Of the four children of the late Queen of England, I do not think the best possible successor is Charles. There was always something clumsy about the new monarch. I believe he is well-intentioned, but I do not think he has made good choices in his life, witness Diana and Camilla. Unlike most people, I regard Diana as someone who could not be happy in marriage with anyone.
If we were to pass on Charles, that leaves the next three siblings, in order of succession, namely: Andrew, Edward, and Anne. Andrew, of course, has led too scandalous a life to be anything but a salacious footnote (Stripper Koo Stark and Jeffrey Epstein). About Edward, I know very little. He appears to be the shrinking violet of the family.
I think the most talented of the four is the current Princess Royal, Anne. When threatened with a kidnapping by a lone gunman in 1974, Princess Anne refused to cooperate, commenting only “Not bloody likely!” She was a noted equestrian who participated in the Olympics and looks decades younger than the tormented Charles.
Her peppery personality is, I feel, what the monarchy needs. But then, the actual tale of successions after the deaths of kings and queens has yielded up many weak sisters of both genders. For all the gory details about who is in line to succeed Elizabeth, click on Line of Succession to the English Throne 2022.
I like to think of Elizabeth II’s reign as paralleling most of my life. I remember as a 7-year-old boy watching her coronation in 1952. As I recall, they didn’t yet have the ability to broadcast live from across the Atlantic, so I probably saw it several days later. Even as a kid who looked askance at most of the goopy girls he knew, I thought that the new Queen of England was a real looker.
Today as a 77-year-old, I still see her with the eyes of youth. In her final days, she was a little hunched over lady, shrunken from osteoporosis. But then, at my age I am no dashing Lochinvar—and never was.
Elizabeth lived a long life, and a distinguished one. She has little to regret from her seventy years as queen. Even the Diana episode: I always felt that the Princess of Wales was one of those people who are not comfortable in their own skin and who consequently cannot have a happy marriage. Even had she married Dodi El Fayed, I think the result would have been the same.
Poor Charles III. I can’t see him having a happy, successful, or long reign. I shouldn’t be surprised if he winds up abdicating like Edward VIII.
I could not think of this last weekend’s Royal Wedding without thinking of Princess Diana. Although I do believe that she was not cut out for the Royal Family. To be a real princess, especially when married to someone like Prince Charles, one would have to be willing to forego most of one’s dreams and be impervious to all slights, of which there are many.
The image I have of that doomed wedding is of Princess Di, four months pregnant with Prince William, throwing herself down a flight of stairs to bring about a miscarriage. The source? Princess Di herself: It appears in her book Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words (1992). I sometimes wonder what Prince William thinks of his near escape.
Little girls everywhere dream of being Walt Disney princesses. That’s all well and good, if we lived in a cartoon universe. But if we do, it is one created by S. Clay Wilson, the underground cartoonist, and not Walt Disney.
S. Clay Wilson Cartoon Featuring the Checkered Demon
Apparently, Princess Di wanted the whole princess package. What she got was a somewhat ghastly domestic tragedy, partly of her making, partly of Princes Charles’s making, and partly of the Queen’s making.