©05 The Media Desk
First out of the box. Prince Charles is his own worst enemy. He has one of the cushiest jobs in the world and had screwed it right into the ground. He was in an ideal position and his most idle whim was considered a royal order by people hired for the sole purpose of keeping him content. He was married to one of the most, if not THE most, popular woman in the world whom while not a Hollywood-style beauty was still glamorous and attractive in a very real way.
HRH the Prince of Wales has broken the sacred trust the British People in several ways. One, he had an affair with a woman who was married to a British military officer- Andrew Parker Bowles, while he himself was married to the country's sweetheart- Diana. Two, he treated Diana like dirt in public. Three, his reaction to her death, and the reaction of the entire royal family on top of it, was simply a matter of self preservation. The Royals would rather she had married the Arab and moved to someplace the Queen couldn't pronounce and been done with it than her becoming an instant legend and nearly a Saint. Also part of that is their dealings with her memory and the public sentiment out there that still rate her higher than the rest of the family put together. Nobody will ever understand why the Queen didn't want William and Harry walking behind her casket, until, that is, public outrage demanded it. Four, Chuck has tried his best to groom the boys in his image, in short- clueless blooming idiots in a kilt. But so far they have resisted and seem to be turning out fine. Which one would expect from Diana's offspring.
The affair between Chuck and Camilla continued before, during (by Charles' own admission) and well after Charles's marriage to Diana. In fact, pictures of Camilla were sticking out of his diary while he was on his honeymoon with Diana. Also reported were long passionate telephone conversations well into the night between the two while a pregnant Diana lay in the next room.
That Charles and Camilla were longtime friends is not even the question. That they were sometimes lovers is also not a matter for serious debate. But what they were during the time they were both married to someone else is. Diana knew what was going on and confronted her on at least a couple of well publicized occasions. The Princess was reported to call the other woman a 'Rottweiler' on at least one occasion.
Also is the fact that Camilla divorced her first husband for the express purpose of marrying the future king. Something that used to be a grave no-no. A divorcee being Queen or even occupying the spot of Main Squeeze (Princess Consort) was unheard of. In the good old days the king would simply have had the previous marriage annulled or even killed off the former hubby, then went on his way. But alas, times have changed.
Now don't take this as coming down totally against Charles. Diana wasn't as pure as the driven snow either. Rumors of her seeking comfort in the arms of another man abound. And some are very well documented. As well as the supposed eating disorders and other emotional responses to her doomed marriage to HRH (AKA- the Wonk).
She was, after all, a pretty young woman in a loveless marriage, surrounded by hunky bodyguards and military types.
Add to that the constant unwavering attention she received on every aspect of her life. People were fascinated by her. They simply could not get enough. And still can't.
There was a joke that went around back during their marriage. This is one of several variations: "Princess Diana came to town today. She was stunningly beautiful as she addressed the crowd at the sports dome. Later she had lunch with the mayor and the president of the teacher's union. She was accompanied by some funny looking guy with big ears in an ugly suit."
Which probably explained why Charles actually resented her. She was the center of attention wherever they went, not him. And when he went someplace without her, the questions he got, other than officially planted ones that he could answer without looking stupid, were about Diana.
Every new outfit she wore made the fashion pages of major newspapers worldwide. Pictures of her in swimsuits were a staple of celebrity gossip magazines and the occasional paparazzi pic of her topless on the Riviera or someplace (even fakes) landed in other magazines. For awhile the only coverage of Charles was of him picking his nose at an official function or falling off a horse. The boy couldn't catch a break even after they broke up.
And he still can't.
Here he is, finally getting ready to marry the dowdy older woman he's been chasing for his entire life, and he has to postpone it because the Pope had the gall to die the week before and mess up his plans.
Oh, by the way, Camilla, born in July of '47, is something on the order of a year and a half older than the Prince who was born late in 1948.
As for the British People… they seem to have grown accustomed to the fact that the heir to the throne is a moron and will most likely end up embarrassing the Kingdom back at least five hundred years. Which would bring us to Henry the Eighth, he would understand, although he wouldn't approve, he seemed to always want to trade his current Queen in for a newer model.
The best course of action for Charles would be to go ahead and get married, then abdicate all claim to the throne in favor of Prince William, who is far more popular than Charles ever was, and thereby make some peace between the Royals and a public who sees the entire Royal Family as simply another reason their taxes are so high.
But that thought probably will not occur to Chuck who seems to be as selfish as any toddler who last week learned to say "mommy" in an extremely cute way, and this week learned to exclaim "MINE!!!" with some authority.
Charles cannot relate to anything that would be 'for the good of the kingdom'. It's not part of his makeup. His staying married to Diana, keeping his pants on around Camilla, and not looking like a total geek in that polo outfit when not on a horse swinging a club would have been 'for the good of the kingdom'. But that's not Chuck.
Back in the day somebody needed to slap Charles half way across the room and get right in his face and scream: "OK, you're still in love with Camilla, fine. Write the ol'broad some poetry and send her a box of chocolates once in awhile. Do your husbandly duty and smile about it. Di's not bad looking and she seems willing to dress up in that nun's habit and scold you with a ruler, so things could be worse. Remember your place in things and Don't Muck Up The Works!"
Ahhh, if they only had.
Maybe now that person could repeat the operation and say something on the order of… "Damnit Chuckie Ol' Boy, suck it up and step down, we'll make you the Duke of Somethingorother, and you can spend the rest of your days with what's'er name up in the highlands where you can wear kilts 24/7." But that's not likely to happen.
Could this be the end of the Monarchy? Will King Charles the Third also be King Charles the Last?
It is possible.
During the mess with Charles and Diana as well as Andrew and Fergie (Sarah Ferguson) there was much talk about doing away with the Monarchy. If not immediately, at least when the current Queen takes her Corgis and retires to the country.
The position of Monarch is almost totally ceremonial only having the official function of opening Parliament and entertaining foreign dignitaries. Which could be done at least as well by the Prime Minister who's drawing a check anyway, and at a fraction of the cost. With the current system the Brits are paying for Double the Government. A PM to run the show, and a Queen and Court to smile and wave. Teach Mister Blair the Rose Queen Wave and turn him loose.
There aren't many Industrialized Countries which have actual Ruling Monarchs, and none that are anywhere near the size and power of the UK. Even His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden rules a Constitutional Monarchy, and frankly he has a lot fewer of the problems with others of the royal household than Elizabeth II has had to put up with. Even Monaco has a constitution and National Assembly (of 24 seats) that runs the place. To find someplace where the King's Word is actually the Law you have to go to some of the Arab countries like Saudi Arabia. And even there, you have the Religious Police to make sure the King doesn't go too far.
One can only conclude that the days of the British Crown as we know it are counting down and it could well be that by the time William sees the world from the throne, his high seat might well have a sticker across the side that says:
"Bayer- Official Headache Reliever of The King."
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