O! Charles!

Yesterday, for the first time, I was moved to verse on the subject of the monarchy. Perhaps I WILL be Poet Laureate after all. Read this for a bit of context.

O! Charles

O! Charles! A score of monarchs on your shoulders –
severe and heavy – like the Habsburg jaw.
If not for all this circumstance and ritual
you’d know, in truth, that life is meaningless
and palaces and charted planes and polo
are really in the scheme of things not bad.

It could be worse, mate, you could live in Reading
(you must have seen the place, it’s near your mum’s)
eking out a week’s food on a tenner
an internet cafe, Jack Monroe’s blog
out of necessity, not just for fun, mind.
Her portions, Charles, they’re tiny, don’t you think?

If you had had to plug your boots with cardboard;
felt sick to hear the gas bill hit the mat;
if you had ever stopped dead in the veg aisle
remembering you needed toilet roll
and put the carrots back you’d know that being
the Prince of Wales is not a ‘living hell.’

It’s scarcely any kind of hell at all, Charles.
And yes I get it, I’m not being obtuse.
It’s shameful living in this gilded prison
made ludicrous by your ludicrous wealth,
your heart cured by the very British manners
you feel it is your duty to uphold

until it’s black and shrivelled-up like biltong
and all the flounce of love is forced without;
gush-gushing out in cod-Wildean tantrums
that make you look ridiculous. O! Charles!
It’s tragic, waiting for your mum to peg it
and knowing we all know that’s what you crave.

Poor Booby! There are some who just feel pity:
Forgive him, for he know not what he does.
But I think that you do know and you shouldn’t.
Look, I’m with Sue Townsend on all of this
but, though it’s mental, people want a monarch
(besides they sold off all the council stock.)

And if it’s true you fret about your image
then get some self-awareness, Charles, please!
Laugh at yourself that’s all we hanker after.
Just look at Neil Hamilton. I know!
The shame! But that’s the British public for you
Charles! To rule us, you will have to know us first.