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Feb 22, 2023

Dane Dame Demotes Dauphins

There may be some princely titles for sale soon

By Ed Goldman

Early last Autumn, as the world mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Europe’s only other queen—Margrethe of Denmark, now the continent’s longest serving monarch—quietly stripped. I hope that got your attention. 

In truth, what Queen Margie did was strip others, not herself—and of titles, not of garments. It was a noble effort to let four of her eight grandkids enjoy noble-free lives, unhampered by words like Prince and Princess preceding their names. 

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Here, let CBS News explain it: “The official reason was to allow the four children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, to live more normal lives, and follows similar moves by other royal families in Europe to slim down their monarchies, the palace said.

“As of January 1, 2023,” the story continues, “the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim will only be able to use their titles of Count and Countess of Monpezat, their previous titles of Prince and Princess of Denmark ceasing to exist.”

If she’s planning on putting those disused titles on eBay, I’m more than willing to join the bidding. 

I’ve long thought that a Jewish boy from New York City, such as I, has no right to a British Royal name like Edward unless there’s some sort of title—and lands, of course—to ease the awkwardness.

How my brothers Stuart, Jerrold and I wound up with English given names in the first place may be worth noting. If it isn’t, feel free to skip today’s column and do the Jumble Game, Wordle or the Monster Mash, the dance we’re told was “a graveyard smash.”

Okay, back to earth. 

My mom thought that if there were ever to be a Russian-style pogrom in the United States, we could drop our obviously Jewish surname and “pass” as untoward Christian soldiers (that’s the 19th century hymn by Arthur Sullivan, right?). 

Ergo, my middle name is Bruce, and my late brother Stuart’s middle name was Barry. These could become our new haul-from-anywhere surnames if needed, our mom reasoned.

But there were two flaws in this design:

– Jerrold was never given a middle name (nor had our dad, Robert, been given one);

– If at least Stuart and I were to continue to be brothers, why didn’t our mom give us identical middle names?

I can’t speak for whether our eldest bro’ Jerry resented not having an escape-route middle name. I keep meaning to ask him when we speak or visit but it’d feel like stirring things up to inquire why he thought our mom left him to his own devices, pogrom-wise. Nobody needs that kind of uncertainty in his life.

More on the queen’s move, per CBS News: “The queen’s four other grandchildren, born to Crown Prince Frederik, 54, will retain their titles but when they come of age only the future king, Prince Christian, will receive an appanage, a decision taken in 2016.”

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I think it’s nice that King-In-Waiting Chris will get his own appanage, though I need to confess that when I first read it, I thought it said “appendage.” The thought that such a young man was missing a vital limb made me both sad and, frankly, a bit awed that Queen Margie had the super-power to restore a lost arm or leg.

Then I consulted the Oxford English Dictionary, which usually never lets me down, and found that an appanage is “a gift of land, an official position, or money given to the younger children of kings and princes to provide for their maintenance.” 

This time I was disappointed in the OED. Children are human beings one should love, nurture and clothe, not “maintain.” You get maintenance contracts on your refrigerators. You hire maintenance people to fix your dying HVAC unit. You don’t “maintain” kids (though you can certainly disdain, dismiss and disown them. Your call).

Anyway, if Queen Margie is still a reader of this column (the Danes dig us), I hope she’ll think about sending a used title or unused appanage my way. I even promise to share it with my big brother, Prince Jerrold of Monpezat, the Bronx.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


In this week’s blog, I’d like to highlight our GPB Yuba City Branch Manager Nina Singh and all of the GPB branch staff team for their commitment to incredible customer service.

In the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time in that office and witness from the ground level the branch team’s personal interactions with customers from the local community. I know now why Nina has won the “Favorite Banker” award in the Yuba Sutter community four years in a row through the Appeal Democrat’s Reader’s Choice Best of Yuba Sutter Award annual contest.

We live in a digital age where we expect (even demand!) that everything is available to us in real time no matter where we are, at any device including a smartphone at our fingertips. Many businesses, including SoFi Bank (of which GPB is a division) appropriately are leaders in new technology and processes to help automate tasks and reduce costs to get the best financial products and services out to a broad base of customer members.

Technology is important and it’s transformed our lives and the way we bank to one of comfort and increased efficiencies. It’s important to make new technology investments, but I believe that it’s still vitally important to look at the power of building intimacy with your customers by delivering world-class customer service like they used to in the “good old days”—in a manner all of us must respect and enjoy.

When we think about what makes our businesses competitive, we tend to focus on more technology and the bottom line of lower costs and higher earnings to increase share value. I would argue that there is an overlooked business value that may be a business component to measure success—offering superior customer service—that can also possibly profitably transform your business and provide direct investments in your local community.

Great and direct customer service is just a pleasing way to interact with fellow humans and give that personal touch we all instinctually crave.

In this month of February, which celebrates love, I highlight our excellent staff, especially Nina, and their personal touch and heart-felt commitment to our wonderful customers.

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