British media had carried on a quiet discontent over the last few days over Prince Charles apparently adopting a monocle because he dislikes being seen in public with reading glasses. Yes, he is switching the frumpy in favour of the ridiculous, but isn’t the point of the Royal family to exert old fashioned Britishness?
Harry Wallop writes a good piece on why Charles should not wear the bygone accessory in the Telegraph. That being said I cannot resist coming to the aid of the lugubrious heir to the throne.
Prince Charles has never been the handsome, charming prince of airbrushed fairy tales. Awkward, large nosed, well dressed but never with a sense of being suave. The first thing people say to me if we ever talk about the Royals is “Don’t you think they’ll skip him?” As if democracy had broken out in the house of Windsor.
Mr Wallop believes that Prince Charles risks undoing the good work he’s done with charities and education initiatives to realign the public’s perspective of him as someone more serious and knowable. I actually think Charles did that work for its own sake, and beyond respecting Royal protocol I don’t think he gives a toss whether or not the people think he is eccentric.
Is it not possible that the reason he dislikes wearing his glasses is because his mother is so firmly dependent on hers? The Owl of Buckingham Queen Elizabeth the Great, long may she live. Her glasses are one of her trademarks. Perhaps he is simply averse to looking like his mother, which I don’t think is a mark of disrespect, but rather shows a genuine understanding that he will never properly replace her.
Will I be happy to have a king with a monocle? I’m actually not bothered by the eye-glass, I am bothered by having a monarch in the first place. I am a republican at heart (not in the GOP context) and I hope the institution fades away. Taking away the titles leaves us with Charles, who is a human being with the right to select whatever ocular aid he wishes. We may tut about it, but I am sure we can find more important things to concern ourselves with.