You will, of course, have heard of the latest absurd Kate Winslet comment:
Kate Winslet has told of her relief at discovering that her ancestors were peasants, saying she would have been “upset and disgusted” to have come from wealth.
You hardly need me to point out how ridiculous this is, so I thought I would instead pass on a story that indicates just how much attitudes have changed.
You remember Laurie Lee and his book Cider With Rosie? All about his childhood experiences growing up with his poverty-stricken family? His older brother Jack Lee , later a successful film director and producer, was mortified by this portrait of their family, because it depicted what a poor background he came from. In those days that was something to be embarrassed about – perhaps not ashamed, but embarrassed.
Nowadays we have the complete opposite, where people are ashamed (or pretend they are ashamed) to have come from a family that managed to do well. I don’t think either attitude is healthy. It’s just very disappointing that we have gone, as with so many other things, from one extreme to another.
(Of course there are still some social circles where coming from a rich background is regarded as a good thing – there’s a certain local private school near me where the boys definitely have that attitude – but generally the attitude amongst the fashionable classes is the opposite.)
“People never believe me, but my children aren’t over-privileged. We just don’t live like that. They are very balanced. Humble.” Winslet has three children, the youngest with Edward Abel Smith, nephew of Sir Richard Branson and previously known as Ned Rocknroll.
She’s so humble she married a man who called himself ‘ Ned Rocknroll’. She’s so anti-money she married the nephew of Richard Branson, who is famously poor.