Thursday, November 03, 2005


Prince Charles and his bride, Duchess Camilla, have been visiting the United States. It isn't that I care very much about watching them, but the news channels have been full of it, following them around, showing Camilla in every change of wardrobe. We have seen more news of Camilla than we have of Iraq. Go figure.

Poor Camilla. Comparing her with Princess Diana, which one almost HAS to do simply to liven up things, is like comparing a rose to a turnip. Diana was so fashionable, so beautiful, so soulful with those huge eyes and that slightly hangdog expression. She was so compassionate one could feel this quality jump from the pages of a newspaper. She cared about people, and that quality...combined with her beauty...endeared her to millions.

Her death was so tragic, it still stuns one to think of it. It is comparable to the shock over the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. We grew so close to these young people that they were almost like our own children or our close relatives. We felt as though we knew them, even if we really didn't. Their deaths brought tears to the eyes of the hardest hearted person. Princess Di...the People's Princess...and John John. Of course, we mourned.

Now we have Camilla, and somehow, we have to say farewell to Princess Di and accept Charles' bride. She isn't a new love. Evidently their trysting went on for years, even though each was married to another. But the world is a forgiving sort and even the British have accepted Camilla, reluctantly, but admitting that such a long, tedious affair must be true love after all. No sense in denying Prince Charles his woman.

However, it is a big leap to accept this dowdy woman in Diana's shoes. Whatever she wears looks frumpy. She smiles easily and seems to realize her shortcomings with a courteous humility, so one tends to forgive her for not being stylish and beautiful.

But Prince Charles is another matter. What manner of cruel oaf would marry a young girl, obviously in love with him, then continue visiting the bed of another woman? And what makes this man speak as though he has a mouthful of crumbled crumpets? Has his strong mother stripped him of the ability to be forthright?

And what about President Bush and the crowds of Republican syncophants jockeying to get close to the Royal Couple? The President and Laura hosted a luncheon and a dinner for Charlie and Cam. The dinner was a regal affair, with a menu that came straight from a French....pardon me, Freedom Restaurant. Fish & Chips would have sufficed, because after all, this is the only palatable dish in all of England...and possibly Scotland, if one includes that horrible Haggis.

The Republican crowd were there, bathed and freshened up in their tuxes and evening gowns, the first time I can recall a party at the White House of any note, which means that George had to stay up past his nine p.m. bedtime and Laura finally got to dance.

But I couldn't help but wonder about the morality of it all. Remember, the Republican Party prides itself on being "moral". They want Family Values, they say. Liberals, in their estimation, are just a notch above the Devil and a notch below Charles Manson in their moral depravity. And here all these Saints were thronging around Charles and his mistress of many, many years. Which proves that Jesus loves Republicans so much that they can ignore his instructions.

I didn't hear one fundamentalist preacher get up and talk about the sinfulness of adultery. Pat Robertson didn't suggest assassinating the Prince. Zell Miller didn't proselytize. Nope, it was making merry all evening long, fun and games, with "morality" shoved under the red carpet.

Now, mind you, I don't care what the Prince and Camilla are up to, even though I always found it unbelievable that one could ignore a beauty like Diana for this ordinary looking woman. But what do I know about it? I have never even met a Prince, not even the Artist Formerly Known As, who seems to be Prince again. I wasn't raised by Elizabeth, who always seemed rather ordinary herself to me. Margaret, her sister, seemed to be capable of more fun. But, Queens are not supposed to be fun, I presume. They are supposed to reign. And Elizabeth is reigning so long, Charles may be a centurion before he reaches the throne.

In the meantime, I hear he has established charities and does a great many "good works". He has just had the misfortune of being a rather nondescript Prince in a strictly regimental and, up until recent years, rather boring family. A reigning unbending father! However, his status is climbing as father to those two handsome young sons. At least and at last, he is contributing something to the glory of England, a couple of young "hunks" who are bound to fill the pages of magazines with their exploits.

Don't tell me that all this jabber about Charles and Diana is useless chatter. I know it, but it's great fun. How I miss the Kennedy's and their social life, the Robert and Ethel football games with people pushed into the pool ..and Jackie Kennedy's always expert flair! The Kennedy's were our American Royalty and, compared to them, the Bush family is about as interesting as....well, Charles and Camilla. But we have to work with the material we have on hand....and it's not my fault the whole thing is a Yawner. I'd rather write about Brangelina, but thought that Charles and Camilla deserved a few paragraphs at least.