Question for Cherry. Rupert said in an article not too long ago that one of the reasons he was bullied was because of his name. Isn't the name Rupert pretty common in Britain? Why would he be bullied having this name?
Well, as with so many other aspects of life in Britain, it’s hard to avoid the subject of class here. Rupert is an extremely ‘middle-class’ name, not a name you’d hear in many state schools. It came over with the German aristocracy in the early seventeenth century (the first known Rupert in England was the king’s nephew, Prince Rupert of the Rhine). Given Rupert’s comfortable upbringing in rural Oxfordshire, he probably mixed with children of a similar class, so they would be unlikely to pick on him for his ‘posh’ name. The main factor in any bullying would probably be the tv series from the 1970s with its great singalong theme tune. I bet he heard versions of this all the time in the playground! By the time Rupert was growing up, it had been off-air for a while but it’s one of those tunes that sticks. And being primarily associated with a cartoon animal can’t be ideal for any child, especially a boy with that haircut. Still, at least, subliminally, it influenced his fashion sense, endowing him with a quirky love of mustard coloured trousers and jaunty scarves! So, let’s celebrate, ‘Rupert, Rupert the bear, everyone sing his name … everyone come and join in all of his games!’