If anyone sees Prince Charles throwing hint-hint glances at his mother and sighing heavily when she ignores him, here's why: Earlier today, 46-year-old Felipe of Spain officially took the reigns as king, after his 76-year-old father Juan Carlos of Spain abdicated.
Fun fact: Felipe's wife, now Queen Letizia, is a commoner and former TV news anchor. And not just that, but a divorcee! My God, Wallis Simpson and the Queen Mother both must be spinning like a couple of turbines at a hydroelectric power plant.
The occasion was marked with all the pomp and circumstance of a high school graduation on a football field. Instead of Felipe donning the historic crown, it was left sitting on a chair, according to the Wall Street Journal; no foreign royals were invited. (Cut to Prince Philip opening a newspaper and grimacing in disgust.) Cold tapas were served to standing guests afterward, as though it were an info session about time shares in Vail.
But it's for good reason: Felipe's got to do a little image rehab if he wants to keep his job, because Spain isn't so sure about its monarchy anymore. Juan Carlos gets a lot of credit for helping with the post-Franco transition to democracy, but he didn't fare so well when the country went broke. His 2012 elephant-hunting trip is often cited as a particularly dickish move. Plus his daughter's husband is currently embroiled in an embezzlement scandal. (Neither attended the coronation.)
That would be enough for one lifetime's work, but as the New York Times outlines, he's got to deal with crap like the push for Catalan independence. On top of everything else, he's got friends giving quotes like this to the Times:
"King Juan Carlos is more charismatic, fun and intuitive — the kind of person who knows just when to give a hug — but I do think Felipe is more solid and intellectually more profound, somebody who really wants to be informed and get to the bottom of things.... Felipe's whole life has been shaped and driven by his awareness of the responsibilities lying ahead of him."
Lady, if that's your idea of a compliment, don't quit your day job to start writing greeting cards. And I'm sure Felipe would've preferred a better omen than Spain's getting spanked by Chile and knocked out of the World Cup the day before he took office.
Reached for comment via seance, the long-dead Spanish Hapsburgs said, "SMDH."
Photo via Getty.