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It’s a supermarket tabloid’s take, for sure, but even The Globe sometimes gets it right.
And who knows? Perhaps if a generation is indeed skipped over, a royal divorce between Charles and Camilla will inevitably follow.
Call it the revenge of Princess Diana.
Queen Elizabeth is coming off the high of a much-enjoyed and thrilling celebration of her Diamond Jubilee that marked her sixtieth year of accession to Britain’s royal throne.
But this does not mean that these same subjects hold Prince Charles in similarly high esteem and affection.
They loved his late first wife, Princess Diana, and they seem clearly willing to transfer that same love they had for her to her sons, Prince William and even Prince Harry (whose paternity has always been in some doubt). It is her–Diana–or some piece of her, her DNA, whatever is the source of that spark and brilliance she held–and not Charles and his new “crocodile wife” that the British people want to be their monarch.
Prior to her death, Princess Diana had delivered a scathing condemnation of Charles’s fitness to be king. She also claimed he himself did not even really want to be king, and since Charles holds a strong reputation for being, as the British say, “dithering,” her words during her Panorama BBC interview resonated with the public.
Diana’s words enraged Charles, infuriated the Queen, horrified some courtiers, and wheels were then certainly put into motion to oust Diana from the inner royal circle that had safeguarded her for so long. The royal divorce that soon came to pass was the least of it. But then, following Diana’s mysterious death in the Paris Alma Tunnel, the whole world openly and very noisily mourned the death of a young woman and mother who had not only revitalized a moribund royal house, but imbued the very idea of royalty with so much more than she ever received from it herself. All over the world, an estimated 2.5 people in 187 countries viewed her televised funeral. Those watching in the United States woke up before 4 A.M.. In London alone, scores of British subjects had not waited for her funeral, but immediately turned the streets and gates outside Buckingham and Kensington Palaces into shrines, full of flowers, candles, poems, children’s toys, and tributes written on scraps of paper to the woman who would never be Queen, but who, in her own words, had had “a hard role” and only wanted, in the end, to be the queen of people’s hearts.
As the guncarriage holding her coffin rolled past, draped with the Windsor’s royal standard that they had just denied her in life, the Queen and all the Royals clearly saw the streets lined with thousands of sobbing and somber-faced British people–the largest crowds ever publicly assembled in London since World War II.
Then the crowd also saw, walking behind her coffin, head bowed low, her first-born son, William. The one who looks so like Diana herself.
Who knows how many plain and ordinary people on this, one of saddest days in British modern history, decided, then and there, that this young man would one day soon be their king before Charles?
Indeed. Charles, who appeared sad and repentant, still showed himself as a sorry kind of pathetic figure who, even in the company of his father and sons, appeared too weak and unworthy to have ever been married to the magical Diana. But William clearly stood in the halo of radiant light that still sparked and streamed forth from the very idea of his mother.
Now, people still raise their eyebrows at the notion of Charles soon becoming king, and his new wife, the smirky-smug and many-chinned Camilla, who caused Diana so much pain and anguish, becoming his queen or even his “princess consort.” And the worst thing is that Charles and Camilla are only growing older. As aging divorcees who were both adulterous with their respective spouses, Charles and Camilla will be best-known only as the king and queen of broken hearts. The masses are beginning to mutter of their discontent via the supermarket tabloids. It is not easy to do more while Queen Elizabeth is still alive, and she has vowed to remain on the throne until her death.
But even Queen Elizabeth’s remaining on her throne indefinitely may not be so easy. Her own mother lived to be over 100 years old, and while it was nice to trot “Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother” out in her flowered frocks and amusing feathered hats, most British want a stronger, more appealing and dynamic figure to be their modern monarch. Charles is getting too old, and becoming too craven, to fit this bill. Since Diana’s death, Charles has been the subject of lurid investigations involving charges of homosexual rape among his staff, and he himself may have recently overstepped his involvement in politics through a series of letters and memorandums that he is now struggling to keep secret, even though there is no doubt that these documents exist. His very marriage to Camilla raises questions of the legality of their union, since the Queen did not attend the ceremony and did not appear to give her permission for the union, and Parliament was not consulted at the time, as is required by law for those Royals in line to take the throne.
Actually, the only truly constitutional duty Charles ever had was to stay married to Princess Diana, and have lots and lots of children. And in this, he failed.
The Globe has quoted an unnamed source (aren’t they always “unnamed?) as saying that Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, has told the Queen, whom he has now advised for over half a century, that “Charles must divorce Camilla,” and “William and Catherine (Royal talk for Kate) must succeed you or I fear the monarchy will fall apart.”
But the only thing that will truly save the British monarchy is for William to not just succeed to the throne, but to also stay married to Kate, and for Kate to have lots and lots of children. And in this last task, they appear to be…dithering. Taking the Crown will demand a great deal of maturity and restraint that, so far, they have not really evinced much of, despite the fact that they are both heading into middle age. Taking the Crown will demand more time spent in fruitful procreation, and less time clubbing in bars. Taking the Crown will demand more time spent in spreading one’s majesty, rather than scowling at the press. More time in the nursery taking care of the royal babies, and less time showing off the latest weird Alice Temperley embroidered floradoodle cocktail dress. Less time sunbathing naked on the French chateau balcony, and more time on Buckingham Palace’s balcony with all their clothes on, waving to the cheering throngs.
If William and Kate can do these things, perhaps the monarchy’s survival will again be assured.
Maybe this time, The Globe did get it right.
WHAT SHOULD THE QUEEN DO? DISCUSS IT BELOW.
KATE MIDDLETON AND WILLIAM ON DYNASTY ’S NAKED BALCONY, COMMON BUT NOT PREGNANT
Would you want Prince Charles or Prince William to be the next King?
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