On Sunday night, Prince Charles was scorned on an episode of “Family Guy.” As he passed crowds on a parade route lined with subjects waiting to see the Queen, they yelled “wanker.”
The animated Charles hung his buck-toothed head in shame and mumbled, “I know, I know.”
On Monday, the real Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, worked both sides of Saint John’s historic Prince William Street, greeting large crowds who came out to see them on this Victoria Day holiday. Few catcalls, if any, could be heard.
In fact, the royals appeared to have such a jolly old time on their walkabout that the 10-minute stroll turned into 40 minutes, the Globe and Mail reported.
It was the royal couple’s second event on the first day of their three-day visit to Canada to help celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
As with most of these events, bored-to-tears reporters end up dwelling on such banal facts as “the Duchess made a quick wardrobe change into a flattering blue dress and tan jacket by designer Fiona Claire.”
Followed in the Globe by this piece of space filler: “And hopefully, Prince Charles put on sunscreen. After the lengthy walk in Saint John and the outdoor ceremony at CFB Gagetown, the Prince, whose hair is thinning, is looking very red.”
Now it’s clear that Charles simply can’t match the magnetism that kept Canadian royal watchers rapt during a visit by his son and second-in-line-to-the-throne Prince William and bride Kate Middleton last year.
Wills and Kate — the rock star power couple — have managed to help keep the tarnish from spreading over the entire Royal brand. But where that couple, and their PR team, reports the Globe, have been particularly successful, grey old Dad and his unpopular second wife just don’t have that same star power.
Oh wait, here’s another report just in from the Chuck and Cams tour: “He was dressed in a blue, double-breasted suit; his wife Camilla was wearing a striking navy blue and white striped coat by British designer Bruce Oldfield. She was wearing a large matching hat — a challenge at times given it was a windy day.”
Stop the presses. Clearly, it’s a challenge for anyone trying to make this dog of a royal walk across the country of interest to anyone but the blue-haired fans of the senior blue bloods.
However, the Monarchy is still an important symbol for Canada and having the chance to greet a royal — any royal — can still be a momentous and important event for some people.
During the CFB Gagetown visit, the royals will meet military personnel enrolled in The Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur program.
That program helps soldiers transition to civilian life by training them to start and run a business.
The Canadian Press reports that among the people he spoke with was navy Lt. Scott Harrigan of Halifax. The 38-year-old gave Charles a handmade dog leash from his business called Mariner Dog Products.
“It’s exactly what I need right now,” Harrigan said of the program.
Charles then met with families of military personnel who have died.
The royals also had a special welcome to New Brunswick from Kaitlyn Tozer, 11, who was waiting to present Camilla with a bouquet of flowers. It was an exciting experience for Kaitlyn, reported The Canadian Press, as the girl is battling a brain tumour and is a recipient of a wish from the Children’s Wish Foundation.
Gerry Beresford, a director with the Children’s Wish Foundation, said Tozer did an “outstanding, remarkable job” welcoming the royals.
Comforting the sick and cheering up the injured and those in mourning aren’t easy jobs.
And it’s exactly those reasons that Canada still needs the Monarchy. And it’s for those reasons that even less popular royals such as Charles shouldn’t face such terrible ridicule on irreverent American cartoon shows broadcast in Canada.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 22, 2012