Those royals and destiny, theirs and ours
I told you so. Camilla began romancing Charles right here in Zimbabwe around our independence in 1980.
Here is corroborating evidence from our very own Chronicle of Bulawayo. Even if newspapers aren’t always to be believed, this time it was right on the money.
Eye-witnesses among local glitterati, mostly foreign expats and Brits in for a last tango here, enjoyed cocktails and dancing at State House and have told how Lady Soames, wife of the last interim British governor, had to tell them to keep the noise down on several occasions. Security details reported eavesdropping on intimate conversations and saw some smooching going on during slow, romantic tunes on the stereo. The parties could last for hours … there was no evident debauchery but that would have come after couples slipped discreetly away.
Camilla Parker-Bowles was at the heart of these gatherings, as the legend has it. It must be said Charles was never seen canoodling with her but the kindling of their fire was very noticeable indeed, said attendees.
According the Bulawayo Chronicle, in the second paragraph of the story, Buckingham Palace officials were “pleased to see Charles in the company of a happily married woman” to avoid any rumours of them being seen alone together in the increasingly paranoid atmosphere of the time.
Camilla has now gone on the record saying she believed “never in a million years” would she ever become Queen.
Die-hard Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith had predicted another time span for Zimbabwe’s universal suffrage, majority rule and independence. His “never in 1,000 years” became a mantra of the white minority four years before Christopher Soames and Charles arrived to take down the British flag. Lord Soames had to micro manage things so nothing could derail his awkward transition process. Britain and the Crown wanted to be rid of the Rhodesia ‘problem’ for good.
Towards the end of the bush war that hastened the new dawn a certain recklessness and abandon had crept in. More excessive boozing, more infidelity against an ultra-conservative backdrop and interminable carousing as if all was already lost. Living each day as though it were to be the last. It was into this setting that Charles and Camilla stepped.
La Fontaine, a high-end hotel restaurant, with its resident band and a dance floor at one end, was compared to the ballroom on the Titanic and at the last minute Smith was merely trying to rearrange sunbeds and recliners on the decks for the ship’s privileged passengers.
But I digress. The affair of Charles and Camilla came out into the open six years after independence when he was still married to Diana and Camilla was married to the husband mentioned in the Bulawayo Chronicle story who was known as a high society adulterer and had apparently gone a bit further with Princess Anne, Charles’s sister, than simply being her official escort and equerry.
The British tabloids were having a field day by now. Leaked correspondence mentioned Charles’s written desire to be Camilla’s tampon, heaven forbid, and then came the Squidgygate scandal of a likely lover’s telephone recordings calling Diana by his affectionate, cuddly name for her, Squidgy.
Bring on the ‘vomiting man’ emojis I get whenever I refer to the British royals. I’ll wager that Camilla, intensely disliked by commoners way before the coronation, owes Zimbabwe a big thank you for her final elevation and new, cheerful popularity as Queen of the Realm.
You can’t tell me, given our peculiar and immoral leanings, we didn’t help drive the couple into an embrace that was to become their lasting union.
Not to stretch the point, at least we’ve got this silly distraction from our current mega inflation, worsening daily living conditions and corruption that have brought fruition to most of Ian Smith’s fears.
In his just released Annual Misery Index Steve Hanke, a US professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins university, puts Zimbabwe top of his list, ahead of Syria, troubled Lebanon and even Ukraine. The man must be mad, surely? He has always borne a biased grudge against us, surely? Switzerland is his least miserable country.
Mind you, Hanke is 80, the same age as our President Emmerson Dambudzo ‘ED’ Mnangagwa who got a back row seat at that glittering Westminster Abbey coronation.