All this pondering on the fate of Prince Charles has left me with a sense of deep, only partly ironic melancholy, which as ever can only truly find expression in a quick burst of verse...
An old hand – the oldest – at waiting,
But still never learned to sit still.
An old master’s thwarted apprentice,
A grand young duke, over the hill.
Neither up nor down, but always marching,
But on every newsreel falls the cursed
shade of the shy exhibitionist
blonde mistake that you fell into first.
Now her branches beneath you are spreading,
Their flowers bloom bright while yours dim,
And it’s hard not to fall when a life is
spent so publicly out on a limb.
So on with the ceaseless crusading,
Set forth once more unto the breach,
For country! For farming! But purpose
is forever just out of reach.
But perhaps one day yet you’ll find meaning
in those rustic pub, foxhunting scenes,
Or maybe you’ve found it in love now
(or in whatever ‘in love’ means).