King Charles III’s early reign has surprised people by so far being marked by an odd frustration with elaborate pens.
In a new video of him signing a visitor’s book at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, the King had a bit of a meltdown while complaining about a leaky pen he had to use while Camilla, Queen Consort stood over his shoulder. The trip to Northern Ireland was part of King Charles’ whirlwind tour of the U.K.‘s constituent countries in the days since Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Sept. 8.
The video that has since gone viral begins with Charles asking an aide what the date was, believing it was still Sept. 12. After the aide tells him it is already the 13th, Charles complained that he already wrote the wrong date. He then handed the pen to Camilla, muttering “Oh God, I hate this” as he got up. “Oh look, it’s going everywhere, hang on,” Camilla told him as the ink leaked.
"I can't bear this bloody thing!": King Charles' signing ceremony at Northern Ireland's Hillsborough Castle made one thing clear – even royalty can't escape the frustration of an inadequate pen. pic.twitter.com/nzygNTLslX— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 13, 2022
An aide rushed in front of the camera to replace the leaky pen. “I can’t bear this bloody thing! What they do, every stinking time,” the King said as he turned away from the desk. He also wiped the ink off his hands as Camilla signed the book without issue.
This was the second bizarre incident involving pens for the 73-year-old monarch. When he was officially proclaimed king by the Accession Council at St. James’s Palace in London on Saturday, he was caught on camera getting frustrated with a pen box and an inkpot put on the large desk. He asked aides to clear the desk so he could sign the large documents.
Clean my desk peasants an then lick my hand again 😀🤡— Vjeran (@vjeran_cry) September 12, 2022
After King Charles sat down, he again asked the aides to just remove the two objects from the desk altogether. His son Prince William had to ask the king for the tray back because Charles took the pen with him before William could sign the documents too. Camilla, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and other dignitaries also signed the documents. The pen and inkpot were gifts from Prince Harry and Prince William, reports PEOPLE.
Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8 at 96, after over 70 years on the throne, the longest reign in U.K. history. Charles was also the longest-serving heir apparent and the oldest person to become monarch in history as well. The Queen’s coffin arrived at Buckingham Palace and will be moved to Parliament to lie in state for four days before her funeral. King Charles; his sons; Prince Andrew; Princess Anne; and Prince Edward will follow behind the coffin, reports BBC News.
About 100 employees at Clarence House, Prince Charles’ former official residence, were told they could lose their jobs as the King and Queen Consort make their move operations to Buckingham Palace, reports The Guardian.
Some of the employees received notice from the King’s top aide, Sir Clive Alderton, during the thanksgiving service for the Queen in Edinburgh on Monday. It’s still unclear if King Charles plans to live in Buckingham Palace, but there is speculation he may continue using Clarence House as his official residence but use the palace for official events.