Wednesday, April 23, 2014

STRAW MAN (FROM HELLO! - 14 APRIL, 2014)





"The Prince of Wales was a sight for straw eyes when he met some of Northern Ireland’s more unusual residents during a two-day tour of the country.  Prince Charles’s wicker man experience happened in Eniskillen, thanks to the Augakillymaude group of mummers, a medieval drama group whose members dress from head to toe in woven straw and perform plays to keep evil spirits at bay.

‘By God, you must get pretty hot in there,’ the Prince remarked after commending them for keeping the ancient tradition alive.  He then traded drinking tips with one cider-loving mummer, who revealed that this was one instance where taking your tipple through a straw was not advisable.




Charles’s love for heritage is nothing new, of course, but few would think it stretches back to his Romanian roots. Through his great-great-great-grandmother Countess Rhédey von Kis-Rhéde, Charles’s family tree spreads across Europe to Transylvania – and in return he’s brought a bit of Romania to the green and pleasant land at his 18th-century home Highgrove.

The Prince first visited the region in 1998 and was struck by the beauty of the wild flowers.  So, in 2010, he decided to create a Transylvanian meadow at his Gloucestershire home, using seeds from one of his own properties in Romania.




However, Charles also has patriotic motives for recreating England’s lost heritage.  'They are probably what this country would have looked like 800 years ago in terms of flowers,’ he says in the new book Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated.  ‘The flora and insect life and butterflies are as England would have been.’"




Note:  It is difficult to imagine a more potent argument for  republicanism, i.e., abolition of the monarchy, in the United Kingdom than this decorative but nauseating piece on Prince Charles’s recent activities, which was published in Hello! Magazine two weeks ago.  

Don’t get me wrong – I love wildflowers, gardens, beautiful houses – not so much Wicker Men.  But every time Prince Charles opens his mouth, idiocy arrives for a visit and decides to stay.  

I am quite aware of the House of Windsor’s mixed-up and tangled lineage, but the Romanian angle is, I must admit, new to me.  That the prince acquired quite a bit of land in the post-Ceausescu Romanian countryside, where I believe he’s building another Poundbury-style toy town, demonstrates, I suppose, some business manager’s misguided notional acumen, unless Prince Charles is actively prospecting for a future post-revolution enclave-in-exile.

Importing wildflower seeds without a permit (I would hate to be the UK Customs officer who gave this twit a rough time at the border) was arrogant and, I suspect, unwise, but Prince Charles, you know, scratches worthier itches than we do.  

As for his final statement about medieval British flora and fauna, one can be reasonably certain that Prince Charles’s knowledge is entirely second-hand and quite possibly incorrect, as well as useless and pretentious. 

Please see below where Christopher Lee shows how to do that  Wicker Man thing the right way.