Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Prince Charles turns BBC Scotland weatherman
May 10, 2012 6:52 AM   Subscribe

Prince Charles turns BBC Scotland weatherman "Who the hell wrote this script?"
posted by feelinglistless (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank God it isn't a bank holiday

Yes, because that would ruin a rare day off for you from the long hours you put in at your job.... oh, wait.
posted by modernnomad at 6:57 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, because that would ruin a rare day off for you from the long hours you put in at your job.... oh, wait.

Uh, apparently someone didn't watch Maggie Smith's dressing-down of the Matthew character on Downton Abbey when he uttered sentiments along those lines.

Pish posh.
posted by resurrexit at 6:59 AM on May 10, 2012


Yes, because that would ruin a rare day off for you from the long hours you put in at your job.... oh, wait.

If you're implying that he doesn't work, you're off the mark. He averages almost 600 official engagements a year, and I'm not sure if that includes his personal projects like his organic farming and city planning initiatives.

His job is kind of dumb but by all accounts he works pretty hard at it.
posted by padraigin at 7:00 AM on May 10, 2012 [26 favorites]


"It is raining today in Scotland. A rainy day is not a good day for a holiday."

Seems pretty innocuous to me.
posted by helicomatic at 7:03 AM on May 10, 2012


yeah, he's a bit of a kook but he is busy. I'm not sure its better, inappropriately meddling in planning disputes in London because of his dubious tastes in architecture, but it may be less loathsome than his brother's cavorting with Borat's nephews to win oil and defense deals.

On the environmental front, its hard to argue with him and he's become a bit of a soul brother with Robert Redford, who had him speak and screen a film at the Sundance London this week.
posted by C.A.S. at 7:04 AM on May 10, 2012


I'm not sure eating seven course meals at the expense of the taxpayer counts as work. While I'm sure a certain ennui sets in after your 50th caviar sandwich, he could use his position to radically change the world rather than preserving the status quo of the monarchy and moaning about modernist buildings.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:04 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


His job is kind of dumb but by all accounts he works pretty hard at it.

Change this to past tense and carve it into my tombstone.
posted by theodolite at 7:05 AM on May 10, 2012 [16 favorites]


I know I'm supposed to dislike that family, but I just can't. Sorry.
posted by davebush at 7:07 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I insist that the BBC have an entire series Prince Charles Turns... television show. Here, I'll get them started:

Prince Charles Turns... Series 1:

1. Lorry Driver
2. MI-6 Double-Agent
3. Gap-year teenager abroad
4. Chav
5. Footballer's wife
6. Companion

And, of course, the Christmas Special: Prince Charles Turns King.
posted by griphus at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2012 [12 favorites]


I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. Thanks!
posted by CharlesV42 at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2012


Actually Charles works busier than some of us -- and indeed of you follow the uk monarchy's flickr feed you can see the kinds of bizarre things which that includes:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/britishmonarchy/tags/theprinceofwales/
posted by feelinglistless at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


As King Canute contemplated the folly of turning the tides, so Prince Charles sees the folly of trying to predict nice weather for a bank holiday.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:15 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


His job is kind of dumb but by all accounts he works pretty hard at it.

Change this to past tense and carve it into my tombstone.

For some reason, I thought you wrote/meant "[reverse the adjective and adverb] and carve it on my tombstone" and I was very amused.
posted by clockzero at 7:15 AM on May 10, 2012


His job is kind of dumb but by all accounts he works pretty hard at it.

So, the perfect TV weather presenter!
posted by chavenet at 7:16 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


At the risk of teeing up what might be an obvious joke, I thought that was charming.
posted by jquinby at 7:17 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


he could use his position to radically change the world rather than preserving the status quo of the monarchy and moaning about modernist buildings.

Thanks but I'd rather not have unelected accidents of birth making influencing the governance of my country either way it that's alright with you.
posted by biffa at 7:32 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks but I'd rather not have unelected accidents of birth making influencing the governance of my country either way it that's alright with you.

Is Rupert Murdoch out of power yet?
posted by hippybear at 7:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


> Is Rupert Murdoch out of power yet?

No rush, the House of Lords still needs work.
posted by de at 7:51 AM on May 10, 2012


Thanks but I'd rather not have unelected accidents of birth making influencing the governance of my country either way it that's alright with you.

I know I was very glib in my above comment, but my point is that he could use the position of being a monarch, to try to actively disassemble the monarchy. Or to fight for better income equality, or any number of things that would result in a better and fairer society.

I did not specifically say he should try to influence governance. However, it would be naive to assume that he does not in his current position.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:56 AM on May 10, 2012


Is this stunt intended to diffuse the Scottish separatist movement?
posted by kinnakeet at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2012


Best joke about this, stolen from Twitter: Prince Charles was taken off weather duty after announcing that 'It has been raining longer than my fucking mother.'
posted by Len at 8:10 AM on May 10, 2012 [20 favorites]


he could use his position to radically change the world

Could he? I am a republican (small r thank-you) myself, and I actually think his options are quite limited. His direct political power is highly restricted, although he has made the most of it in the service of his own brand of oatmeal-based quackery on the matters of architecture and medicine, and his more intelligible views on agriculture and the environment.

He has considerable influence, of course, but that's largely tied into the existing system of prestige and patronage that he exists within. Radical change would strip him of influence quite quickly in a world where "playing the game" is king.

He has a successful business, but again, despite the fact that Duchy biscuits really are delicious, one can't help but feel that a lot of the profit margin is dependent upon a sense of the grandeur of his name and its associations.

All Charles' power seems to depend on the likelihood that he will one day be monarch. A constitutional monarch is a strange thing, retaining great notional power, little real power, but potentially vast influence in certain ways. My sense of it is that he recognises this and wants to employ that increased influence in favour of his interests, same old same old. I don't see how he can openly seek to disassemble the monarchy, when the government has a ready made and more popular successor to hand to install. All governments are royalist, of course, because a constitutional monarchy provides them with great wells of unregulated power to draw on.

So, if one were a really radical prince what should one do? Well, if I wanted to maximise my impact from his position, I'd wait until I succeeded to the throne, and then start ignoring and abusing constitutional conventions. First off, I'd endorse political positions openly and in defiance of the government. Secondly, if I got away with that, maybe I'd try to treat some kinds of Crown property as personal property, selling them off and distributing the money to the needy, etc. I'd start fairly small with this, to generate good feeling, and then rapidly increase the amount. How much I'd get away with, I don't know. Third, I might look to start stuffing the honours list with radicals, but I'm not sure what I'd manage before an act of Parliament reformed that power to reflect conventional reality. It would at least serve to show how ridiculous the House of Lords is as an institution.

I'd look to satirise the monarchy and the government, is the main thing. Showing how ridiculous our traditions, laws and conventions are seems like the only way Charles himself could get help get rid of it. He could model his style of ruling on Spike Milligan, which he might enjoy. His elder son would have more leverage, especially with the ginger one as a threat as his successor should he abdicate.
posted by howfar at 8:17 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


That was such fun I forgot for a few seconds that my country is a bastion of inherited privilege and wealth and increasingly calcifying social mobility.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:22 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think criticizing ugly architecture and selling organic biscuits is work enough to change the world. I don't particularly like any of the royals, but he's at least sincere and dutiful (contrast and compare the Grimaldis.) And his financial information is readily available.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2012


I'm a bit dubious about this 600 figure.

If you look at the actual "engagements" a lot of them are - people coming for meetings to his (rather lovely) house. Or dinners (probably a bit of a pain admittedly).

http://www.royal.gov.uk/LatestNewsandDiary/CourtCircular/Overview.aspx

I mean, it seems like a pretty average kind of working week to me (in terms of workload).
posted by ntrifle at 8:59 AM on May 10, 2012


I'm not sure eating seven course meals at the expense of the taxpayer counts as work. While I'm sure a certain ennui sets in after your 50th caviar sandwich, he could use his position to radically change the world rather than preserving the status quo of the monarchy and moaning about modernist buildings.

The taxpayers come out way ahead on that bargain, as is broken down here.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think criticizing ugly architecture

Well, I suppose that depends on what you think of as ugly.

Look I like the guy (even when I think he's wrong - as I think he is about architecture) but he's got pretty much a dream job as far as I can see.
posted by ntrifle at 9:04 AM on May 10, 2012


he could use his position to radically change the world

What on earth are you talking about? He's a constitutional monarch in waiting. Using his position to actually change anything that requires government policy action is undemocratic an constitutionally illegitimate. He's already crossed important lines by lobbying government ministers on policy.
posted by Dasein at 9:07 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Winter is coming.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:10 AM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


The taxpayers come out way ahead on that bargain, as is broken down here.

It's not quite as straightforward as that.

Why "The True Cost of the Royal Family Explained" is wrong
posted by ntrifle at 9:12 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Navelgazer: "I'm not sure eating seven course meals at the expense of the taxpayer counts as work. While I'm sure a certain ennui sets in after your 50th caviar sandwich, he could use his position to radically change the world rather than preserving the status quo of the monarchy and moaning about modernist buildings.

The taxpayers come out way ahead on that bargain, as is broken down here."

Well, only if you assume this:

"If the government stopped paying the Royal Family’s living and state expenses the Royals would be forced to take back the profits from their land. And your taxes, dear Monarchy-haters, would go UP not DOWN."

is true. I'm pretty sure that if a country went from constitutional monarchy to republic, there would be some sort of deal reached where the former royal family got to keep some small amount of their former property, but definitely not all. Or, you know, the kind of deal where they don't get to keep even their heads, as has happened quite often.

posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:16 AM on May 10, 2012


Actually Prince Charles worked busier than some of us

His job is kind of dumb but by all accounts he works pretty hard at it.


I'm very sorry.

My just brain has become a rage-filled conglomeration of hard-working nurses; how that can be said about any born-into-rich-family moron; homeless people; disability cuts; culturally entrenched and mindless deference; and the mainly despicable character traits of Elizabeth II's idiot offspring.
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 9:23 AM on May 10, 2012


Hard to figure out which is more annoying, his posh, plummy accent, or the concept of "Queen Camilla".
posted by KokuRyu at 9:27 AM on May 10, 2012


I've always wanted to see some royal person become an engineer, scientist, nurse, doctor, mechanic, etc. Something professional that isn't sooo dependent on social connections (obviously, you can get a better job and clients with better connections, but the actual task of the job doesn't use these, unlike, say, public relations).

But, I thought this video was cute. And I think Charles seems to do the best he can with what he's been given. I think the environment and organic agriculture are probably the more gutsier causes he could have picked, given the conservative nature of his situation, short of leaving the monarchy altogether (I can't see a monarch campaigning about income inequality when he's next in line for the throne -- the optics wouldn't work). Not being a Brit, I have no idea whether it would be good if the whole monarchy toppled or not.
posted by bluefly at 9:32 AM on May 10, 2012


ntrifle, that's a solid video, which I hadn't seen (in fact I didn't realize that the one I linked to was so well known, but I guess that makes sense.) I didn't link it to argue for keeping the monarchy, but rather in response to the "taxpayers" argument, though your video shows that to be pretty facile (while indulging in a bit of mad speculation itself.)
posted by Navelgazer at 9:33 AM on May 10, 2012


I've always wanted to see some royal person become an engineer, scientist, nurse, doctor, mechanic, etc.

Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester is an architect. Upon the death of his elder brother in 1972, he had to give up his full-time practice to take up royal duties. But he still does work centered around architecture.

"The Duke is particularly interested in architecture and conservation; he became a corporate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1972, and serves as a commissioner of the Historic Building and Monuments Commission for England (English Heritage)."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:26 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, there are mad speculators on both sides of this argument. I'm on the mad republican side but even I recognise Her Maj and Charlie bring something to the collective table. The rest of them I'm not so sure about...

Andrew for instance, even managed to rile the Taxpayers' Alliance (although given the choice of spending an evening with their spokespeople or the royals - I would definitely pick the royals)...

It's all bye-the-bye really, the monarchy seems more popular in the UK than for a long time what with our shiny newly weds so I don't see any changes coming soon. Although they are going to change the ridiculously, archaic succession laws this term. Probably.
posted by ntrifle at 10:36 AM on May 10, 2012


I know I was very glib in my above comment, but my point is that he could use the position of being a monarch, to try to actively disassemble the monarchy. Or to fight for better income equality, or any number of things that would result in a better and fairer society.

I did not specifically say he should try to influence governance. However, it would be naive to assume that he does not in his current position.

"a womble is an active kind of sloth", are you under the impression that his current position is "monarch"?
posted by IAmBroom at 10:44 AM on May 10, 2012


fearfulsymettry:That was such fun I forgot for a few seconds that my country is a bastion of inherited privilege and wealth and increasingly calcifying social mobility.

I read your comment and I honestly still can't tell whether you're from the US or the UK. But unlike the paradox of the UK being a nominally theocratic but basically secular state, and the US being a nominally secular but basically theocratic state, both the US and the UK are, irrespective of whether they have a theoretically hereditary or meritocratic privileged class, places where inequality has been rising for a long while and won't stop now.
posted by ambrosen at 11:06 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


sorry I meant to refer to say 'royal' rather than 'monarch'. It really does not matter though.

I'm just irritated that a person who receives money from my taxes gets to waltz around by virtue of their birthright, and does not produce anything of worth other than biscuits (apparently) and a clone of a medieval fiefdom.

Whatever. The very fact that the royal family exists in a democracy is just a bad joke.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 11:36 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Off with his head.
posted by Virtblue at 11:50 AM on May 10, 2012


I've always wanted to see some royal person become an engineer, scientist, nurse, doctor, mechanic, etc.

You could almost say that the kids (Harry and William) are professionals, in the sense that I think Will is actively working as a search and rescue pilot in Anglesea and Harry is pretty much born to be a professional military officer, you can see its in his blood and unfortunately, his chance to run with it is likely to be limited by who he is. Connections are preventing his normal career as opposed to facilitating it
posted by C.A.S. at 12:25 PM on May 10, 2012


I read your comment and I honestly still can't tell whether you're from the US or the UK.

Well actually in the UK equally was getting better but in the last few years it's been dropping like a stone, with far too many senior positions and even not so senior now in medicine, law, politics, sport, media being well over represented by those who had a private education.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:27 PM on May 10, 2012


You could almost say that the kids (Harry and William) are professionals, in the sense that I think Will is actively working as a search and rescue pilot in Anglesea and Harry is pretty much born to be a professional military officer

I think tradition dictates that royal sons serve in the military. I don't think that's the same thing as becoming a doctor or other professional. The architect is interesting, though only 3 yrs on the job isn't much...
posted by bluefly at 2:02 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Harry is pretty much born to be a professional military officer, you can see its in his blood...

I see what you did there, C.A.S.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:37 PM on May 10, 2012


He averages almost 600 official engagements a year...

Really? That's almost two a day, every day. Which is impossible, so some days he must have like five or six engagements....but anyway, what does "engagement" really mean? Taking a giant pair of scissors and cutting a ribbon? Just showing up somewhere and walking around, meeting people? Actually writing and giving a speech?

But 600 a year is kind of impossible, no?
posted by zardoz at 5:28 PM on May 10, 2012


There are various annoying things about the monarchy, but perhaps the worst is that if we got rid of them, we would then be saddled with having semi-retired politicians for head of state thereafter - nice as it would be to have a requirement that putative future non-Royal heads of state should never have been involved in politics, I just can't see the turkeys in the Commons voting for that particular Christmas. This is the main reason I can't quite bring myself to be a republican.
posted by motty at 6:29 PM on May 10, 2012


I always pictured him having a much squeekier voice.
posted by gjc at 7:47 PM on May 10, 2012


I also enjoyed him staring at the clicker.
posted by gjc at 7:48 PM on May 10, 2012


Frankly, I've never been entirely sure we wouldn't have been better off with a pre-Reformation style monarchy. Certainly the royals are no less out of touch with the populace than governments of the past few decades. Oliver Cromwell has a lot to answer for.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:31 AM on May 11, 2012


Bluefly, yes, tradition dictates a symbolic role in the military. I was including Harry because, ironically, I think he is actually by nature born to be a functioning, professional, boots on the ground career officer. I think he loves it, and is probably good at it, and its his profession as opposed to a role.

And no, Broom, lol, i wasn't saying anything about paternity. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:54 AM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


But 600 a year is kind of impossible, no?

The Queen had a visit to the organisation on the other side of the road to a place I used to work at. She was not in there very long at all, less than an hour from what I can remember... so I can imagine the Royals doing several of those things in a day.

I also remember a fly on the wall doc where Chuck had a number of meetings in a row with various organisations re various things (including an excruciating bit where he whined 'do I really have to do this' about something or other). I bet they count those as 'engagements' too
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:08 AM on May 11, 2012


The best part of the 600 engagements is the hundreds of hours prep time for each visit done by royal staffers and others to ensure flower beds are up to grade, vandalism is scrubbed and chavs are moved on. Without the millions of pounds of unrecorded royal subsidy spreading rose petals in the path of the Queen's extended family the English economy would be that much more efficient and several thousand people would be unemployed. Pure keynsian saint that woman is. She is the hole england keeps digging forever.
posted by srboisvert at 2:21 PM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


« Older "I draw to understand things." Artist David Macaul...  |  When same-sex marriage was a C... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments