Hot (as in hot water): Michael Ignatieff is worried about lines for flu shots not lines of succession. That's the Liberal Leader's answer to questions today about the anti-monarchy piece (unearthed by mischievous Conservatives?) he wrote nearly 20 years ago. It's pertinent as Mr. Ignatieff is to meet this week with Prince Charles.
In the Ignatieff article, which was published in the Montreal Gazette in 1992, the politician writes about the separation of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. "Listening to the separation announcement, I found myself wondering exactly why this shambles was so magically preferable to an elected presidency." And Mr. Ignatieff, who is a disciplined writer, states, "the British now have to decide whether to admit how republican their history actually is or whether to continue with the fantasy that they are ruled by kings and queens."
Given all this, what does Mr. Ignatieff say when he meets the Prince? Quit? Stay? His spokesman Michael O'Shaugnessy says none of the above. "The Leader is focused on the issue of H1N1. Right now, Canadians are worried about lines for flu shots, not lines of succession. This is not an issue Canadians are focused on. He looks forward to his meeting with Prince Charles later in the week."
Not: Talk about a royal bum's rush. The very day that Prince Charles and Camilla exit Canada after their 11-day visit, the CBC is broadcasting a rather provocative, and dare we say nasty, take on Charles, the man, the prince, the father and the future king.
The documentary, After Elizabeth II: Monarchy in Peril, by producer John Curtin, is well-done, entertaining, lovely to watch and no doubt will stir the pot debate about the relevancy of the monarchy. Mr. Curtin interviews several columnists in Britain, one of whom, The Independent's Johann Hari, takes shots galore at the future King. He calls Charles "deeply weird" and muses that Charles has power and place simply because he "passed through [Queen Elizabeth's]womb."
Other commentators criticize the cost of the monarchy and question what it does for Britain. Certainly not bring in tourists as one Legoland, the theme park close to Windsor Castle, attracts more visitors than the Queen's historic residence, according to one of the royal-watchers interviewed.
You get the idea. Goodbye, Prince Charles.