Some Thoughts on the New King

I’ve been wanting to post on this for a long time – 25 years to be exact. I got busy having kids and working and then I got involved in scrapbooking and sewing and gardening, and then I had a grandchild, but this afternoon I found myself with a few extra minutes, and what with the Queen’s Royal Jubilee in the can, it seemed like a good idea to say what’s been on my mind for years:

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles are dicks.

That’s right. 100%, USDA Certified dicks. SCOTUS voted 8-1 (Thomas was the lone dissenting Justice) that they’re dicks. It’s the one thing that I and Vladimir Putin agree on – I called him this morning, and he said, and I quote, “Charles and Camilla DICK.”

Whether or not you liked Diana, they were dicks, and now I’m going to tell you why.

Charles and Camilla fell in love well before Charles ever met Diana. After a lengthy courtship, Charles asked Camilla to marry him, but she said no because she did not want to live a royal life. (Remember this part because it’s important – HE ASKED HER TO MARRY HIM AND SHE SAID NO).

Then she married someone else, and he (Charles) was heartbroken. Before the ink was even dry on her wedding certificate, however, she (Camilla) and Charles resumed their shenanigans – either beknownst or unbeknownst to her unlucky hubby. I guess if you’re the Prince of Wales, you can do that without worry of offending the Church of England, and in fact, he was encouraged by male relatives to sow his wild oats however he liked, before, during, and after his marriage. After all, what’s the point of being the King if sport fucking is off the table?

The affair continued. The pressure on Charles to find an appropriate wife, however, escalated – Queen Elizabeth II was anxious for her party boy son to settle down – but not just any girl would do. She must be pretty, demure, obedient, of sufficient peerage, and, of course, a virgin. By the 1980’s, however, there weren’t a lot of women over the age of 20 that Charles hadn’t already dated who fit that profile, so he had to start trolling teenagers, and, at the age of 32, he found one Diana Spencer, 13 years his junior, and his 7th cousin once removed on the Spencer side of the family (and 16th cousin once removed on the Tudor side of the family).

After a whirlwind courtship (six months) during which they likely spent very little time actually getting to know each other, and where most of the decision-making about the future of their relationship was being done by other people, they announced their engagement. When asked if they were in love, Charles, that crazy guy, gave the answer every girl longs to hear: “Whatever that means.”

Diana then spent the next several months living in Clarence House with the Queen Mother where, it was charmingly related, the older, beloved Elizabeth had taken the dewy-eyed young thing under her wing to teach her the ways of all things royal. Later, Diana would describe these days as lonely and isolating, as she was cut off from family and friends, including the fiancé with whom she was starry-eyed infatuated. And remember…this is a young girl who never went to university, who up until this time lived in a flat with three girlfriends, taught at a nursery school, and babysat and cleaned for her older sister (the only real maternal figure she had had since her mother left the family when she was very young).

Think about what you were like when you were 19.

Think about how much you had in common with an 80-something year old woman who, it turns out – for all her warm, glowing smiles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and the adoration of a nation who remembered her, ever steadfast, at the side of George VI during the horror of WWII – was not all that nice to Diana – ever.

And then there was the tragic, tacit, truth that Charles had not picked Diana because he loved her, or even liked her, and EVERYBODY KNEW IT, BUT NOBODY FUCKING TOLD DIANA.

No, she actually thought he loved her, and that it was a fairy tale come to life, and she was so young and sheltered and crazy in the love with this big-eared jackass that no one had the heart to burst her bubble, and maybe there was even a collective hope that he would come to see what was obvious to everyone who wasn’t a foppish, inbred, cosseted pantywaist: That Diana might actually have the potential to be a very good queen indeed, that she might prove to be smart, with good instincts, and even a good help-mate, if only given a chance.

No one really ever gave her a chance, and for all the lessons in how to properly curtesy and pour tea, there was little emotional support in the days leading up to the wedding. And what is a 19 year old who is about to take part in the wedding of the century supposed to do when she starts to have doubts? When the entire WORLD is talking about your wedding and selling tea towels and egg cups and souvenir buttons and glasses and mugs and china plates and pretty much anything that can be embossed with your image, and you’ve ordered a dress with a train that’s 20’ long…it’s sort of hard to call it all off.

Especially when you’re 19, and the only person you have to bounce stuff off of is an 80-something year old woman who remembers having the shit bombed out of London by Nazis for 4 years and barely surviving Hitler, and who probably doesn’t have much patience or sympathy for a 19 year old bride-to-be with the jitters.

This whole time, by the way, Charles and Camilla are still banging away like the ugly-ass horse-faced dicks they were and are.

So, Charles and Diana get married. For a short time, Charles seems to finally appreciate what the people of Britain (heck, the entire WORLD) see in his wife. She lovely! She’s charming! And unlike any other royal in history, she appears to actually care about her subjects…even the ones who aren’t rich, pretty, or titled! She wows everyone with her warmth and style, she produces two boys right quick, and that smile…my, she is dazzling!

But then she becomes too dazzling, and Charles (who, we must remember, has never stopped his studies in animal husbandry with Camilla), gets jealous and mad. People like Diana more than him, which is SO unfair, because HE is descended from GOD and SHE is not, and ALSO, Diana has the audacity to want to be a hands-on parent AND to be involved with charities with which nice people most definitely do not associate – AIDS and mental health, for fuck’s sake. It’s just too, too much. And why no love for Charles, with his interest in organic gardening? That’s a real thing, and no royal has ever done THAT before! Charles sulks and retreats and makes Diana feel unloved. Diana develops an eating disorder. She dances with John Travolta during a visit to the Reagan White House. Charles stands by looking like a frumpy old mop.

Charles and Camilla continue their uber-icky relationship, which can probably best be summed up by a hacked mobile phone conversation in which Charles says he wishes he could be Camilla’s tampon – oh, yes, he did. So, so gross. Not that women menstruate or use tampons…not that part…but you would hope a man with a Cambridge education could manage an expression of libidinal desire that did not involve an aspect of life that most women find, at the very least, an inconvenience.

The affair continued for the entirety of Charles and Diana’s marriage, during which time Camilla – such a dick – referred to Diana as “that ridiculous creature,” apparently willfully ignorant of her role in placing Diana in that position (ridiculous or not) in the first place. One wonders what might have become of Camilla had Charles (1) actually fallen in love with his first wife; or (2) been loyal to her regardless of his feelings for Camilla, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MARRIAGE IS, YOU WIDE-HIPPED ASSHAT, but here’s the thing: When a man asks you to marry him and you say no, then marry someone else, then continue to sleep with that man, even after he marries someone else, you don’t get to criticize his wife, even if you are a soulless cow without a conscience.

Diana was aware of the affair before she even walked down the aisle. She tried the best a 20 year old could to make the marriage work, but you can’t really make a marriage work when the person you married was in love with someone else before they met you, and never stopped being in love with that person; and also, never loved you, never wanted to marry you, and only DID marry you because his mother made him. That’s a marriage that was never going to work, ever, unless both participants are masochists.  A hundred years ago or more, a wife would have simply sighed, accepted it, and resigned herself to a loveless marriage.

Not Diana. She wasn’t going to tolerate the loveless farce of her marriage, nor the Douche Bag Dick and his girlfriend, Stinky Butthole Dick. It’s true that Diana was not blameless – she used the press to her advantage when it suited her, she didn’t always play fair, she knew exactly how other-worldly popular she was, and that a picture of her doing anything had staggering influence. Her death proved just how true that was.

I was a Diana fan – not because she was pretty or had a great sense of style, but because the royal family – which more and more makes very little sense to me as an institution – plucked her up and tried to bend her to its will at a time when she had no power. Her own husband threw her to the wolves knowing exactly how well she was likely to fare, and treated her with so little respect or compassion, she might well have been one of his servants. Diana placed her children first (to the extent she could), and focused her service on those who were the “least of His people,” insisting that her sons join her in bringing attention to some of the world’s not so pretty places.

It is true she could be frivolous and petty and immature, and that her relationships after Charles were often obsessive and did not exhibit the best judgment. For a person who had led a sheltered, motherless childhood, and who then was thrust into a media spotlight the likes of which perhaps only one or two people in history have ever experienced, with no real guidance from anyone who truly cared about her, perhaps she can be forgiven her missteps.

After her death, Charles and Camilla – those two big dicks – finally married. Apparently, Mr. Parker-Bowles got tired of being the world’s most famous cuckold, and his marriage to Camilla ended. Now, 25 years after Diana’s death, C & C appear together like an old married couple, dandling Diana’s grandchildren on their laps, petting dogs, and looking every bit the well-heeled, silver-haired older couple that may someday be King of England and whatever they will call Camilla.

Maybe they have rehabilitated themselves enough for Britons to accept and love them should Charles ascend to the throne. Maybe Camilla will make a wonderful consort, a sort of Jill Biden-Michelle Obama-like modern king’s wife (the precursor to the kind we know Kate Middleton will surely be).

But in my book, they’re both dicks.

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