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Life Arts    H4'ed 1/25/10

Will Prince Charles Ever Be King?

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Since Prince Charles is next in line to inherit the throne, he probably goes through his entire adult life wishing his mother was dead. That's got to be tough for a parent. I doubt that Charles even gives her a Mother's Day gift, but if he does, it's probably something sharp.

The question is: Will Prince Charles ever be King?

He's got two counts against him right off the bat: First, Queen Elizabeth is going to live forever. There's good longevity in that family. The Queen Mother lived to be 228. Second, Charles fooled around with Camilla while he was married to Lady Diana and then he divorced her. This did not make him the most popular guy in Britain. Actually, it made him a leper. Most Brits would rather have Eddie Izzard occupying the throne. I conducted a poll.

Technically, the rules of succession are nearly ironclad in Britain, but if enough angry Brits stormed Buckingham Palace with signs calling Charles a wanker, that might make a convincing argument. An Act of Parliament could overturn the succession. Prince William would be king.

Keep in mind that the British Monarch is basically a tourist attraction - Donald Duck at Disneyland. Sure some of the perks are cool - the bogus supplication is probably fun to watch and you don't have to worry about accidentally leaving your debit card in the ATM machine --- but the position itself must be frustrating, because no one really takes you that seriously. That includes your Prime Minister, your Parliament, most of your subjects and practically everybody else in the world except foreign tourists, usually the goofy ones who wear socks with sandals and take too many photos of each other standing in front of random buildings and insignificant shrubbery.

Can Charles handle all that? His big ears would make a good tourist attraction (kind of like Dumbo) and he looks pretty nifty in one of those starched military uniforms with the fifty medals he got for excellent attendance, but let's face it, Diana was the celebrity in that combo. He was the statue standing next to her.

On the positive side, he's good at not being taken seriously.

Quite a few Brits think Prince Charles would make a lousy king, but how can anyone botch a job with no power to do anything more politically controversial than putting beanbag chairs in the drawing room at BuckinghamPalace? But Charles has already done something politically controversial -- he botched his marriage, and that was his only major responsibility as the Prince.

Of course, there is one major downside in the monarchical tradition:: In order to inherit the crown, British monarchs have to be part of a long family line with a thoroughly polluted gene pool This explains a lot about certain eras of English history. It may also explain the ears.

It might be time to start over. Clean up the gene pool. Let the Tudors die out; let the Izzard line begin. Long live King Eddie the First!

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John Blumenthal has been a professional comedy writer for 25 years. A former associate editor and columnist at Playboy Magazine (following a short stint at Esquire), he's written 8 books and 2 produced movies. His films include "Short Time," (major (more...)
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