It’s difficult to describe in words the farce that unfolded in P.E.I. this week.
If you’re thinking about the quirky little variety show put off for the visiting Prince Charles and wife Camilla on Monday, you’re only half right.
A videographer captured the Royals’ reaction in the front row as local actor Wade Lynch, dressed as Queen Elizabeth, toyed with the audience for a few minutes, waving to his “kids” in the front row.
The expressions on Charles and Camilla’s faces were worth the price of admission. They’ve been described as everything from unimpressed to stony to mortified. They looked like weary grandparents, fidgeting in their seats at a tedious school concert, or “Canadian Idol” judges enduring yet another amateur act.
Not to stereotype, but stiff upper lips are hard to read. You can see the odd hint of a grin — or is that a grimace? Hard to say with such chiselled faces.
The video is edited, so it may have only captured the worst moments. Or the best. Who knows? It’s a few fleeting moments.
In fact, there are photographs of the Royal Pair sporting genuine smiles. At the concert, and at other venues. They had good times and bad. It’s all a blur. They’re Royals, for goodness sake.
Which makes the subsequent tsunami of hate against P.E.I. the grandest farce of all.
After the Charlottetown Guardian footage went online, the puffed up indignation began. How shameful, how shocking, how positively scandalous. The Guardian’s offices were quickly flooded with calls and emails from upset Islanders, and feathers continued to ruffle all across the country.
It was a debacle, they cried, “embarrassing” and “cringe-worthy.”
Heads must roll — and roll they would have were this another century. P.E.I. and its bird-brained entertainers have humiliated Canada in front of the Royals.
Is there any way back from this unbearable nightmare?
The horror, the horror. Too much to bear.
Except for a few level-headed folk, who saw the whole tempest in a teapot for what it was.
“I can’t stop laughing,” wrote one commenter on the National Post’s website. “Every time it crosses my mind I burst out into laughter. The most entertaining part of the show was watching the Royals’ expressions. This was priceless.
“Watching the two old stuffy mothballs in an uncomfortable situation having to smile through a mockery of their status, this is most rewarding for the struggling common man.”
Ouch. A little harsh, perhaps, but point
Later, in Halifax, Charles reportedly compared Vladamir Putin to Hitler and caused a mini-scandal among British monarchists.
Seems everyone has a little egg on their face.