Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Sorry, Charlie! Kings aren’t Chicago’s thing

King Charles III

     In 2009, I had to go to London to give a speech, and wondered what else I should do while in town. Tea with the Queen of England sounded fun. So I phoned her press office at Buckingham Palace — nothing ventured, nothing gained! Not that I really expected to sit down with her, serf à la reine, and sip Earl Grey, I explained, in my brazen American way. But maybe she’d be cutting a ribbon somewhere and I could join the crowd.
     “The queen,” the press person explained, “will be at her castle in Balmoral.”
     Just as well....
     However, the press person continued, seizing the opportunity to bring up Prince Charles. He had a project. Something about architecture. I don’t think she wanted me to go over rolls of drawings with him. But he had some royal initiative she dangled before me. No matter, because at the mention of “Charles” my cognitive functions shut off. Sorry, Charlie.
     Charles never counted. Maybe it was the ears. Remarking upon people’s physical attributes has gone out of style, and I would apologize, but I am not expressing my own bias, but merely reporting the world’s. There is something squinty and inbred about the man — his parents were third cousins, remember.
     Charles was awkward and unpleasant, even before he cuckolded the world’s favorite princess and sent her hurtling toward her rendezvous with death on a Paris street (actually, “cuckold” applies only to men; a woman whose husband betrays her is a “ cuckquean” which is not a word even I would spring on you, unexplained, except to observe it was the only kind of queen Diana got the chance to be).

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  1. Charles is and will forever be a mope. Your comparison to the cult of Trump is spot on, but the both of them sell shoddy stuff, so it's all about the money.

    1. I presume Charlie gets a cut on the sales of dishes with his mug on them.

    2. Oh for heaven’s sake, cut the guy a little slack. What if YOU had to wait 70 years to get the only job you were allowed to accept? And he seems to have grown into his ears.

  2. I don’t get it. The British people are enamored with their royalty in spite of the fact that their tax dollars pay for royal family’s ultra-lavish lifestyle yet provide nothing but pomp and circumstance in return.

    1. Well, yes, we British (I have retained my British citizenship despite living here since 1964) like our pomp and circumstance. One might say that that IS what we are getting for our tax dollars, and the royal family is reduced to such a figurehead role now that the general public could, technically, boot them out of their assorted castles if we wanted do. But we haven't, because we (I say "we" because the entire population of the UK has nominated me to speak for them) rather enjoy it.

      I would also point out here that they have put some effort into contributing to society. For example, I believe all the major family members have put in years of military service -- even Queen Elizabeth, who joined up in 1945, late in World War II, and who drove and serviced trucks and ambulances in a five-month stint before the war ended.

      I know that comparing the US and UK is like apples to rutabagas, but I just don't view the British upper class with as much disdain and horror as I do a lot of the people who want to be in charge of this country here. The royals can keep on doing what they're doing, and I'm fine with that.

    2. Can't argue with you Andy, we have a large contingent of evil minded men and hordes of cowards enabling them. Perhaps a monarch would be a buffer to the rudeness of MTG and Tucker. But the British press was at least unkind to the American of color, pushing Harry and his family away. On his fathers big day he was relegated to a back row, and amid a bunch of uniformed royals handed awards and titles undeserved but for their birth, he was prohibited from wearing his despite being the only one who had actually served in combat. It is like comparing Audie Murphy and John Baselone to Lindsay Graham and Ron Desantis, yes the all won medals but only two could wear them proudly. Admittedly, the British tabloid press is less likely to destroy western democracy than a corrupt and cowardly Republican party.

  3. We have a friend who's a huge fan of the Royals...the family, not the baseball team. She has a "Queen Room" in her house, with all kinds of collectibles and memorabilia. Some of it was gifted by us. We once found her a framed portrait of King George VI (Elizabeth's father) at a flea market, and we gave her a coronation plate from the last shindig (for Elizabeth II, in 1953).

    Coronation and Jubilee (coronation anniversary) plates are an old racket. One of our gifts was a Silver Jubilee plate for King George V, from 1935. He died the following year, and was succeeded by the Prince of Wales, who became Edward VIII. Then the guy had to give up the throne, to marry a Baltimore harpy. His coronation was just five months away. Now what? Same pomp and pageantry, same date (May 12, 1937), different dude--Eddie's kid brother, George. It's all about continuity in the office, not about the officeholder. Same as it's been for a thousand years.

    Plenty of suddenly-obsolete Edward VIII coronation plates remained on sale...and many are still out there, after eight-plus decades. Like having a "1965 JFK Second Inaugural" platter, or an "'84 Cubs --World Champions" banner. We found an Eddie 8 plate in an antique store. Carried it across the street. It's in the Queen Room now.

    Chuck's an odd duck, and a weird dork, but he's okay. The guy has grit...and pluck. He's been in an awkward job decades as a waiter. Now he's the boss, at the newly-renamed Charlie's. The soulmate he waited years for is finally by his side, as hostess. But you never know...we might easily be shrugging off still another coronation (of William V) before the Twenties are over. And they'll change the name of the joint to Willy's Place.

  4. Replies
    1. After being a lifelong he's the boss of the's a joke...


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