The Black Prince

The Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, Prince of Aquitaine and heir to the English throne could be viewed as a hedonist. Certainly, he loves pleasure.

He takes pleasure wherever he finds it, hunting, horse racing, tournaments, good food and drink and women. Despite a  large number of romantic entanglements, he is and always has been in love with his cousin, Joan of Kent.

He is impulsive, making decisions on the run, preferring to learn from his own mistakes rather than study any theory. He is clever, in fact, intelligent enough to avoid any tasks which he finds distasteful or boring. This makes him a good leader of armed forces. He delegates tasks to others and does not over supervise their activities. Those who work with him are given every opportunity to use their own skill and experience in the execution of their duties.

They know that there are two possible outcomes; they achieve what is required of them, in which case the Prince is quick to give praise and reward them with improved opportunities. Alternatively, if they fail to meet his expectations they know that they will be quickly replaced.

The Prince, however, though often apparently removed from the action, is quick to offer assistance to those faced with political or organisational difficulty.  Those who find themselves under physical threat may find the prince suddenly at their shoulder sword in hand. Inevitably this style of leadership is soon reflected throughout every aspect of his organisation.

It is not a good match for political governance with any semblance of democracy. Even away from the battlefield, the Princ tends to want to tell people what to do not have them tell him what to do or even tell him their requirements, He believes in the feudal system but at  a time when that system is being abandonned.

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