OK, so this is a puff piece for Father's Day, put out no doubt by the royal handlers to give the British royal family some positive PR. I know, I know. Media manipulation. One of my biggest pet peeves.
Until it hits home.
I have a distinct memory of watching Elizabeth - Queen Elizabeth - get married. They put a television set (yes, we had TV in those days) on the stage in our elementary school auditorium and they brought the whole school in to watch the ceremony from London. This was in Winsted, Connecticut, not Uxbridge or Somerset.
Then I remember the pictures from the Weekly Reader when I was in third grade and Prince Charles was born. I had heard my Scottish grandfather use the word "bonnie" before, but now here was everybody using that word - Bonnie Prince Charlie. I remember that. I really do. I know it used to be used for the Stuart king, Charles Edward, pretender to the Scottish throne, but we didn't know that guy. We knew Elizabeth's little feller.
Then you get in your car and zoom back to the future and suddenly here's Bonnie Prince Charlie's little boy William. Growing up gorgeous. Diana's little boy. Where does the time fly off to?
And now, today, this bit of spam? comes across my screen, a notice from People magazine about how young William is out and about with the common folk, sitting in a coffee shop and talking about father/son relationships on Father's Day.
And he practices what he preaches. There's that picture of him being scolded by his neon grannie for bending down to pay attention to his kid when everybody knows he's supposed to remain ever tall and monarchical.
He's a lot balder than the last time he caught my attention. Sitting there with an open shirt, hairy chest and all, and exchanging opinions with kids and their fathers, telling the world that his little boy George's and his little girl Charlotte's mental health are important.
I've seen future shock. But this is real!
I know it's PR. Twice this week I've seen Prince Harry, once clowning around with grandma, once in a top hat. They've whipped those kids into shape and are trying to regain royal dignity lost, looks like - Fergie - Diana's boyfriend - failure to lower flag, "annus horribilis" etc. etc., although Harry still complains a bit.
Not a friend of royalty or nobility. But I've got a thing for daddies and their kids.
On Father's Day, what a coincidence.
William has been out and about doing good works for a while now. You might say it’s overly cynical to call it just PR. You could just call it “work,” you know. Part of a king-presumptive’s job to spend the taxpayer’s money on things other than pomp and circumstance.
|"It's all about being inclusive."|
Here he is, for example, on the cover of Britain’s gay magazine Attitude. The story inside features his views on the importance of addressing bullying. “No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason.” His mother took the initiative of addressing AIDS victims. He’s following in her footsteps calling attention to LGBT issues, even inviting an LGBT group to Kensington Palace, complete with photos, of course, to show his support.
Sometimes when they jerk you around it feels like you're dancing.
And sometimes, when you feel like you’re dancing, maybe the thing to do is enjoy the music.
Happy Father's Day.
Prince William in People magazine (top photo)