King Charles III expressed his frustration with an uncooperative pen – and the moment was caught on film for the world to see.
Charles made a visit on Monday to Northern Ireland — part of a tour through the United Kingdom to lead the nation in mourning the recent passing of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II — and when he paused to sign the visitors’ book at Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, a leaky pen inspired a brief outburst from the new monarch.
“I can’t bear this bloody thing!”: King Charles’ signing ceremony at Northern Ireland’s Hillsborough Castle made one thing clear – even royalty can’t escape the frustration of an inadequate pen. pic.twitter.com/nzygNTLslX
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 13, 2022
“I just have to put — is it September the 12th?” he asked, turning to his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, for an answer.
“13th, Sir,” someone behind him replied.
“Oh God, I’ve put the wrong date down … 13th?” Charles repeated.
“Yes, Sir,” the answer came from behind him again.
“You signed the 12th earlier,” Camilla pointed out.
“Oh, God, I hate this pen!” Charles said, standing up as the pen apparently leaked ink on his hand.
He handed the pen over to Camilla, who remarked, “Oh look, it’s going everywhere, hang on.”
Someone quickly swept in to remove the offending writing instrument, replacing it with another before Camilla sat down, wiped ink from her fingers, and signed the book herself.
“I can’t bear this bloody thing! What they do every stinking time,” Charles could be heard saying as he walked away from the cameras, still wiping his fingers and trying to get them clean.
Charles was quickly escorted from the room while Camilla remained behind to finish signing the book.
While several took to Twitter to criticize the moment, saying that Charles had displayed his temper when he should have been able to keep it in check, the majority suggested that they might have done the same if presented with a similar situation.
“Hey, if all that goes wrong this week is a bad pen, well, we’ve all been there. I share in his frustration!” CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe commiserated with the frustrated king.
Hey, if all that goes wrong this week is a bad pen, well, we’ve all been there. I share in his frustration! https://t.co/oKFR6Emz0C
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) September 13, 2022
“I feel his pain. This is me, whenever I open a printer cartridge,” Brendan May added. “He’s a human being, just like all of us, and clearly under huge pressure and feeling the strain. Who wouldn’t be. Don’t @ me. #KingCharlesIII.”
“His Majesty can’t even remember the date; unsurprisingly, he hasn’t stopped since his mother died. He hasn’t had an opportunity to grieve; he has thrown himself straight into his ceremonial duties and nationwide tour. A little stress over a leaky pen is undoubtedly fine to most,” Darren Grimes concluded.