Thursday, May 10, 2012

Duke and Duchess do the Weather

And now, as they say:  for something completely different!

Charles and Camilla served as the weather people today during their royal visit to BBC Scotland's television studios.  That's the Prince "Chaa-els," as they say in Britain with their stiff upper lips, and his wife who will never be queen.  Giving their neighbors in and around Balmoral the low-down on their local forecast.

Which, of course, isn't a difficult thing to do in that part of the world.  "Cold and rainy" pretty much covers it, as if Scotland really even needs weather reports.  Actually, its impressive all the ways TV producers try to make the weather sound interesting, considering the forecast is pretty much the same.  Well, except for the sunshine expected in the far northern part of the Scottish isles.  At least it will still be cold up there.

By the way, Balmoral, the royal family's favorite ancestral country estate, is expecting snow tonight.  And this is May!  Looks like an ideal opportunity for snuggling up with... on second thought, Camilla, let's just get some extra hot water bottles.

What's interesting about this little bit of pop culture TV weather low-browing by the pedigreed royals is the candid nature it appears to convey about the heir-apparent and his second wife.  Our president sings and jokes on national television, all in the name of PR.  And audiences seem to lap it up.  Monarchists likely would be horrified to see their Queen delivering the weather forecast, but for some reason, it seems to work for her eldest son and daughter-in-law, as campy cameos go.  The normally staid Charles seems bemused by it all, and that initial scene with him gamely glancing at the clicker gives the mistaken impression that he's getting ready to do a comedy routine.  Some might say he was.

Meanwhile, dowdy Camilla comes across with just a little less personality than the clicker she holds in her hands, like some sort of award-winner who's unsure of how to hold a microphone.

Their turn in front of the cameras came during a tour of the BBC's Glasgow studios in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the BBC's presence in Scotland.  In the background one can hear the clicking of what at first sounds like old-fashioned typewriters, which almost certainly is actually the sound of camera shutters as the media in the studio record the scene for posterity.  Not realizing, of course, that the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall,  also known as Charles and Camilla, are on live television, which itself offers pictorial proof of the event.

But that's life in the fishbowl that is British royalty, isn't it?  Everything's a photo op, whether the royals like it or not.  One would have thought that the BBC could have found something a bit more prestigious for their important guests to perform than the weather forecast - and a lousy forecast at that.  Someday, Charles and Camilla may be showing a scrapbook of photos to their grandkids, and they'll have to explain that on the 60th anniversary of the BBC broadcasting in Scotland, they had the privilege of "presenting" the gloomy weather forecast.

"You mean, all they wanted you to say was that it was going to be cold and rainy, Grandpapa?"

"Wull, yes, dear grandchild," Charles would huff, with his voice still sounding like he was talking with a mouth full of marbles.  "I did a bit of ad-lib at the end, of course.  Did you like that bit about the bank holiday?  Quite clever - appealing to the poor workers I was entertaining"

"Oh yes, dear Grandpapa...  You sounded just like a commoner!"

"And your father's mother said the public would never warm to me!"

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