King Charles is joking around about his struggles with stationery during his royal reign!
On Thursday night, the King, 74, called back to his viral snafus with writing instruments last September during a glittering dinner at Mansion House. The event was held to recognize the work of the City of London’s civic institutions and Livery Companies, the city’s ancient and modern trade guilds, and continued traditions for the new monarch’s first visit to the area dating back to 1689.
King Charles attended with Queen Camilla, where he addressed the guests about how the U.K. is a “community of communities” and how things like artificial intelligence and climate change will continue to shape today’s “watershed age.” In an upbeat highlight, the sovereign said the humor of the British people was a well from which to draw strength — before pivoting to his previous pen problem!
“The cherished well from which the sound of laughter can be heard — the healing well filled with a sense of humor laced with an invigorating dash of self-irony. This well flows liberally into all the others. The British sense of humor is world-renowned,” the King said.
“It is not what we do. It is who we are. Our ability to laugh at ourselves is one of our great national characteristics. Just as well, you may say, given some of the vicissitudes I have faced with frustratingly failing fountain pens this past year!” he continued, which made the crowd laugh.
Days after his accession in September 2022, King Charles went viral online after a video hit of him struggling with a leaky pen during a signing ceremony at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
As seen in a video shared by ABC News, the King tried to pass the dripping instrument to Queen Camilla, before realizing ink got onto his hands — and getting upset!
“I can’t bear this bloody thing! Every stinking time,” Charles told an aide as he and his wife attempted to clean the mess.
During the Accession Council’s all-important proclamation of Charles as King in London two days after Queen Elizabeth’s death, the newly minted monarch similarly seemed impatient when the desk he had to sign the Accession Proclamation was crowded with an inkpot and pen box. After giving an irritated wave, his equerry Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Thompson (who has lit up the internet with his dashing good looks!) cleared the way for the symbolic signing to continue.
Though King Charles might have been annoyed in both moments, he’s since seemed to bring a little levity to his royal responsibilities. Last October, he quietly joked about unpredictable pens as he signed a visitor’s book at a council meeting in Dunfermline, Scotland, with Queen Camilla, 76.
As seen in footage shared on X by Rebecca English of the Daily Mail, the King signed inside and handed the pen to his wife, adding with a laugh, “These things are so temperamental.”
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Like many royal engagements, the couple signed a visitor’s book at a pre-dinner reception at Mansion House, which luckily seemed to go smoothly. Charles and Camilla also took time to connect with representatives of the City of London Corporation, the Common Council, the Livery Companies and the City’s finance sector.
In a thoughtful nod to her late mother-in-law, Queen Camilla sparkled in Queen Elizabeth’s go-to Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara for the first time.