A Little Touch of Harry in the Night

I watched King Charles the Third on Wednesday night.

It did not take me long to realise

That Royals speak exclusively in iambs.

Decasyllabic lines conveyed the drift

And burden of this ninety minute play.

It was a very Shakespeherian Rag;

You could not fail to spot Will’s influence

(By Will I mean the Bard and not the Prince).

You might have thought the clowns would speak in prose –

Provincial patois, slangy, a la mode

Or some such less exalted register

But nay; this wuznae punters doon the pub

But kings and queens and those and such as those –

Prince and Princesses, Crown Imperial.

Besides, to tell the truth there were no clowns

Though “circus” might describe this Windsor court

Depicted by the traffic of the stage.

Princess Diana took a cameo role

Like Hamlet’s father on the battlements

At Elsinore, or maybe Banquo’s ghost

Up Cawdor way, by Birnam, Dunsinane.

Indeed the Scottish Play was ever present –

(Eleven syllables are quite the thing

So long as endings are made feminine)

Vaulting ambition the imperial theme

And Evil’s metaphysic thrall.  I thought

The playwright took a frightful liberty

In casting Catherine as a harridan.

Lady Macbeth was never cold as this.

This futuristic melodrama was

Beyond dystopian; I cannot think

It bore much semblance to the actual Firm

Conspiring to get Charles to abdicate.

The King was shown to dither, vacillate;

With little succour from the Cambridges.

No need to ponder who the trousers wore –

The heir was firmly under Catherine’s thumb;

The spare as vacuous as his dithering dad

If dad he was – the playwright went so far

As cuckold him; what right to cast this up

Before a man with no right to reply?

Now here’s the nub: this is a travesty.

I might be Royalist or Republican –

It matters not one whit; this is abuse.

An alexandrine line to end this flood:

You can’t make monsters out of living flesh and blood.

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