‘They took me to Canada’: An imagined look at Prince Charles’ thoughts during the last week

Dear Diary: By day’s end someone had pinned a medal to my chest. I don’t know why

Article content

For a whirlwind three days this week, Prince Charles and Camilla visited Canada to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s the 19th such visit to Canada by the 73-year-old heir to the throne. Below, the National Post’s Tristin Hopper took an imagined journey inside Charles’ head as he was politely shown around a country that expects to one day have his profile on their coins.

Advertisement 2

Article content


I had that dream again. I am a prisoner in some whimsically opulent penitentiary. Groaning tables of my favourite foods line an endless gilded hall. A grand stage provides me with eternal entertainments; plays, operas, great symphonies. But amidst all this splendour I know that I am not free.

My crime is never clear; whenever I ask my jailers what I have done wrong, they merely bow in deference.


They took me to Canada today. While moving through a crowd of people I saw a woman crying. The sight shocked me. “It’s okay,” I said, “there is really no reason to cry.” This only seemed to cause her to cry more.

But there were more of them … the crying people. At every new place to which I was taken I saw them: grown men and women losing their composure in my presence as if they were looking upon a son or daughter at their wedding day. I do not know any of these people, and they certainly don’t know me. I don’t even live here.

Advertisement 3

Article content

By day’s end someone had pinned a medal to my chest. I don’t know why.


It was while visiting a stable that I was once again consumed by the feeling I had been here before. I KNEW the clink of tack, the smell of a freshly brushed thoroughbred and the scarlet uniforms of the animals’ handlers. But are these my memories? Was I legitimately recollecting my own sensations, or was it the phantom consciousness of some past entity whose place I occupy … or some entity yet to come?

Am I me? Am I an individual whose conscious existence began with my birth and can eventually be expected to end? Or am I merely a vessel for some impelling force that I don’t fully understand? Will I be allowed to die?

One of the men in uniform nervously approached me and said “you may not remember this, but my father met you in …” – and then noise. It was then I must admit I assumed a kind of trance state; the man’s features appeared to blur as his voice became a distant and cacophonous echo. I waited until I believed him to be done, and then I smiled and nodded, causing him to cry like the others. Extraordinary.

Advertisement 4

Article content


I am often handed sheafs of paper and asked to read them aloud. It seems very important that I do so. When I read them poorly, there are pictures of me in the newspapers the next day, and it is made clear to me that this is bad. When I read them correctly, well … they cause people to cry.

Everyone is so eager to show me objects. Children show me flowers. Farmers show me produce. A soldier presented me his gun and asked that I handle it. Why would he do that?


I know that none of that was normal. I understand that police officers have duties that are far different than what is depicted in my presence; obviously law and order could not be kept if they merely spent all day standing at attention in ordered lines.

When I enter factories, all I ever see are workers standing quietly at their stations and clapping when I come into view. How can this be? I know that ordinary people live lives in which the enthusiastic waving of tiny flags is but a small fraction of their existence, but I never see it. I don’t doubt that they take me to places that are real, but I often wonder how I would know.



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.