Thanks to a link on John Dixon's blog, I found myself reading through some posts on the Carmarthenshire Planning Problems blog. I came across this:
Pickets and the Prince; Contrast in a Small Town
Driving through Llandovery this morning I was struck by a sharp contrast. Just past the supermarket was a huddle of cold postmen and women, picketing outside the sorting office, trying to preserve their jobs, get few more quid, have better working conditions and whatever else. I expect they would rather be inside working, or off in their vans fending off sheepdogs and wading through mud.
A few hundred yards further on I met a queue of traffic at the level crossing. Normally the wait is about 30 seconds as the single carriage train passes through. This time the wait was longer. Then I realised it was the 'Royal Train', eight or more carriages long (I couldn't tell exactly as it seemed to stretch the entire length of Llandovery).
How bizarre, why on earth is this enormous train needed to transport one man, Prince Charles? The massed police presence, complete with helicopter, enures a continuing royal carbon footprint roughly the size of Wales. It rather cancels out the noble efforts of the 'organic' mattress factory he went to visit.
I simply smiled and thought nothing more of it ... until, by some wonderful quirk of serendipity, I saw this in the Times:
Sporting 'anonymous' headscarf, Queen catches the 10.45 to Kings Lynn
It is a relatively little known fact that when the Queen travels to Norfolk for her Christmas break, she travels by scheduled train.
... it is a regular service used by regular passengers. No helicopters for her, or chartered flights. Although this has been her chosen mode of Christmas travel for a few years now, this was the first year that Buckingham Palace has allowed the press to take a photographic record of the event.
I have to admit that the woman has gone up in my estimation. I certainly don't believe in a monarchy, but if that's what people want it is certainly better to have a monarch who behaves in this way than a successor who behaves in the way he does.
Whatever the opinions of the current Head of State are, she manages to do a fairly good job of keeping them to herself. That at least makes the unfairness of a hereditary Head of State bearable. Her son, in complete contrast, can't help but make his opinions known on any subject that enters his head ... and, much worse, seeks to use a position that he hasn't earned and has done nothing to deserve to influence political decisions. He's done it repeatedly in the past, and he's still doing it now. There is no place for that in a democracy.
So I wish his mother a long and happy life ... at least into the early 2020s, by which time I fully expect we will have decided to be an independent nation. When we've done that, we'll be in a position to decide what sort of Head of State we want. The Black Prince had a certain ring to it, and the Black Adder was at least funny ... but the Black Spider! Do we have so little self-respect?