Sunday, 12 December 2010

Charles and Camilla Go For A Ride

I’m not a fan of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. Their unearned position and advantage brings me no joy. Unlike TV news presenters, I don’t go dewy-eyed whenever the subject comes up of ‘the royals’. But what bright spark decided to send Charles and Camilla off to the Royal Variety Show, via a violent student demonstration, in the back of a Rolls-Royce Phantom?

The Phantom was a gift to the Queen from Britain’s Car Association. Until recently it was her vehicle of choice, a high-top with a towering roof-line and enormous windows, painted in royal claret livery. Your average Rolls-Royce is around £250,000 but it’s thought the special model cost over £1 million, by the time all its security measures had been nailed on. It’s thirty-three years old, and has the antiquated, snooty styling of its time.

What a stupendous meeting in Regent Street. On the one hand, a multitude of students, agitators and police who’ve been tormenting each other all day. On the other, an unmistakable symbol of Britain’s highest privilege and rank. As it inched through the demonstrators, the ridiculous, inflammatory Phantom was pelted with bags of rubbish, bottles, traffic cones, barriers and paint.

Of course the royals shouldn’t be obliged to sneak around under cover, but surely these days a less ‘rub-your-face-in-it’ car would be more suitable. The Phantom is an absurd and unnecessary anachronism, out of touch with modern developments … oh, wait a minute …

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