Charles, Prince of Wales turns 70

Charles’ shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron every day.

Prince CharlesIt may be softheadedness, particularly since I think the whole idea of monarchy and primogeniture is rather silly. Still, sometimes I feel sorry for Prince Charles.

After all, the only job for which he has been trained to do is to become king. And his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, stubbornly, remains alive and shows no signs of abdicating. He is the oldest and longest-serving heir apparent in British history.

Worse, because of his massive royal wedding to Diana Spencer, which turned into a marriage gone very wrong, almost no one really wants him to be king at all at this point. They favor his eldest son with the late, beloved Diana, William, who had his fairytale wedding of his own with Kate Middleton. William has now fathered three more heirs of his own.

To the degree Charles is tolerated, beyond royal protocol, it’s because Charles appears to have been a good dad to William and Harry. This was especially true after Diana, the fun, sensitive, compassionate one was killed in 1997. The folks in the UK seem even tolerant of Charles’ second wife, Camilla, who he probably should have married in the first place.

Charles represents his mother in many functions, much having to do with the Commonwealth. He also does quite a bit of charitable work, especially regarding education and the environment. He frets about the world of plastics his grandchildren are going to grow up in.

No wonder that being first in line for the British throne may have gone to Prince Charles’ head.

“The Prince of Wales… has reportedly earned a special nickname among the staff at Clarence House: The Pampered Prince. That’s because, according to Amazon Prime’s new documentary ‘Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm,’ Charles needs help doing just about everything.

“‘His pajamas are pressed every morning, his shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron, the bath plug has to be in a certain position and the water temperature has to be just tepid,’ Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, revealed in the documentary…

“This isn’t the first time that Prince Charles’ odd behavior has made headlines. A recently published book by Tom Bowers, ‘Rebel Prince, The Power, Passion, And Defiance Of Prince Charles,’ includes interviews with more than 120 people who share outlandish stories about working for the Royals.

“Apparently, Princess Diana’s ex brings his own toilet seat with him when he travels, changes outfits five times a day, only recently discovered what Saran wrap is and never shows up to a dinner party without his own food.”

Quoting the Simon & Garfunkel, “How terribly strange to be 70.” There was birthday party earlier this year, but today’s the actual natal day.

Royally exhausted

His royal highness Christopher Rupert Vwindemier Vlandamier Carl Alexander Francois Reginald Lancelot Herman Gregory James is giving a ball.


My personal nightmare is over, and I won’t have to listen to the incessant stories about George Cambridge, which sounds like the name of a character actor in 1970s films, but in fact is what I’ve dubbed one baby born this past Monday, along with about 350,000 others worldwide.
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The royal connection

My daughter is a princess.


There was this online article about Prince William’s Fargo, North Dakota cousin’s royal celebration. “Kay Johnson wasn’t too upset about being overlooked for Friday’s royal wedding guest list. Besides, she wasn’t the only Spencer to get snubbed.” Unfortunately, the free access post disappeared.

This story is specificallly interesting to me because my wife and daughter are likewise related. Seems that late in the 17th century, John Olin married Susannah Spencer, and my wife is a direct descendent, ninth generation I believe. Susannah Spencer is somehow an ancestor of Diana Spencer, who married Prince Charles, who had two sons, William and Harry.
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An American Need

Listening to the podcast of Arthur@AmeriNZ recently. He noted that Rachel Maddow of MSNBC apologized to US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for calling him Bernie. Arthur, an American now living in New Zealand was amused/bemused by this apology. In his adopted nation, the prime minister is first among equals, and is referred to by first name; the same tends to be true in the UK and in other countries that used to be called the British Commonwealth.

So what do they have that the United States doesn’t have? Continue reading “An American Need”