by Robert Morrison
June 2, 2009His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales thinks you should curb your lifestyle. Britons, Europeans, Americans, according to the latest internet video message from this eminent royal personage, are endangering the planet with our penchant for high living.
It’s not just our caviar, our pate de foie gras, our champagne and oysters, not just our castles and hunting preserves, not just our private yachts and private jets, nor even our stables of race horses—it’s us. There are simply too many of us. And, worse, we persist in having more of us. Children. Horrors!
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales thinks you should think twice about how your very being is threatening the Amazon Rain Forest and bringing about “climate change.” (Climate change is the latest evolution in the thinking of the right thinking elites about what they don’t like about us.) It used to be called Global Warming. But that’s so nineties, when it was actually warming. When too many reputable scientists raised their minority voices about warming, they sure felt the heat. Now, it’s always Climate Change. If you don’t think the climate is changing, just step outside, you denier.
It’s not only His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales who is concerned. Sir David Attenborough is also worried. For American readers, Sir David is a cross between Dan Rather and Carl Sagan. He’s a really big wig. He’s the man who brought color television to Britain. (Was that a good thing?) Sir David has used color TV to bring to his adoring audiences nothing less than Planet Earth. Every bug and beetle, every bird and butterfly has been beautifully captured on film and delivered to the masses by Sir David. But now, he’s having second, and even third, thoughts. He wants the British to have fewer John and Jane Bulls. He thinks Britain’s population explosion is “frightening.” He’s signed on to every population control outfit he can find. Most visitors to modern Britain are struck by the large and growing number of non-British people there are in Old Blighty.
Not Sir David. Away with them all. He and the Queen of Hearts would have made quite the pair: “Off with their heads.”That’ll stop them multiplying.
I have some personal history with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Several decades back, I was assigned to be part of a Coast Guard honor guard that was also a body guard for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. On a royal visit to San Francisco, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales was threatened by the IRA underground operating out of Berkeley. They were going to blow him up.
For weeks, we Coasties were trained by detectives from Britain’s very professional police, Scotland Yard. They planned every move, every step His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales would take. They never referred to him as “he.” Never as “The Prince.”
It was always “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.” That unvarying usage was unnerving. Almost as if they were from the other side of Churchill’s famous Iron Curtain.
When the eventful day came, we lined up at Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco. When the chartered jet of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales landed, it seemed to us it was ten minutes ahead of shedyool. Not so. The jet taxied at a leisurely pace more than two miles to the end of the runway. Then, it turned and processed back to the point of disembarkation.
Outside the cockpit of the jet we saw two flags fluttering-the Union Jack and the Royal Standard of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. I’d seen official limousines in Washington and New York with such flags, but this was unique. Since the jet could not fly with those flags flapping in the breeze, the entire purpose of the ten-minute maneuver to the end of the runway was to position those flags. What a stately procession it was. More than thirty years later, I vividly recall the impression the entrance of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales made on me. That was what it was intended to do.
Imagine the last three decades of royal progresses, royal “walkabouts,” royal safaris, all taken in royal jets, with royal standards fluttering. Envision those jets taxiing to the ends of all those runways, just so they can affix the flags that make such impressions on the happy natives.
Isn’t it marvelous that none of those jets used any jet fuel at all? Think how many royals earth could accommodate if there none of us here! Their carbon footprint could be as big as Gulliver’s if there were none of us Lilliputians mucking up the planet. But who would there be to shield His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with our own bodies? And who would there be to cheer His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales? The more I think of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the more I think Diana should have kissed a different frog.