14 July 2010


I once shook the hand of, and had about 30 seconds of conversation with, Prince Charles. It was at a reception in Hong Kong. He had the perfect handshake; trained, no doubt, from birth. I have never seen a suit fit anyone so perfectly, or hair so expertly coiffed. One of his retainers? footmen? aides? whispered in his ear as he shook my hand and he asked about the magazine I was publishing. In his oh so correctly modulated voice he commiserated with me: "Magazine publishing is a frightfully difficult business, don't you find?"

Well, I did find. My magazine went bust about a year after that. Not that he'd know. If he ever decided to publish anything, turning a profit wouldn't be one of his concerns.

Now don't get me wrong, His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Great Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Chief Grand Commander of the Order of Logohu, Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, seemed a nice enough fellow. And he was nothing, if not polite.


And I say that with regard to all royals, everywhere, every last one of them no matter how well mannered or well intentioned or how beloved or how involved in pomp and circumstance and uninvolved in the daily affairs of their realm.

That would set the right example. So, a belated Happy Bastille Day to you all.

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