Archbishop of Canterbury, Candaules, Derren Brown, Harold the Helicopter, Harry Potter, Invisibility Cloak, Kate, Lambeth Palace, Las Vegas Nevada, paparazzi, Plato, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince William Duke of Cambridge, Republic, Rev W. Awdry, Ring of Gyges, Wills
Interesting that Prince William on his tour to Singapore should have replied to the rather intrusive questions as to what it is that he would really, really like by freely announcing the number of children that he would opt to sire. Apparently what he would choose would be an invisibility cloak and two children. (The Duchess quipped that she would also have to have access to the aforesaid garment, or else the prince might sneak up on her.)
Why did the Royal Pair (no, I don’t mean that, do I?).. I’ll start again: why did Kate and Wills refer to such a Harry Potter-type garment, when, as educated young people, they could have mentioned the original conferrer of invisibility? This was the Ring of Gyges, as in Plato’s Republic and the important thing about this stolen object was that it raised all sorts of ethical issues.
A shepherd who worked for the Lydian king, Candaules, came across a corpse in a mountain cave and he stole a ring from its finger. It rendered him invisible and so he was able to seduce the queen and to take part in a plot to murder her husband. The descendants of this thief included King Croesus.
Now Wills may be as rich as the aforesaid monarch, at least in relative terms, compared to most of us plebs, but adopting an invisibility cloak is a fantasy for any mortal:
unless, I suppose, you are Derren Brown.
Oddly, on occasions, I have been under the impression that I must be sporting such an item of clothing. How so, dear Candia? I hear you ask.
Well, when I was decades younger, with a pushchair and toddler in tow, I often found myself entirely overlooked when I was struggling to enter awkward doorways or ascending/ descending steep flights of stairs.
As a femme d’un certain age, again I seem to have disappeared from view and attract very few appreciative glances from male passers-by.
On crossing the road, I find that drivers accelerate towards me and on pavements, toddlers, usually three at a time, aim for my ankles with those aluminium-type scooters, while their adoring parents look straight through me.
In Costamuchamullah café and other such establishments, assistants (hah!) never seem to notice me standing plainly in front of them while they fiddle around, tidying up their counters, or suddenly finding an absolute necessity to stack their dishwasher.
If I am in a totally empty hotel pool, some mother will arrive with two or three kids in her wake who are buoyed up with bulky flotation devices and the said enfants terribles will make a bee-line for me, thrashing around and splashing me – no doubt magnetised by the force field of my powerful personality, as I am obviously invisible to their little naked eyes. The adult who is supposed to be in control of these young people (or should I call them students of early years?) also cannot see me, by all accounts, though the water disturbance/ displacement around me ought to give a clue that there is a mass of some dimension obstructing her precious offspring’s royal progress through life. Maybe she hasn’t understood Archimedes’ discovery and thinks Eureka, rather than being an exclamation, is a possible trendy forename for a future infant.
Anyway, Wills, if you had been given the magic cloak, you might have passed it on to your brother for operational use in Las Vegas.
If you could have used one on flight duty, people might have thought you were a drone. Some people do, actually, while most think you are a fairly industrious worker bee. People might have mistaken you in the air for Fergie’s Budgie, anthropomorphically resurrected. Did anyone buy the book?
No, the whole point of Royalty is that they should be highly visible, but, of course, that makes them easy targets. The Duchess’ function is to be seen and to produce the heir and spare that William mentioned.
Harry, not so coy, borrowed the whole mythical ensemble of clothing from the Emperor and paraded himself before a gawping crowd in a private hotel room that he invited half of California to enter, if not le monde entier. Then, to his surprise, he found that people were commenting that he was not perceived to be wearing anything at all, except a sheepish grin. People who play strip poker can’t really complain.
So, the young couple are furious that they have been spied upon. Yes, it is regrettable that privacy is difficult for them, but, if Kate wanted to keep her boobs for Will’s eyes only, then she could have kept her top on outdoors. After all, she ought to know that it is the paparazzi that are the wearers of really effective invisibility cloaks which are embroidered with the immortal phrase: investigative journalism and are the bearers of lenses that can spot a mammary gland from outer space. Don’t be naïve, Kate.
© Candia Dixon Stuart and Candiacomesclean.wordpress.com, 2012