of the comments about our self-serving populist gutter press are spot on, somebody is buying these 'newspapers'. People go out every day and buy the Mirror, and the Sun - deliberately! They are the vermin of the planet, pure undiluted scum - so everyone PLEASE stop buying tabloid rubbish! They only cause misery and confusion....
Alex, UK

Of course Prince Edward was right, although unfortunately he appears not to have had the courage of his convictions. The British media, particularly the national papers, are hugely vindictive and have the freedom to indulge in vendettas of all sorts. If somebody has the audacity to point out their shortcomings, retribution is usually swift. Prince Edward has had to endure a campaign of snide sniggering innuendo for most of his adult life, and it would be understandable if he had built up a store of resentment. But the moment he said anything less than favourable about the purveyors of such nonsense, out come the knives.
It's interesting to watch the all too predictable dynamics of such a campaign, particularly the wheeling-in of rent-a-quote MPs. It's an infinitely depressing spectacle - a "bear baiting" for the 20th century. If only we could leave it behind in the 20th century.
Matthew Codd, England

Not only do I agree with the Prince's comments , I also wonder why everyone is so keen to have a go at him . Yes, he is rich, yes, he is titled but he is still having a crack at the world of work . Would those who constantly carp at him prefer it if he just loafed around all day on the grounds that he is a Royal and can do what he likes ?
William Anchor, UK

Eddie would be better off having a look at America rather than slating his own country of domicile. For every wondrous Bill Gates styled success in the US, there are thousands of people living barely on the poverty line who cannot afford the most basic of medical or nutritional requirements. Just to show Ed what a great place the States is, did he know that Arizona, the place I live, boasts some great statistics such as: 1 in 5 children under 16 are malnourished 30% of children to not receive all their vaccinations 1 in 5 18-25 year olds habitually use illegal drugs 385 people are murdered every year in a population of 6 million Lets hear it for the good ol US of A!!!!
Ralph Davis, UK/USA

Edward knows that the media comes as part of the territory. You don't hear him complaining about the success of the monarchy and all the privileges and wealth that he gained from it. He should have his royal allowance withdrawn for being so disloyal to the UK.
David Jackson, USA

What's wrong with wanting to rise above mediocrity and becoming successful at one's chosen career? Why should we all succumb to the never-ending boring grind - because we don't want our neighbours to resent us or, heaven forbid, the media might actually write something negative about us should we become rich, famous, or successful (perish the thought.) No doubt there are many in the U.K. who resent the American influence which has taken over in many facets of daily life. When I returned home a few years ago and, amazed by the changes, made the mistake of commenting to a chap on the train about the fact I lived in the States. He told me in no uncertain terms that I had better clear off back there and take the "American stuff" with me! Anyway, we are all entitled to a whine - Prince Edward has had his and I now have had mine. We can do several things with newspapers, read them or wrap our fish and chips in them and, the telly has an off button.
Di Stewart, USA (ex Scotland)

So success according to His Royal Highness is apparently measured by financial wealth is it? To be a successful human being means being tolerant of others, learning from ones mistakes, being down to earth, open to criticism, etc, etc, qualities that an accident of birth called Edward Windsor patently fails to have.
ROL, UK

I think nobody realized Prince Edward said 'THEY hate anyone who succeeds' during his trip in the States. Everybody out there hates Gates, shining role model of The American Dream, because of his outstanding success in business. So Prince Edward's comment serves both nations well...and those living in The Netherlands too! :)
Ron Brandenburg, The Netherlands

Full marks to Edward for having the guts to go out there and try his best. He deserves at least some success and I for one hope he finds it. The British press, or at least a large part of it, are aptly named the gutter press, and they will find fault with anything or anyone who can be knocked off a pedestal to sell a few more copies.
Mohamed Iskandar, Malaysia

As a foreigner living in Britain for 15 years, I am the one who has the most bitter experience of living in a cynical society. Everybody, anybody is suspect. The foreigners are "the usual suspects". Nowhere in the world there is double passport control, or questioning police from "prevention of terrorism act" except for Britain. The press know this, therefore they are part of it. I am from the Middle East but whenever I go to the USA, I feel am totally at home. There is definitely more openness in the USA. The life is more enjoyable. I totally agree with Prince Edward.
Mr. Sahin Lim, Scotland

Let's all get a life, huh? Who cares if the media or society at large bash you if you're a success? What else do you need if you've already "made it"? Validation? A medal? A peerage? No matter how you judge success, confidence in your own abilities and achievements ought to matter more - unless you're simply insecure, which probably means you haven't got there yet or are so jaundiced that you've given up hope and resent those who haven't. Somehow methinks this is what exercises our media monarch. Polite suggestion to HRH: if you want praise, earn it first by doing something successful. You're worthy of some praise for having a go, but you've hardly "throne" your lot in with the rest of us.
Edwin Jersey, UK/USA

Not only do I agree with the Prince's comments, I also wonder why everyone is so keen to have a go at him. Yes, he is rich, yes, he is titled but he is still having a crack at the world of work. Would those who constantly carp at him prefer it if he just loafed around all day on the grounds that he is a Royal and can do what he likes?
William Anchor, UK

Does Britain hate success? It certainly does. Any body who makes a fortune in business is branded a "fat cat", and assumed to be ripping the public off. There is a natural tendency in this country to envy anyone who is richer than the average, regardless of whether that person's wealth is self-made or inherited. The only rich people who do not seem to attract this resentment are footballers, pop-stars and lottery winners.
Sean Fear, UK

The British do not hate financial success, but nor do we idolise it. If successful people are deserving of laughter or criticism then they will receive it, especially if their success is due to luck (the right name, the right look, etc) rather than talent. The tabloid press is much reviled, but don't forget that it creates as many stars as it brings down. We are happy to give people a chance, to let the media make them into stars and to follow their success avidly, but we don't believe that fame and fortune entitle stars to a different code of behaviour to the rest of us and we will not let them hide behind their success. If you live by the press, then you risk dying by the press unless your life is blameless. Is it wrong to expect high standards from the privileged? Edward Windsor would be nothing in the business world without his over-privileged background and family name and even with those advantages his company is not making money. He should concentrate on trying to be successful instead of whining about his problems when he has more advantages than most of us ever will.
Kirsty Hearn, UK

Edward was not attacking the British people, he was (correctly) attacking the British media. Once they decide you are a target, as they have with him, then you are one for life, no matter what you do. No wonder the guy is frustrated. Incidentally, as quite a few replies have pointed out, the British media, particularly the tabloids, are very adept at turning an attack on them into an attack on our way of life. They are a very, very low form of life.
Richard Fallon, England

The British are not wary of success - goodness knows we've had enough of it in the past millennia - what we don't like is the flashy, trashy, selfish displays that it tends to encourage and that Edward personifies as the ultimate 'Essex' royal. And as for all the Americans (and other chippy ex-colonials queuing up to have a crack at the mother country) for all its faults I would prefer to live in a country where great wealth is as frowned upon as great poverty. The American Dream can too often, for too many (usually black people) become a nightmare.
Nick, England

I'd sooner spend time with someone who was down-to-earth and unsuccessful than with someone who was smug and successful (which most successful people seem to be). The amount of friends I've had over the years that achieve a modicum of financial success, then suddenly stop talking to you because "they've moved on in life" is unbelievable. If people thought more about each other instead of concentrating on their material wealth, then we may actually get somewhere as to making the world a better place to live. Again, I'd sooner be with the drunks at the train station than sat with some smug suit-wearing "successful professional" in a soulless brasserie somewhere - it's more interesting frankly! Remember: The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil (and the root of most tedium too!). Think on...
Dave Strong, UK

I think it's a very shrewd marketing move on Prince Edward's behalf. His wedding was shown live and repeated every day for a week (plus the usual interviews etc.). Why not cash in on the American love of the Royals. Diana did it so well. As for the British press, it's true. They would just be waiting for his company to fail. At least he's having a go, surely they can give him some credit for that?
Chris, USA

I know the British press are complete hypocrites but this is more blatant than usual. Here is a man (one of many) the press have constantly hounded. They question his sexuality, they mock his baldness, they label him a "luvvie" and they even print semi-nude pictures of his fiancée days before their wedding. I don't know where Edward gets his view of the press from, I really don't.
Paul Sunters, UK

British media is so volatile that it need to lie on a couch and be examined especially the tabloid. The media takes up what it thinks are popular themes and plays them to the masses. It likes to bait, bait the Royals, the refugees, the ethnics, the selectors in sport and them hype degenerate practices and in general destroy the moral fabric. Please stop and be fair.
Harbans Bhogal, UK

Typical. Edward aims a broadside at the media and they protect themselves by interpreting it as an attack on the whole nation. Rubbish. The media are the accused and rightly so. Britain respects and admires her heroes of yesteryear who contributed to our wonderful heritage. It's time the press started to respect today's winners, our children's heritage.
Peter James, England

I totally agree with Prince Edward - we have the world's most negative, selfish and embittered press.
Alex L, England

Prince Edward said that the British MEDIA, not the British PEOPLE, hate successful people. The press immediately decided that this was an insult to British people and he was forced to apologise. The press have only demonstrated that he is correct.
Pete Bowman, UK

Yes. Why is everyone in Britain so against "fat cats"?
Dr. KS, UK

I agree completely with Prince Edward, Britain has a culture which sees success as a bad thing. Successful people are penalised in many ways and those in the public spotlight are lynched by the media at the first opportunity. The stance of the media as hurt victims in this is laughable.
Mark Slater, UK

Poor old Eddie. So your mum doesn't rate your success all that highly? Well sorry old chum, but neither do we. It's a hard fact but many peoples' success in this world is being able to crawl the 10 miles across the hot earth to get enough water to keep their families alive for another couple of days. A rich and famous royal making a couple of bad T.V shows doesn't count for much and if the British media criticise you for that, there can't be many people who are very surprised.
James, USA

It seems clear from the vindictive nature of many of these messages that some Brits actually want Edward to fail. This proves his point. Anyway, what's all this nonsense about Edward trading on his name - the Kennedys have been doing that for years and I could provide you with a large list of other Americans who do the same. Anyone with any sense will exploit whatever advantage they have. A title is just one such advantage. Anyone with responsible parents who care about education and upbringing has an inherited advantage - there's no such thing as a totally level playing field, in Britain or the US (US citizen working quite happily in England).
Andrew Prior, US/UK

There is a tremendous amount of envy, and the politics of envy. In America, if you see someone doing well you are brought up to see how you can emulate that person and strive for success yourself. In England, the politicians, by and large, have told the people that the government will take from the successful people and give it to the unsuccessful and thus make everybody equal.
Successful people are held up as crooks and charlatans to be milked dry. This is the politics of envy, and it is what kills innovation and entrepreunership. And that's why many good British ideas end up being commercial successes in other countries and not in Britain.
Linar, Sri Lanka

I simply don't agree that the British hate success. However, nor do we worship it like our US cousins seem to do! As for the media, they hate anything that doesn't sell newspapers and love everything that does. Simple, ain't it?
Tony Hague, UK

I don't believe that Edward is saying he IS successful, but the U.S. is giving him chance to achieve that goal. Something the British media will not do. Unfortunately the majority of the British public are highly influenced by the negativity of its media, the main reason why I left Britain 6 years ago. Obviously the U.S. can see the potential of the British Monarchy in today's society and are right to exploit it as such.
The Royal family are bringing in millions of pounds every year from foreign visitors to Britain, why the hell else would tourists go to London, other than to see our Royal heritage.
It seems strange that they are so resented by many Brits and I agree with Diane, US that the reaction of many on this page is indeed confirming the Prince's point. Perhaps it would suit everyone if the Royals were to move to the U.S., where they would be appreciated, leave the Brits to smoulder and the media with nothing to talk about.
Rosalind , Brit in Malaysia

What is success? If it's just possession of lots of money, it really doesn't mean much in the way of character. I grew up in Texas, and oh how the rich who had inherited their money whined about people like me who thought they should pay their fair share of taxes. And if Eddie thinks Hollywood is a breath of fresh air, I suggest he use that British national health insurance that we Americans don't have access to and seek professional help.
WILLIAM , USA

Americans have the heritage out of carving their own individual success. When my English forefathers came o this country, they came to a place where it was either succeed or die. They carved out a nation for themselves. It has been ingrained upon each generation to build upon this and to carve out their own niche upon the world. Remember, even the most lowly and ordinary person in America can strive and achieve any dream they want to attain. Hence the term, "The American Dream". The English are still extremely class conscious and tend to stay that way. It does hamper upward mobility.
I do believe Americans have a bit more rebelliousness for the status quo, therefore they are a bit more imaginative and are constantly trying to make life better. I see some British now trying to redefine success and are trying to breakaway with some of the old and traditional ways of doing things. I believe as a culture becomes more educated, especially among the lower socio-economic levels, then I believe Britain will be more in a "fast-track mode". I applaud the Earl of Wessex in his endeavours to bring quality documentaries and quality television shows. Let's give him the chance for him to educate us from his unique perspective.
Mary, USA

England hates success. My own family would rather I continued my miserable existence in England than my successful and happy life i've lived since I left. Edward was absolutely right in what he said.
Paul, USA

First, its really amusing that someone who has run an unsuccessful company and shamelessly used his one advantage, his own celebrity status to promote that company to whine about how you are treaded if you are successful. I mean, what does he know about - success?!?
Secondly, its probably true that most Brits don't really admire successful business people as much as most Americans. But then I've never heard British people express their utter contempt for poor people in a way that's common here in the U.S. So yes, its probably a problem with British society, but its the flip side of a rather admirable quality in British society too.
Roger, Brit in the USA

As I see it the English are stuck in a rut. They have their own safe little world with their corner pubs. As long as they stay within the boundaries of that little world they will be okay. The British Media are the watchdogs. Anybody who dares try anything different and (shock horror) makes a success of it will be hounded and criticised until they fail.
Murray Chisholm, New Zealand

The British media excel at building up and tearing down peoples characters. It is very strange that the media can ridicule, insult and harass people to extraordinary lengths but should anybody have the temerity to criticise the media they face the full wrath and venom fleet streets vultures can unleash. If we live in a democracy which protects the press and it's right to publish salacious details about peoples private and personal lives, surely that right extends to people having and expressing their opinions. Or doe's the press not accept that right when it applies to honest and constructive criticism?
Adam Conway, Belgium

Poor old Ed. Obviously needs some more lessons from Sophie on the PR front.
I am saddened by most of the comments on this page.
A man who complains that his mother hates his success (has it occurred to him that maybe it´s his attitude rather than the success itself?). Another person drawing profound conclusions from comparisons between Coronation Street and Dallas! Lots of people relishing a dig at a privileged person. Everybody in one way or another associating success with lots of money. What a sad squabble between so many insecure people.
Graham Bell, Brazil

I've lived half my life in the UK, and have some great memories. But I do not recall with any fondness the UK's past-time with putting people down. What's so great about having a "sense of humour" and a good laugh at the expense of one's self-esteem or someone else's, or at the expense of people trying to improve their lives. Perhaps the English are reserved in part because they need to be so guarded in such a culture. I certainly don't want to live like that. It's a pity, because there is much entrepeneurism and endeavour in the British people which the right attitude could harness. I'm afraid I'm optimistic if you'll forgive me...
Nicholas Wright, United States

The English invented the Class system with its "lords" and "nobles." When has success for the common man even been on the agenda in this system? Or the "Commonwealth" for that matter.
Here in the US, individualism and the freedom to success are both lofty goals that we aspire to protect.
Of course, our Government is still way too tax hungry and intrusive.
However, compared to European governments is it darn well laissez- faire heaven.
Cheers mate.
Allan Hamilton, USA

Kudos to Edward!!! Finally a blood member of the Royals that is out and doing something positive for himself and for the family, not just soaking up millions of pounds of 'birthright.' Charles should take note from a working lad that is honest and a forthright (business) leader.
Amy, California

One of the greatest things I dislike about my country is the way we always put ourselves down. We put our business men down, we put our people down, we put our celebrities down, in fact we put our entire country down. Why do we do this ?
Simon, UK

I want to know why the Prince apologised when it's true! There's another thing the British do; they step on someone else's toes and then apologise...
C. Thomas, USA

As a Brita living in the US, I totally agree with his remarks. Of course the British media spends its time attacking people who are successful. Endemic of the way it behaves is its twisting of his comments -- specifically about the media -- into an attack on British people as a whole.
Dom Loehnis, US

Leave in peace Prince Edward, he has success with his wife, that is important not success with money. Who can say the same?
Blanca, Ecuador

Edward criticised the UK media, not the UK population and it's interesting to see that it is they who attack Edward. It's painfully obvious that particularly the tabloid papers attack anyone who sticks their head above the pulpit, be that by celebrity, business success of whatever. In my opinion, Edward has done a sterling job with his production company creating jobs for Britain, and helping the trade deficit - something many people could take inspiration from.
Andy Haslam, USA (UK citizen)

What has Edward ever made a success of that he should be an expert on success?
Gordon Woods, UK

I think it is unfair to single out the media for this subject, in general, the majority of the population seem to dislike people who succeed
Peter Willett, USA

Maybe Edward should think about taking responsibility for his own success. He is probably not informed enough on the British media to make an intelligent comment about it. Edward's not overly popular for obvious reasons that have nothing to do with the media. Perhaps its his attitude and approach that people find hard to take.
B. Peterson, Canada

As a foreign student in England I did indeed gain the impression that Brits sometimes revel in self-deprecation, so It seems Edward's criticism is partly justified..... But this is hardly causally related to the lukewarm reception of his own laughable artistic attempts.
C. Habeck, USA

Let us not forget the hovercraft or the microchip invented eons before the Americans came up with it "that will never work mate".
Kevin Cox, Canada

Well I do have to agree with Edward.
As far as I'm concerned he is talking about the press. They seem to control every aspect of people in the public eye.
And as for the Editor of the Mirror he's about one of the worst of them along with the other tabloids!!!
Bravo Edward and keep telling them the truth cause "The Truth hurts"
Steve, England

Thank you, thank you, thank you Prince Edward for admitting what the world has known for years about the "British way."
Jessica Houghton, United States

The Royals are entitled to their say, so now its mine. Edward Windsor has opened his mouth before engaging his brain, Just like his father. When will these people learn to think before they speak.
Dave Buckett , England

As a British ex-pat living in the U.S., I would have to agree with Prince Edward; the British are jealous of anyone who succeeds. I would add, however, that Edward is only successful because of an accident of birth; the media over here are only swooning over him because of his lineage, and the access that he gives them to the Royal family.
David Ashford, United States

Finally the truth is out! How horrifying to discover that the British Press are so totally unaware of how miserable they are. Thank you Prince Edward.
PS. Australia is worse.
B. Cunningham, England

Anyone who finds Hollywood "a breath of fresh air" needs their head examined
Paul Stevens, UK

The people of Britain, in general do not like people getting ahead of the masses. Its a strange thing but the press really pull them down too.
Andrew Brough, UK

Surely Prince Edward is attacking the media rather than British character. Some of the tactics of the gutter press are certainly not typical of average British citizens.
Ed, London, UK

I moved from the UK 16 years ago for precisely the reasons stated by the Prince. A generation of socialism had created an envious society where one's success was viewed upon as something almost dishonest and anti-social _ unless it happened to you, of course, whereupon it was okay!
People who are successful should be our young people's motivators, and not the subject of scorn and derision. I must say, though, that since Thatcher knocked the stuffing out of institutionalised socialism in Britain, the attitude seems to have changed somewhat and will probably get even better _ but it'll take a generation to change attitudes completely. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and wealth generators need to be nourished and protected; the country cannot survive without them.
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

I am a US citizen working in the UK and I would say that Diane (US) has it about right. What a vindictive bunch you are! Meritocracy can easily degenerate into pomposity and at worst, becomes extremely corrosive and ugly - especially the phoney variety. These obvious signs of envy and inverted snobbery give the game away. I think I'm right in saying that Edward doesn't receive any money from the State, so what's the problem? Give him a break and grow up.
David Johnson, UK

It all depends how you define success. In the US success equals money and this entrepreneurial legacy has, by and large, served them fairly well. It is the flip side of the coin that is the problem: no money equals failure which is a dangerous and divisive notion. The British press measure success in a more sophisticated way. And how Prince Edward can pontificate about success or the British attitude towards it is a mystery - he has no experience of success or the vast majority of the great British public.
Chris Judge, US

Maybe the fact that the British appear to dislike those who are successful is due to the fact that there are no genuine role models in our society beyond the over-paid and boozed-up footballers, slightly dense female pop-singers and our soap-star Royals. I think most ordinary probably DO dislike and resent these categories!
Steven Eke, England

Prince Edward is not on the Civil List and deserves some credit for trying to make his own way. But of course ignorance and rancour rule, as usual. I can think of quite a few British actors and a very well known British composer who have been punished for daring to succeed. I'm surprised that this particular composer didn't move to the US years ago. Some vile attitudes have been revealed on this page - I could do with a breath of fresh air myself.
Alison, UK

How would Edward know? His company has yet to show the glimmerings of a profit, much less demonstrate business success...
Therion Ware, England.

I do not feel that the British hate success. I feel though that they do not show pride like us Americans do. Hey if prince Edward does not like it over there. He can come and live over here.
Maria, USA

There can be no doubt that English people despise success. Envy is a deep rooted trait in the nations psyche. The English are often compared to the less envious Americans. But I don't think that English people are in some way genetically more envious then Americans but that English society has long legitimised expressions of envy. Those incline towards envy can style themselves as "socialists" , trade unionist or, until recently, supporters of the labour party in order to be able to express envy in a socially acceptable way.
Americans have less access to excuses for expressing their envy and so often have to pay lip service to celebrating the success of others. Envy is unfortunately an unattractive part of human nature. But it is best dealt with by the American method of denial than the English method of pretending to have "social conscience". Fortunately things are improving as young people are less prone to the politics of envy then older generations.
Alan Tyne, UK

I wouldn't class running a company that has been in the red for 6 years as being successful. When and if Edward becomes successful then I will take him more seriously.
Chris Warner, UK

It's all very well for Edward Windsor to maintain that Britain does not support success. But, pray tell me, how does HE know?
John Davey, UK

The problem lies with the media. If someone is a success then they will appear in a newspaper and be billed as the hero for a few weeks. Once the British people have taken the success to their hearts the same newspapers that built the hero destroy the same. It's odd that the only successful people who are not destroyed in this way are the journalists.
It's time that success was applauded and not used as an excuse by the press to go about digging for dirt. Who the hell wants to be a success in a country where strangers have the right to destroy your reputation just for being a success but not a saint.
K Brown, UK

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