Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Queen is not dead. Long live the Prince of Wales.

When Queen Victoria died at 81 in 1901, her eldest son, the 59-year-old Prince of Wales, became King Edward VII.

Fast forward 80 years. (It occurs to me that the phrase "fast forward" has disappeared from today's world along with "radio dial" and "telephone cord".)

In 1981, when Diana Spencer, future mother of the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, became engaged to Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of the House of Mountbatten-Windsor, the current Prince of Wales, she left her ancestral home in Althorpe and moved into Clarence House, I think it was, in London to prepare for her forthcoming marriage and new role as Princess of Wales.

The person who was assigned to be her mentor, to teach her how to become part of the royal family, to show her the ropes as it were, was the person who, as far as Prince Charles's bedchamber goes, was both her predecessor and her successor, none other than Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Here are a couple of true historical snippets:

1. Camilla's great grandmother, Alice Frederica Edmonstone Keppel, was a longtime mistress of Charles's great-great-great-grandfather, the aforementioned King Edward VII. You can look it up.

2. Andrew Parker-Bowles, Camilla's husband, was an equerry to the Queen. On the wedding day of Charles and Diana, he wore a bright red uniform and a golden helmet amd rode horseback alongside their wedding carriage.

Camilla bore two children to Andrew, a son, Tom Parker-Bowles, and a daughter, Laura Parker-Bowles Lopes.

Since Camilla was cut out of the same cloth as her great-grandmother, Princess Diana once remarked in a filmed interview that "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

As we all know, Diana died in a horrific automobile crash in Paris in 1997. Camilla, whose marriage to Andrew Parker-Bowles ended in 1995, continued on with Charles as before. Speaking of historical snippets, there is a recording of a telephone conversation between Charles and Camilla in which he stated his wish to be her tampon. They married on April 9, 2005. Camilla did not become the Princess of Wales, however. She became the Duchess of Cornwall instead.

Charles is now 71, and is still the Prince of Wales, the oldest one ever. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, is now 94. She may outlive her own mother, who lived to the ripe old age of 101. Here is a photograph of the blended families with all of the step-siblings on Camilla's and Charles's wedding day in 2005:

If Charles, who is getting on up there and could die at any moment (as could Joe Biden or Donald Trump or you or I), outlives his mother he will become king and the world will remember him as Charles III or Philip I or Arthur I (or perhaps II?) or George VII. If she outlives him, however, then the first child of Charles and Diana, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, the Duke of Cambridge (or as he is more popularly known, Kate Middleton's husband) would become king.

There is precedent for what I am saying. Before Edward VIII became king he was known as Prince David, and before George VI became king he was known as Prince Albert.

If you became the next British monarch instead of Charles or William, which of your names would you use? I could choose to become either Robert I or Henry IX. I would choose Robert.


  1. Fortunately I will not become monarch. Of Britain or anywhere else.
    It IS a tough job, but I am not at all sure that 'someones gotta do it'.

    1. Sue, I am intrigued. Please elaborate on why it is fortunate that you will not become monarch of Britain or anywhere else.

  2. I might become a duchess. I'd revert to my maiden name or maybe hyphenate my parents names.
    Duchess Kylie jurd-keane of New South Wales.
    How's that?

    1. kylie, should we address you as Your Highness or Your Grace or just keep on saying Hey, You?

  3. Do you really want to become a know you can’t chuck it all in and go look for another job when it gets boring!

    1. Cathy, here's a new word for you: abdication. Google "Edward VIII" or "Duke of Windsor" for more information.

  4. I would be Katherine VI? unless Kate beat me to it. ;)
    Glad you wouldn't be Henry VIII.
    Have you heard the song I'm Henry the eighth I am, by Herman's Hermits? Cracks me up anyway.

  5. Kathy, what country would you be queen of? Leaving aside the Great K Or C Controversy (which I just invented), England has never had a monarch named Katherine so you would be Katherine I there. Henry VIII and Charles II both had wives name Catherine, but not being the actual monarch they didn’t have numbers affixed. In Russia, Catherine the Great was actually Catherine II, so you would be C(K)atherine III there. Where would you be Katherine VI? They don’t make up these numbers out of thin air, you know!

    I certainly do remember “Henry the Eighth I Am, I Am, Henry the Eighth I Am” and it takes me back!

    1. Sorry google betrayed me, you can't believe everything you read on the internet. ;)
      I found this on and since they sound like an unlucky bunch of Catherines, I think that I will pass on the royal throne.
      "There have been 5 Queen Catherine or Katherine before Kate Middleton and she will be the 6th.

      The five Catherines have been: Catherine of Valois, Princess of France, wife of Henry V; Catherine of Aragon, Princess of Spain, 1st wife of Henry VIII; Catherine Howard, 5th wife of Henry VIII; Catherine Parr, 6th and final wife of Henry VIII; and Catherine of Braganza, Princess of Portugal, who married Charles II."

    2. Kathy, Google didn’t betray you, all those Catherines did exist (I forgot about Henry v’s wife + the three Catherines who were Henry VIII’s wives + Charles II’s wife = 5 in all, and Kate Middleton, if William becomes king, will be the sixth Catherine in England). — but none of them were or will be the monarch, only married to the monarch. So you can still be Katherine I in England or, as I said earlier, Katherine III in Russia, if you want to and can get the current royal family (and Parliament, don’t forget Parliament) to agree.


<b>The Queen is not dead. Long live the Prince of Wales.</b>

When Queen Victoria died at 81 in 1901, her eldest son, the 59-year-old Prince of Wales, became King Edward VII. Fast forward 80 years. (I...