Friday, December 17, 2010
Charles and Camilla
One of those symbolic moments occurred the other day on Regent’s Street, London, captured in a short take of film by a lucky photographer. And from it was extracted a single frame of film in which Camilla stares open-mouthed and Charles in bemused consternation at the parallel universe beyond the glass of their vehicle. The world, in its unpredictable proletarian reality, was washing up on the shores of their royal separateness! The prince is not used to his subjects being other than forelock tuggers on his estates, or the Uriah Heaps of the royal retinue and the landed gentry of the county set. Of course, the Prince’s Trust has its charitable offerings to needy young folk who aspire to making it in business and the prince might have assumed that it was a conduit to understanding the downtrodden masses. Until now. Nothing had actually prepared the surreal pair for this rupture of their rarefied universe.
The most significant element of their brush with unwashed studenthood was the attack upon Camilla’s royal person. Was she, as was originally claimed but not really corroborated by the Home Secretary, ‘poked with a stick’? If so, how Neanderthal. Even today, in this world of technology, virtual aggression and climatically controlled vehicles, we can be prodded by an oaken branch, from the same genus of tree that another royal Charles once hid from republican Cromwell!
For Charles, rhetoric and reality are not considered complementary. He it was who paid for a planeload of black lilies or some such plant to be brought from South Africa for a swanky do whilst well into his cant on environmental sustainability and man’s odious place in that narrative.
As you will know from a previous blog, I don’t feel that much solidarity with the student revolt this time round as there seems little ideology or altruism in it but, at least, it has given genesis to that iconic photograph of the future king coming face to face with the people he must one day rule.