Former Chicago Tribune columnist and the reigning "king of maudlin" Bob Greene shed a tear this week for the king that never was: Charles Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor.
"You almost wish that something like that could be done for Charles -- that, even if it is decided inside Buckingham Palace that William's ascension to the throne will be speeded up, his dad will be allowed to be king, if only for a day."Yes, Bob Greene looked out at the extreme horizon of romance that is the William-Kate nuptials, and couldn't help but shed a tear for Prince Charles, because apparently his old bag of a mother refuses to kick off so he can finally become king.
Bob evokes the days of TV's Queen for a Day and wishes that poor Charles could have his equivalent, but somehow the columnist forgets that those shows were filled with courageous women who had faced down poverty, heartache, and hard times. Just surviving made those women spectacular and worthy of acclaim.
Charles? I don't have anything against Charles, but I hardly feel sorry for the lad either. He had his huge wedding day, he's played his polo, and he's spent his days since wallowing through endless cocktail parties and ceremonial rites. Being a wealthy prince seems such a burden. If only mom would stop being so selfish, stop breathing, and finally let him be the king he was born to be.
Can you imagine explaining your one day reign in the afterlife amid all those kings that actually had to fight or at least pull a magic sword from a stone to initiate their realm? "Well, I'd been prince so long that mum decided to let me have a day in charge." I'm guessing that isn't going to impress Henry VIII or Genghis Kahn very much. Hell, why not give everyone a day in charge? After all, the king or queen of England isn't really in charge of anything these days, besides being witty at social mixers.
My guess is that even if Charles woke up extremely ambitious that day, it would be really hard for him to cause any serious damage. It's not like he could take over and demand Hong Kong back or anything. Perhaps rather than worrying about his legacy as a monarch, instead Charles should explain to his son Harry why partying in Nazi regalia is in less than good taste, and then thank God for one of the cushiest life's in the history of the planet Earth.
George Washington should have killed the notion that people were born special hundreds of years ago when he refused to be named King of America (he could have cited irony for a reason). In today's society, you at least have to be in a really tacky reality television show to merit paparazzi and constant press coverage. Still the royal family somehow still fascinates and captures the imagination of everyone that in a fairer world they too might have been born under a brighter star.
Prince Charles already won the genetic lottery, but unlike LeBron James he can't dunk a basketball in traffic. Instead he'll have to point to his cocktail skills and amazing ability to be polite under the harshest of circumstances including perhaps the fact that he never got to be King.