Yes, I used that as a title. You can all throw things now. <embarrassed shrug>
A couple of people asked about this, so I thought it was worth a brief blog post.
I don’t know how the present-day Royal Navy handles such matters, but the Royal (Space) Navy of Ark Royal has two firm guidelines for sexual relationships between its personal.
-You can’t have sex with someone in your chain of command.
-You can’t have sex with someone in the same unit as yourself.
The former prevents sex being used for either bribes (“give me a good evaluation and I’ll give you a blowjob”) or blackmail (“give me a blowjob or I won’t give you a good evaluation.”) The Royal Navy takes a dim view of both as they undermine discipline – crewmen will be wondering, with reason, if Midshipwoman X was promoted because she sucked Lieutenant Y. There are clear procedures for reporting such sexual contact and, if proven to be real, everyone involved would be in deep shit.
The latter prevents sex from interfering with a fighting unit’s cohesion. A mixed-sex group intending to fight together cannot do so if some of its members are sleeping with other members. (Or at least that’s the RN’s view on the matter.) Again, there are clear procedures in place, although these are deemed less effective because there isn’t such a stench of rat around such affairs. (And because some units tend to close ranks around the offenders, making it hard for outsiders to prove anything.) The RN tends to transfer people involved to other ships rather than make a fuss about it, at least the first time around.
(These regulations apply equally to straight and homosexual sex. The RN doesn’t give a damn if someone prefers women to men or vice versa. What it cares about is combat effectiveness in the face of the enemy.)
By these lights, the relationship between Kurt and Rose was flat-out against regulations and, to be fair, they only entered into a relationship when they thought they were both going to die before they could be put in front of a court martial. The best they could reasonably expect from a court would be dishonourable discharge, which would have ensured they wouldn’t have much chance of finding a second job in space. This is why it was an effective blackmail weapon, all the more so as they kept on the affair even after returning to Earth the first time. They showed astonishing moral courage in going to their superiors after the blackmail episode began.
Henry/Charles Augustus’s relationship with Janelle is more complicated. On the face of it, they’re not in the same chains of command and there are no grounds for their superiors objecting to the relationship. Even if it were doomed from the start, it wouldn’t be seen as a major problem, as long as it didn’t interfere with their work. Ted might have rolled his eyes – he’s old enough to see quite a few relationships shatter when one party is transferred to another ship – but he wouldn’t do anything about it.
Complicating matters, however, is the simple fact that Henry is a member of the Royal Family, perhaps the Heir to the Throne. Janelle does not know this. Ted and James hit the roof about this when they find out because this relationship will literally ruin Janelle’s life – the press will be after her, the Royal Family will probably dissect her life to see if there’s anything that renders her unsuitable to be the next Queen, everyone will insist she’s too thin or too plain … in short, her life will no longer be her own. (Remember those facebook photos you posted when you were drunk and how they can pop up years later to ruin your life?) This happens in real life. Diana went through hell because the media saw her as their plaything, while nude photos of Kate made their way onto the internet.
As far as Ted’s concerned, Henry’s desire for a normal relationship, for a girlfriend who isn’t either a gold-digger or someone willing to brag to the press about nailing the Prince has shattered Janelle’s life … and she doesn’t even know it! When Henry’s presence is revealed, someone will remember that he was dating Janelle … why should she try to hide it when she doesn’t know what she’s actually doing?
I don’t see anything particularly wrong with Ted being steamed over the whole affair. By regulations, they’ve done nothing wrong. But morally, the whole situation stinks like a piece of meat that’s been left out in the noonday sun.
But what can they do?
Hopefully, that makes sense.