Catherine Howard (one of King Henry VIII’s wives) has been referred to as “the rose without a thorn.” Always beautiful, always proper. Women call themselves today to be that rose in society, and to hide the thorns. Be flawless.
Roses and thorns though are part of the same plant. The rose stays on the plant for only a few days, the thorn is there forever – and some say it’s there to protect the plant from being eaten by animals – so the thorns then make the rose possible.
People tend to see the beauty of the rose and pretend the thorn is not present, but on a cactus the only thing that you can see is thorns but in fact many bloom quite beautifully.
In either case – the thorns are what makes the plants that carry the beauty, survive.