Passing over Prince Charles
Skipping a Generation of British Monarchy?

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By Charles Alexander Moffat

In Canada there has always been debate about getting rid of the monarchy. Quite a few people keep thinking it should just be scrapped. The problem is that most Canadians don't realize that we don't HAVE a monarchy in the first place. Queen Elizabeth the II is the Queen of England and the British Commonwealth, not the Queen of Canada. Yes, she comes for official state visits from time to time, and yes we do roll out the red carpet for her. And yes, she is still printed on our coins and our money.

But we don't support her or the royal family financially. We really only pay lip service to the monarchy when it comes to naming army regiments, hospitals, parks and so on. Those are just names. Its not like she owns any of those things.

So its really just an aspect of Canadian ignorance that quite a few Canadians haven't clued in to the fact that Queen Elizabeth isn't the Queen of Canada, despite being on the coins, and Canadians celebrating Victoria Day, etc.

And likewise we Canadians really have no say as to what the monarchy actually does. Thats up to the British people to decide (or at very least those people with British citizenship), like our resident editor Suzanne MacNevin (who has dual citizenship for Britain and Canada). And what does our British-Canadian editor have to say on this topic?

"The Royalty is a tourist attraction. Britain makes more money off of them than they spend into it. Plus the royals and nobility is mostly old money these days, so there's really no new money going into their coffers. The Queen is really just a celebrity tourist attraction."

So now that that's settled, lets get on to our main topic: Skipping over Prince Charles and choosing Prince William as future King.

I've spent the last 27 years of my life dealing with having the first name "Charles"... Charlie Brown, Charles Manson, Charles in Charge... and of course, Prince Charles. If the Queen were to die tomorrow I would suddenly have to deal with a new name: King Charles.

Not that I have anything against Prince Charles himself. I just despise my own first name. Hence why I prefer to go by Charles Alexander Moffat or sometimes just Alex. Sometimes I even call myself Lex. So much better than Chuck or Chaz or Charlie.

Ignoring my own private problems with the name, is there really reason enough to skip over Prince Charles and choose his son Prince William as the future king?

I mean, asides from adultery, what has Prince Charles done that is so bad?

Well, when he was visiting Canada he once asked a little girl if the woman standing behind her was her nanny. His exact words were "Is that your nanny?" This is simply ignorance on his part. The vast majority of Canadians don't have a nanny and never will. (Unless he was using nanny in a very traditional sense, in which case nanny could also mean grandmother.)

Prince Charles also served in the British Military and once landed a plane in which its engines were failing and it would have crashed had he not taken immediate action. That is something to be bragged about, not be ashamed of.

And of course, the adultery. Prince Charles had a very long and twisting affair with Camilla Parker Bowles (whom he eventually married). An affair which led to Prince Diana's depression, suicide attempts, their divorce and some people would even blame Prince Charles for her car accident (the accident was caused by a combination of speeding and paparazzi journalists).

But before we pass judgement on Prince Charles, lets stop and look at Prince William...

The same Prince William who once went to a costume party dressed up like Hitler in full NAZI regalia [Correction: It was Prince Harry that wore the NAZI uniform, but the incident shows an endemic problem within the royal family which is known to contain some NAZI sympathizers). That act shows a lack of respect for Jews around the world and also a huge lack of maturity in a young man who may one day be King of the British Commonwealth.

Yes, Prince William is quite handsome (especially compared to the big nose and ears of Prince Charles), but anyone who willingly dons a NAZI uniform for the sake of amusement (and not for a war documentary) has serious issues. The young women in Britain and around the world may think he's a hottie, but his sense of humour is rather off.

So yes, some people think skipping over Prince Charles and making Prince William the next king is a good idea... but I disagree. Prince William obviously has some issues to be worked out. And with luck, Prince Charles will be alive for another 20-40 years which will give William plenty of time to work out those issues and become a more generous and considerate person.

And likewise with any luck Queen Elizabeth the II will be around for quite a few years too, which will take the pressure off the younger two. Prince Charles will be a very old man before he takes the throne.

And lest we forget what Suzanne MacNevin said earlier about the monarchy being a tourist attraction... they're also good for selling newspapers and magazines. People love controversy and gossip. Prince Charles's failed first marriage is really just a symbol of domestic troubles all around the world (usually the result of people rushing into marriage in a hurry). And nothing's more interesting than a juicy wedding and a messy divorce.

So in the end people please remember the monarchy doesn't rule over Canada and that skipping over Prince Charles for the younger Prince William is just nonsense. It may help sell newspapers to print such garbage, but its not very logical under the circumstances.

Not even if you hate the guy's first name like I do.

Above: Prince Charles and son Prince William.

Prince William On A Plate

London - Britain's Prince William is probably familiar with the pressure of public expectation, but this must surely take the biscuit. One of Britain's most popular retailers has just made 100,000 pieces of memorabilia to mark his engagement to girlfriend Kate Middleton.

Thing is, the couple has yet to announce any marriage plans.

Woolworths (other-otc: WWTHF - news - people ) has spent an estimated £1 million ($1.9 million) banking on the fact that William will pop the question some time in the near future.

With around 25,000 commemorative mugs, 12,000 plates and 15,000 kitchen towels all bearing the face of the couple, the weight of expectation on the flaxen-haired royal seems increasingly heavy.

Woolworths -- which descends from a 1909 store in Liverpool founded by the now-defunct American retailer of the same name -- has insisted that it has no inside information on the couple's plans and is simply trying to make up for having missed out on the brief engagement of Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in 2005.

“There was massive demand for commemorative products when Charles and Camilla got married," said Woolworth's marketing director, Stephen Robertson.

But the company didn't have enough time to design, manufacture and sell any mementos. "As a result we missed out on an estimated £3 million ($5.7 million) opportunity."

Robertson said the market for royal paraphernalia could be worth up to £10 million ($18.9 million), and demand will be highest in the towns of St. Andrews in Scotland, where William went to university, and Windsor, where the royal family traditionally resides.

Rumors have recently been swirling of marriage for 24-year-olds William and Kate, who first got together in April 2004 after meeting at St. Andrews University. But as yet there has been no public disclosure of a wedding date.

The glut of Will and Kate products being produced by Woolworths include dolls, spoons, slippers, a mobile phone, photo album, car flags, a mouse mat, buntings, wine glasses, thimbles, mugs, tupperware and of course plates. All are waiting in storage and ready to hit the shelves at 48 hours notice.

Royal wedding memorabilia is a favorite with collectors both entrepreneurial and eccentric. While plenty of Britons may dismiss the merchandise as tasteless pap, many of them secretly have a Charles and Diana mug in a kitchen cabinet.

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