I've said many times that I have a dirty little secret, very lowbrow and unacademic: I follow the British Royal family religiously, or almost. Anything royal in the newspapers or bookstores, I'm there--except, of course, for Princess Diana the Ditz. I have absolutely no interest in her.
It goes without saying that I would treasure an invitation to lunch or dinner or--best of all--a weekend at Windsor or Balmoral with the Queen. But it might be even more interesting to spend some with the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, because he seems to believe that his duty is to unstuff any stuffy, protocol-bound occasion. Here's a sampling of the Prince's work:
Chatting with a blind woman outside Exeter Cathedral in England, the Prince joked, "Do you know they now do eating dogs for the anorexic?"
On a visit with aborigines in New Zealand, HRH asked them if they still threw spears at one another.
Inspecting a DMV office in Scotland, Philip asked one examiner, "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them past the test?!"
I don't know what it is about bad boys, crazy uncles, let-er-rip oldsters and damn-the-torpedoes professional outrages, but I'm drawn to them. I'll be scouring the papers for news of HRH's antics at the state dinner President Bush is giving for the royals early this week in Washington. Maybe the Prince has a tablecloth trick or two up his sleeve? We can only hope.