As Igor said to Dr. Frankenstein in the grave-digging scene from YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, “Could be worse. Could be raining.” Or, you might be an impeached President. Or, heaven forfend, Queen Elizabeth. If you were the latter, you might figure that being the head Royal would be a piece of cake. You’re beloved by your subjects, there are sufficient heirs lined up for the foreseeable future, you’re still in good health, and you’ve got purses and shoes ready for every conceivable occasion that may arise.
But then those pesky heirs have to go and spoil it all. As if the folderol with Charles, Diana, and Camilla all those years ago wasn’t enough, not to mention Andrew’s recently disclosed indiscretions, now you’ve got a rogue grandson. Harry just doesn’t want to play by the rules.
Since the Palace is notoriously closed-mouthed, we’ll probably never know the exact tenor of the conversations that went on over the last couple of months, but, hey, it’s always fun to speculate.
I can just imagine Elizabeth talking things over with Philip:
LIZ: I really don’t understand this nonsense.
PHIL: What’s wrong with that boy?
LIZ: Who knows? Certainly has a lot of his mother in him.
PHIL: Which one is he again?
LIZ: Really, Phillip. He’s the redhead. You know, the one who looks like Diana’s butler. Not that I’m suggesting anything, mind you.
PHIL: Married the American, right? The actress?
LIZ: Yes, of all things. Can you imagine? I’m telling you, that Markle woman is making a mockery of the Monarchy.
PHIL: Quite so. And well said, Lilibet.
LIZ: I thought it a nice alliterate turn of phrase.
And that’s when it was just the two of them. What do you suppose was said when all the major players gathered at Sandringham recently to discuss Harry’s bombshell decision?
CHARLIE: Harry, what in world are you thinking? You’re an heir to the British throne.
HARRY: True, but I used to be higher up the food chain. The way Kate’s been popping out babies, I’m so far down the list it’s not funny.
WILLIAM: Could be more to come too. You never know.
LIZ: That’s enough, William. If Harry wants to accede to the wishes of this little tart and strike out on his own, let him have at it.
HARRY: Meghan is not a tart.
PHIL: Puts me in mind of David and Wallis.
LIZ: Perfectly horrid woman.
HARRY: Hey, I want to do this every bit as much as Meghan.
CHARLIE: But what will you do for money, Harry? You’ve not been trained to do anything but shake hands, smile, and wave from balconies.
LIZ: Charles has a point, Harry.
HARRY: I’ll get a job. And so will Meghan.
LIZ: You mean actually work? Go to an office?
HARRY: Well, no, nothing like that. I was thinking more of endorsements, you know, getting paid for wearing Nike or drinking Bombay gin, something like that.
CHARLIE: Really. How crass. Mummy, stop him.
WILLIAM: Where will you live? You can’t stay at the Palace.
HARRY: Toronto for starters. Then maybe Los Angeles.
CHARLIE: Hollywood? Oh, can I come visit? By myself?
CHARLIE: Sorry. For a moment that sounded rather exciting. Don’t tell Camilla. She’ll get one of her headaches.
WILLIAM: The press will have a field day with this.
HARRY: That’s part of the problem. The press has a field day if my kilt’s on crooked.
CHARLIE: Well, there is protocol to be followed. Fortunately, we Windsors do have good legs.
HARRY: Meghan just can’t abide the constant paparazzi and tabloid inuendo.
PHIL: She was an actress! I bet she loved all the attention then.
HARRY: Well, she’s not an actress now. At least, not yet.
LIZ: Oh, my. Really, Harry? She’d go back to play-acting? I tell you, it’s that Diana woman coming back to haunt me from the grave.
WILLIAM: Granny, perhaps it’s best to leave mother out of this.
LIZ: (Sigh). I suppose so.
WILLIAM: What about Archie?
HARRY: Well, he’s coming along with us, of course. Sometimes I think Meghan prefers him over me.
LIZ: It’s all so sordid. Just makes me want to chuck everything, toss in the crown, and be done with it.
CHARLIE: Now you’re talkin’.
LIZ: Easy, Charles. It’s not going to happen. I simply miss the good old days when I was sovereign over most of the world, that’s all.
PHIL: And a darn fine job you did too, Lillibet.
LIZ: Thank you, Phillip. You see, that’s how a royal spouse should act, people.
I wonder how THE CROWN TV show will handle this episode.
©MMXX. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer