Charles brought the lovely Camilla to tea.

It must be a condition of having a broadcast license in Canada: When Royals visit, you have to gush a lot. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales came for a visit the other day and he brought his lovely wife Camilla to have tea with his Canadian subjects. The Canadian news media gushed appropriately.

To be more precise about it, Charlie dropped in on Halifax, hopped over to the Anne of Green Gables place and then flew over Quebec and Ontario to say a fond ‘Hello’ to the people of Winnipeg. And the whole damn thing was a crashing bore. If the camera shots were kept tight, it looked like Charlie and good old what’s her name were drawing good crowds. Nobody expected Charlie to have Justin Bieber size crowds as we all know he and the Duchess of Cornwall are not rock stars.

The only excitement the trip created was when Charlie was reported to have said to an elderly lady in Nova Scotia that Vladimir Putin of Russia had some of the instincts of Adolf Hitler. It was rather undiplomatic of him but nobody has ever accused him of being a diplomat. And the lady did not seem to mind. In fact, we gather she rather agreed with the prince.

Of course, the Canadian news media had absolutely no intention of reporting this conversation to Canadians. It would have been considered insulting to our esteemed guests. It was the bloody Brit tabloids who blew the whistle. “Charles done it agin!” was the bold headline.

Since it happened here, the Canadian media also had to weigh in on the subject. The consensus of both Brit and Canadian media was that Charlie could have any opinion of Mr. Putin he wished. Nobody seemed to give a damn anyway—other than the obvious outrage expressed by the Russian foreign affairs people. Mind you, nobody seems to have asked Vladimir what he thought about it.

But all of this discussion is in honour of this being 24 May in the year 2014. Today is the official birthday of Queen Victoria. That means that Canada has tolerated almost 148 years of being a monarchy with borrowed Royals from the Brits. As we look around Europe, we must admit that we have done reasonably well by the spawn of Victoria that still wear crowns. The Brit Royals are a mostly civilized lot and they rarely embarrass us.

But damn it all, royalty is really passé and we have to stop this foolishness. In the next several years, we will want to do something about our Senate problem and a few other carry-overs from an old and creaky constitution. Some changes will need to be made. Maybe we can do a better job of it. And say goodbye to the Brit Royals—they can visit any time they wish but no more gushing, please.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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