For the Brits: Much ado about a few royal problems
Before I get a bunch of overly polite letters asking me to “please consider a more amicable tone if you wouldn’t mind, sir. Cheers!” let me make one thing clear: there is no bigger fan of the British people than myself. I love everything about the Brits. I love their adorable misspellings of words like color and flavor (A u? Are you high?). Hell, I have several British children in my basement right now! So, to all British people: if I seem a bit harsh over the course of this article, know that I still want to be friends.
Readers, I noticed an article on CNN.com today that made me furious. I have fact-checked the following statement several times and have found it to be, sadly, true: Queen Elizabeth II is still alive. Let that information sink in a bit. Rub it into your scalp. Swish it around in your mouth a few times. Taste like bullshit? It’s not. Queen Elizabeth has been alive for 85 years. Those aren’t some kind of crazy British years, folks. I checked. Those are American years. Do you see where I am going with this? No? Meet me at the beginning of paragraph three.
Glad you could make it. Now I don’t have a problem with women living to the age of 85. Plenty of my best friends are women older than 85. We get together to play bridge every week and talk about the outrageous things they allow on television these days. It’s great. But this is different.
Elizabeth has a child. According to astute journalist Bob Greene: “He's 62. He's been waiting to be king for a very long time. The job is his by birthright, but he can't campaign for it. His mother, Queen Elizabeth, will turn 85 this week. She has been queen since she was 25. She doesn't seem to be a woman who is thinking about giving it up.” Outrageous!
Talk about losing the lottery of birth. While other royals managed to ascend to the throne before their first birthday (get at me King Henry VI), Charles has been forced to toil in relative obscurity for six decades. And like Bob Greene said, “Charles doesn't have a lot of options. In the world of business, hard-charging executives who seemed destined for the chairman's suite sometimes get pushed aside; they usually end up running other big companies. Such a path is not available to Charles. If it is determined that [his son] William should be king, Charles can't exactly pack up his bags and become king of, say, Spain or Sweden.”
What is Charles supposed to do with himself? Walk around downtown London telling older single women that he loves them and setting wedding arrangements and then telling them that he’s actually not sure what he wants come wedding day? Or perhaps borrow some money from the 450 million dollars in the royal treasury and pay poor people to Jello wrestle orangutans while lively saxophone music plays in the background? That would be unethical, I’m told. Plus, I’m sure he’s done that plenty of times. Poor bastard.
Bob Greene has a great idea: upon Queen Elizabeth’s passing, Charles should be King for a day, then abdicate the throne and let William take over. He even illustrates what it would look like in practice: “And what a moment it would be the next morning when Charles, leaving the throne and the palace after a single sunset, looked over at William and, with a father's smile, nodded and tossed him the keys.” There’s only one problem: the British throne isn’t a used Pontiac GTO that Charles bought and let William help him fix up and that Charles then gave William the keys to after realizing that he never really wanted another car, he just wanted to spend time with his son.