Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 05.29.02
Quebec City


Kiss me Charlie, I'm your Mum

You have to hand it to the brain trust that looks after the Royal Family's public image.

Ever since the disaster with the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and the toe-sucking antics of the former Duchess of York and the various faux pas of the Wessexes, they've been working overtime to spruce up the Windsor family image.

And now, in the Golden Jubilee year of Elizabeth II, Queen of all the Britons, they appear ready to throw protocol out the window.

In an ongoing effort to show her majesty's warmer side, they are planning to have her kiss the Prince of Wales -- in public!

Now, to you mothers out there who shower your own children with affection this may not seem a big deal.

But for the Queen such a public display of raw emotion is practically unheard of.

The Queen does not kiss anyone in public -- with the possible exception of the Royal Corgis.

Nor is the Queen kissed under normal circumstances.

As a matter of fact, Prince Philip, to my knowledge, has only planted a wet one on the Queen's cheek in public once in fifty-four years of marriage.

There is precedent for the proposed puckering.

At her own jubilee in 1887 that other spontaneous madcap, Queen Victoria, kissed Eddy, Prince of Wales.

Edward was forty-six years old and it may have been the first time he'd been kissed by dear old mama. No one seems to know for sure.

What we do know is that Victoria then went on to virtually ignore Edward for the next fourteen years, until her death in 1901.

Not that the maternal cold shoulder caused Eddy any loss of sleep. The future King Edward VII got plenty of attention from a variety of upper class ladies who were only too willing to lavish affection upon a future king.

In contrast to his mom, Prince Charles has become a regular kissing fool.

In an effort to spruce up his image chuck has been photographed double cheeking his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, hugging the kids and even planting one on the boys' nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke.

Mind you, in the latter case the kiss on the ski slopes of Klosters ended up a bit of a cause celebre in the press…

Not because the display was public mind, you but because it was lavished on a -- God forbid -- member of the hired help.

Anyway, all that remains now for this coming spontaneous display of emotion is for the royal advisors to pick a time and place in advance, get the Queen's approval, tell Charles when and where to kiss, and then make sure the photographers get a clear shot.

I'm sure it will leave the entire nation and the Commonwealth with a warm, fuzzy feeling.