Picture: From the Sir Charles Grandiose Archives

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January 11, 1999 Picture: One's Nephew. One Thinks He'll Keep Him.On the whole, one would say that the Royal Family is not terribly excitable. For example, if Her Majesty were to be sitting in the back of her limousine with Prince Charles and her grandkiddies as they drove through Bond Street, and suddenly Camilla Parker Bowles were to run screaming invective from her hairdressers', chasing a squadron of stylists who refused to put a permanent wave into her snakes, and if the entire entourage were mowed down in one fell swoop by the 'Spice Girls' tour bus, and if then that Michael Flatulent fellow, the 'Lord of the Dance,' were to suddenly appear and gavotte across the fresh corpses, one rather suspects the Queen and family would at most quirk the corners of their mouths before looking askance and asking each other how they found the weather. One suspects, however, that even their staid faces must have smiled at the joysome news that Prince Edward is to be married.

Many of that elite social circle in which one circulates--the 'upper upper', naturally--have long been of the opinion that Prince Edward has been a singleton too long. They aver that even Her Majesty is of the opinion that the boy has enjoyed a gay bachelorhood for too long, and that it is time for him to settle and raise a family.

A marriage is always a happy event in a family, naturally. But to the assertion that the only good heir is a married heir, one has this to say: Bosh.

After all, take one's nephew and heir, Chauncey Grandiose, editor of Milady's Boudoir and former dancer in renowned shows such as Revue des Filles Hot Hot Hot and Ankles Away! And a finer example could not be chosen, for the boy has many parallels with Edward Windsor. They both display a bit of Jack-the-Lad in them. They both are gay young bachelors. They both appreciate the musical theater, and can discourse fluently and with excitement the recording career of Edith Piaf. They prefer to spend their times with pastel-clad youths of similar tastes, smoking scented cigarillos as they gesture excitedly with their hands and discuss each other's outfits. Sensitive young men, both.

Naturally, the fate of the Grandiose clan sits upon Chauncey's lap, so to speak. But why insist he marry early? A lad likes a bit of fun. No young man should be forced into early marriage with a woman of dubious social background only to find that despite her premarital come-hither glances and smiles bespeaking of illicit promises, she makes medieval cloistered nuns seem positively earthy and uninhibited, should he? One speaks theoretically, of course.

Perhaps one day young Chauncey will find the woman of his dreams. Perhaps it will be the ravishing Anita Manceau-Baddeley, chanteuse and actress. How gladly would she be welcomed among the gentry of Fishampton. How elegant would she be as Lady Grandiose, opening the fishmonger's and uttering a few words of encouragement as her Adam's apple bobs up and down in the bonny _______shire sun. . . . And then a day will come when, by some miracle, she will produce a little bundle of joy, and the Grandiose name will live on. She has already confided in one that if she had a child, it would be named Liza if it was a girl, and if a boy, Christopher Isherwood Grandiose. Is it not charming?

To employ the vernacular: Lighten up, Liz. What sort of name is 'Princess Sophie,' anyway?

Knowing there will be tears in the eyes of the groomsmen, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Lady Sarah writes:

Picture: Shelter From the StormMy Dear Sir Charles,

First and foremost, I express my wish that you had a pleasant holiday.  However, I do need to seek your advice on one tiny matter.

You, being a sapient man of the world, surely know of the time honoured tradition of hanging one's (and I use the word with all due discretion) stockings out on the mantle for Father Christmas to fill with lovely prezzies. 

My problem is that already many of my immediate relatives (who appear to live somewhere in this estate) have given me much reproof. You see, I refused to hang up any of my stockings on a mantle for display!  Let the vulgar common folk partake of such traditions!  It is my firm belief that no lady of good breeding should hang her stockings anywhere on display in such a manner.  (And besides, I have never known a man to be interested in stockings unless there was someone in them.) 

So instead, I placed a tiny sack upon the mantle.  Really, it was not that big. I should say it couldn't hold more than several copious pounds of goodies. Honestly, it isn't that large. But apparently the "family" thinks I am a "greedy, selfish, heartless wench."  Tell me, dear Sir Charles, is this so wrong?  In view of good taste you would never expect a lady of stature to display her stockings on the mantle, would you?

Sincerely one remains,
Lady Sarah 

Sir Charles replies:

My dear girl,

What a fascinating solution to a problem that has plagued young women of quality through the years. Well done, Lady Sarah! Well done indeed.

Of course, one could not rule upon the propriety of the stockings in question unless one had a more thorough description of them. Are they silk? Do they still retain the shapely turn of calf from your smooth, supple limb? If a fellow with a sensitive nose were accidentally to brush the sensuous fabric against one's face would he inhale a womanly perfume, sweet and springlike, redolent of plump roses begging to be plucked? If so, perhaps you'd best send on a pair to oneself so that one can issue a firm judgment on the question.

On the other hand, if they're a pair of schoolgirl hockey socks, don't bother.

Still a little flushed, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Worried writes:

my guy has been missing in action since new years eve, my concern he has to turn himself into jail on jan-12 so I dont have much time to find him. even his computer pals cant find him, not at his usual bars or the library. do you think he,s hiding until time to go to jail or is just not caring about me or his pals?

worried in seattle.

Sir Charles replies:

Consider the icy tundra of Antarctica. Vast. Cold. Blear.

Consider the expanse of Siberia. Icy, grim, and malignant.

Consider the deserts of the Sahara. Dry, featureless--an endless vista of despair and death.

Yet they all seem like toffee apples and candy floss at the Folkstone Fun Fair compared to the wasteland that must be your own life, eh?

Always fond of the Whirl-a-Tilt, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

Rose writes:

Picture: A Good English GentlemanDear Sir Charles,

Lately, I have been faced with something of a dilemma.  During the recent season of gift-giving, I was saddled with a husband who doesn't know a good gift from a hole in the ground. 

I am tired telling him what to buy.  I would like to be surprised for once and know that he put some thought into choosing something for me.  After all, shouldn't he know what I want? 

So, the question I pose to you Sir Charles, in all of your infinite wisdom, is any member of your species actually capable of such a thing?  Are you men actually able to think without first getting up off of your brains?  Also, maybe you can suggest some gift ideas.  My husband reads your column regularly.

Hoping you can help,

Sir Charles replies:

Most honourable madam,

One does not quite know what you mean, 'getting up off of our brains'. Why, that would imply that if we were in a seated positions, our brains would be in our . . . oh, one sees know. How quaint. How . . . American.

One would like to assure the correspondent, however, that there are men who spare no expense or thought in ensuring their wives receive a gift that they would not only enjoy, but cherish for years to come. One offers oneself as an example. For the Lady Felicia, one considered long and hard what present one should wrap for her. A ten thousand pound gift certificate from Harrod's? Trite. A string of pearls? Too easy. A diamond tennis bracelet? Simply not done, my dear.

Instead, one thought. One considered her interests--gardening, for example. Objets d'arte. Fine handcrafted ancient pottery. And in one fell stroke one found the perfect gift that would unite all these interests and keep her happy for years to come. One purchased for her a Chia Pet. (And it was only three pounds seventy!)

Oh, the look upon her face as she opened her giftie, come Christmas morn. Dead silent, she was. A man lives for moments like that.

Sighing at the memory, one remains,
Sir Charles Grandiose

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