In the seven decades that Queen Elizabeth II graced the ceremonial throne of England, she earned a reputation for her amiability, humility and relatability.
In the handful of days that her son, now-King Charles III, has taken the crown, he has earned a reputation for repellant old-world royal imperiousness.
While preparing to put his name to the royal documents, the new king gestured rather rudely for nearby aides to clear some things away from the desk he was approaching so he would have the room to do so.
The items that were impeding his use of the desk included a pen box and an inkwell which were both (it may be worthy of note) reportedly gifted to him by his sons, the new Prince of Wales, William, and Prince Harry.
Well, you’d better believe Twitter had a thing or two to say about his less-than-endearing royal behavior.
“The servant must clear my desk for me. I can’t be expected to move things,” wrote one user.
“The servant must clear my desk for me. I can’t be expected to move things.” pic.twitter.com/0pZqY2Xopq
— Laura Kuenssberg Translator (@BBCLauraKT) September 10, 2022
Seriously, I know he is in mourning and perhaps he wasn’t intended to appear as entitled as he did, but the dude has been preparing to be king for quite literally his entire life, which has been a long one as he is the oldest person to ever ascend to the British throne.
He ought to know better than anyone that being a member of the House of Windsor means the eagle-eyes of the British and global public are watching and scrutinizing his every move.
He could have taken a few hints from his famously gracious mother and exercised a little self-awareness.
This was the general consensus of indignant Twitter users.
The new King of England showing us who he really is. https://t.co/SnL5QkYGQA
— The TN (@Thewiseonewon) September 11, 2022
The dismissive Royal hand; just couldn’t imagine The Queen doing such!
— WarriorQueen The future’s Orange! (@WarriorqueenThe) September 10, 2022
With all his wealth, he could already afford some manners https://t.co/LYs3u6dVil
— PenKnight (@SJK_Hopes) September 11, 2022
Sympathy won’t last long with this sort of behaviour… https://t.co/l6eM4GRjlI
— Your Average Punter (@Your_Avg_Punter) September 11, 2022
Some, however, seem to find the incident mostly just plain amusing.
Charles’ brief fury at the pen tray is definitely the highlight of this for me. #Proclamation
— Haaris Aytishaam Mahmood ‘Squishi’ Qureshi BSc MA (@imaginewizard) September 10, 2022
To be fair to the mourning king, he had just given a moving speech on the legacy of his mother and predecessor.
“My mother’s reign was unequaled in its duration, its dedication and its devotion. Even as we grieve, we give thanks for this most faithful life,” he said, according to Page Six.
“I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me,” he also stated.
It appears there are many who think that, if how King Charles treats his royal servants in front of cameras is any indication, he’s off to a rocky start carrying on the torch his mother kindled so brightly for so long.
Whatever the case may be, I think it’s safe to say that the reign of King Charles is going to be a very different period of time for England than the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, whose time as the monarch is likely to remain unequaled throughout history.
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