Should Prince Charles be king? Or should he be a beekeeper?

Prince Charles and the Bee

I am one of the few people I know who has taken a personal public vow of allegiance to the Queen. And all her heirs. I take my duties seriously. It is my job to offer helpful life skills to the Family whenever I should. That’s the price of loyalty. And Canadian citizenship, for immigrants. Although I pledged my allegiance twenty years ago, I suspect it is still in effect. So here comes my advice to one of her majesty’s heirs, the Prince of Wales, the reluctant future king, Charles.

I would probably get along with the guy. He seems gangly and clumsy, like me. And he likes bees, also like me. Well, that’s perhaps the limit of our similarities. But I can still contribute a few words regarding his appearance on the front page of this week’s Time magazine. In a corollary net article, Born to Be King, But Aiming Higher, author Catherine Mayer tells us why we should all appreciate this man. Mayer “found a man not, as caricatured, itching to ascend the throne, but impatient to get as much done as possible before, in the words of one member of his household, “the prison shades” close. The Queen, at 87, is scaling back her work, and the Prince is taking up the slack, to the potential detriment of his network of charities, initiatives and causes.” The future prison of being reigning monarch is what caught the world’s attention, not the fact that Prince Charles has devoted over 35 years to the 20 charities he formed, almost all centered on preserving the environment.

I don’t agree with each and every charity Prince Charles supports (and/or created). But rather than waiting around to inherit a job (Who on Earth does that anymore?), the prince decided to see if he could stay busy making a positive difference. He hasn’t been racing fast cars or buffing his abs on the beach. There is apparently no misspent youth. Instead, he raises some hundred million pounds each year and directs the expenditures. Those grants go to “Sustainability, Rain Forests, Youth Programs, and Environment,” according to Prince Charles’ own website.

So, here is my advice. On the off-chance Charles should outlive his mother, (Or, “Mummy” as he infamously called the Queen at her 75th birthday gala.), he should simply pass on the king thing. Plenty of lesser monarchs have tossed the crown for frivolous reasons. Prince Charles has his work already, and it needs him. And he has those bees behind his Clarence House residence. Why be king when you can keep bees?

The Prince’s House – and his Bees

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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