Peel me a sour grape, Camilla!

by Charles Alexander

Parting Glances

I'm a patient person (having waited the requisite number of years to be thought of as well tempered - i.e., over the hill) but as my royal wedding invitation never arrived, I'll be spoil sporting on the subject of Kate & Wills, and the royal family.

(As my grandparents on my mother's side were born in England, migrating here about 1910, and, as I once had an aunt who was born there too, I thought that surely those antecedents to my own auspicious American birth - as well as my Facebook profile - would stand me in good stead for an invite. No such luck. Pity.)

May I say at the onset I find Kate Middleton to be quite stunning - a beauty, in contrast to her father-in-law Prince Charles' second, tampax touted, wife Camilla. (More of that anon). If given my aesthetic druthers, I prefer Harry to Wills, though the former may not be fathered by the male royal personage of the latter. (Anon also.)

The source for this sour grapes column is a glossy magazine recently published in time for the royal wedding (presumably for other non-invited American persons of Anglo Saxon heritage). Its title, "Collector's Issue Royal Scandals & Shockers!" Subtitled: "Murder, Madness, Lies, Cheating & More."

Purportedly there are "250 photos inside!" adds the cover, with banner headlines, "Charles & Camilla Marriage Hell," "The Queen Her Secret Agony," "Fergie's Drunken Shame" (you do remember her, don't you?), along with, "Why William & Kate's Marriage Is Doomed!"

The magazine sells for $6.99 US/Canada, and carries the caveat, "Display until June 20, 2011" (presumably the date by which time a fresh batch of royal gossip will be available for non-invitee reader titillation). For those readers who, in spite of this proffered gossip mongering, are fans of the collective House of Windsor past and present, there are several wedding event mementoes for purchasing.

If so inclined, one may purchase a Royal Inspiration Replica Ring (four convenient installments of $24.75), Prince William and Catherine Official Royal Engagement Postage Stamps ($4.95 a set), a "beautifully framed canvas print" of Kate & Wills (two interest free installments of $19.99), and a Royal Engagement 16" Kate Middleton Doll, with two designer dresses.

There's every possibility that "Royal Scandals & Shockers" will be turned into a lavendar-scented soaper. Episode 1 would be called, "Queen Victoria Cheats with Her Faithful Servant." Episode 2, "Prince Albert Goes Jack the Ripper." Episode 3, "Edward & Wallis Play Footsie With Adolf Hitler." So much for the distant past.

Current episodes might include: "Prince Philip Clocks the Big 20 With Princess Alexandra of Kent," "Her Majesty Plays Horsey With Richard Burton," "Prince Charles Meets His Long Lost Brother" - less than memorable quote: "I even have the same ears as Charles" - and - shudder - "Queen's Cousins Locked Away in Psycho Ward."

No doubt, the TV series climax could be, "Charles' Gay Sex Bombshell!" According to the magazine British tabloid sources, purportedly His Majesty Charles (oh, yes, the Queen says that the next king may very likely be Prince Wills) has had a three-year affair with a man, and has also been caught in flagrante delicto by a servant named George Smith. (Who delicto'd whom isn't clear.) There's one photo.

Four photos merit comment. The first: Prince Harry's pix with British Army Major James Hewitt. Side by side there's no question about who sired whom. Second: Camilla Parker-Bowles in a wheel chair with unsigned cast, after being a bit too tiddly and falling down a mountain side. (Oh, yes, Charles' tampax remarks on page 19.)

There are several photos of Princess Di. All lovely. There's also much gossip. All forgiveable. Let her rest in peace. If anyone was royalty it was she. Take it from an uninvited queen.

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