Prince Charles must really know what it feels like to be always the bridesmaid, never the bride as he became the longest-serving monarch-in-waiting recently. At 59, Bonnie Prince Charlie has passed the age his great great grandfather Edward VII succeeded Queen Victoria to the throne in 1901. Is there any glimmer of hope that the ermine cloak might yet adorn Charles’ shoulders and the empire pass into his hands? No, for the corgi-loving old dear, Queen Liz seems hellbent on hanging in there at 81.
Whatever will the dahlias say to all this? While Charles is mumbling in the bitter twilight about how he has been wronged, his late wife must be chuckling in her grave. For the ‘people’s princess’, angered by her husband’s relationship with the woman she called the ‘rottweiler’, had made it clear, après Liz, it would be William. So, we have dear Charles knocking about nattering to his plants, decrying fast food and discussing the merits and demerits of Tudor architecture. Or perhaps, we’ve got it all wrong. Maybe the sable trappings of the monarchy are not for him.
Queen Elizabeth, unlike foot-in-the-mouth Charlie, is famous for her rectitude, she has never been known to say a word out of place. The hellraiser princes, with their colourful girlfriends and vodka shot-loving ways may just be thing the House of Windsor, now clothed in shades of brown and grey, needs after the death of Diana. Charles must take a leaf out of the Thai monarchy’s book. King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been hanging in there since 1946 and not a peep out of his son and daughter. So for the moment, the Kohinoor must remain a twinkle in the distance for Charles. Uneasy lies the head that’s denied the crown.