Once upon a time...

February 29, 1996|By Jean Marbella

Once upon a time...

There lived a lonely prince named Charles.

He searched the kingdom for a princess. Some were too tall. Some were too old. Some had been around too many blocks to suit his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

But then his kindly grandmother, the Queen Mum, gave him a loving push toward Lady Diana Spencer. She was something of a silly goose, but also the daughter of an earl and according to the royal gynecologist suitably virginal. And Lady Di had the flaxen hair and blue eyes of the princess that she would become if he married her.

They announced their engagement, Prince Chuck and Shy Di, and all the global village turned out for their wedding on July 29, 1981. Queen Nancy even traveled from the Colonies to attend. Diana arrived in a Cinderella dress and a pumpkin-shaped coach. Charles arrived . . . with baggage.

Even then, there was an evil woman lurking around the happy scene: Camilla Parker-Bowles, the prince's once and future girlfriend. She was frizzy-haired and horsey and wore ugly hats, but the prince loved her ever since she propositioned him in the late 1960s by saying, "My great-grandmother was your great-great-grandfather's mistress. How about it?"

Diana called Camilla "that rottweiler." Camilla called Diana "an absolute mouse."

But for a while, the Prince and Princess of Wales were happily royal, or royally happy. She went to his polo matches, he escorted her to fancy balls. He preferred, however, poking around the muddy countryside, talking to his organic flowers and lecturing about classical architeture. She preferred shopping, going to the ballet and listening to Duran Duran on her Walkman as she bopped around the palace.

But Princess Diana was a good princess. Everyone loved the princess. More than they loved the prince. She produced an heir, Prince William, in 1982, and a spare, Prince Harry, in 1984.

But then, Princess Diana and Prince Charles stopped lying back and thinking of England. He started thinking of Camilla, and she started thinking of her riding instructor, Maj. James Hewitt.

Soon, all the village idiots were squawking: The princess had bulimia -- or was it poisoned apples? -- and tried to kill herself five times. She professed love to a man who called her "Squidgy." Charles continued consorting with Camilla, and confessed he wanted to be reincarnated as one of her personal hygiene products.

In 1992, Charles and Diana, mercifully, separate.

This being the 90s, though, the story continues more indiscretely than ever: He goes on TV to confess to the one person, in Borneo perhaps, who had not yet heard of his affair with Camilla. Diana can't seem to find anyone not previously married either, and has several odd tanglings with an art dealer and the captain of the national rugby team.

Finally, last November, Diana goes on TV herself. Her eyes heavily lined, she announces that she wants to be if not the Queen of England, then the Queen of Hearts.

The real Queen of England was not amused. She commands them to divorce.

Yesterday, Diana agreed.

She will never be queen. But if he wants to be king, Charles cannot re-marry.

Hahahaha. It's a fairy tale ending after all.

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