Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, January 12, 2020
ISSUE #1000
Prince Harry, Meghan, Edward and a horse named Will

Columbus:  Forget about Impeachment. Ignore the Democrat debate.

Let’s talk about Meghan and Prince Harry. Everybody in England is riled up because they are stepping aside from the royal family to live on their own.

Meghan is getting most of the blame. I think she is tired of bad press when she is playing second fiddle to the sixth-in-line for the Throne. If Harry was first in line, it might be worth the harassment, but not when there is zero chance of sharing the ultimate Crown with her Prince.

Let’s go back in British history to the 1920s and ‘30s for a moment. (Stick with me; you’ll enjoy this.) You know that Harry’s grandmother is Queen Elizabeth and she has been on the Throne since 1952. Her oldest uncle was Edward, Prince of Wales, who became King Edward VIII in 1936. Prince Edward got acquainted with Will Rogers in 1924 and they became good friends through their love of riding horses. Edward mainly rode horses in Fox Hunts and Steeplechase races while Will rode to play polo and rope steers.

Prince Edward (born in 1894) was a very popular bachelor Prince in the 1920s and early 1930s. Young single ladies swooned over him wherever he traveled, including in America. But the newspapers made fun of him for frequently falling off his horse. Will Rogers, being a good horseman, resented such criticisms.

On a radio broadcast (May 18, 1930) Will told about speaking at a banquet in 1924 in New York, with Prince Edward in the audience. “Now according to the usual run of American humor, I am supposed to tell some jokes, Prince, about your falling off your horse. Well, I have never seen a picture of you where you had fallen that the horse hadn’t fallen too. All these people that joke about you falling off, what do they expect a man to do when his horse falls? Is he supposed to remain up in the air until the horse comes back up under him? … So I am afraid we are going to have to find something else to kid the Englishman about besides his horsemanship… If I can’t get hold of something funny in an Englishman besides his riding, I am a mighty poor comedian.”

You may remember that Edward became King Edward VIII in 1936. However, despite having his choice of probably 10,000 young women, he had fallen in love with a divorced American, Wallis Simpson. He was forced to abdicate the throne to marry her. So, his younger brother George became King, and when George died in 1952, his daughter Elizabeth became Queen.

Now suppose history had been different. Let’s suppose Edward had instead married a young English gal, they had a son about 1940, and he remained King until his death in 1972. That son would have become King in 1972, and could still be King today at age 80.

So Meghan and Harry, in this imaginary scenario, you could have fallen in love in obscurity. Harry would still respect and love his father, Charles, and grandmother, Elizabeth (age 93). But no one would pay attention to the young husband and wife, even if once in a while he fell off his horse.

Historic quote by Will Rogers: (one of many about Prince Edward)

“I saw a picture in the paper last summer where the Prince was on one of his horses and its name was Will Rogers. Now I got all swelled up when I saw he had a horse named after me, but maybe that was the one that has been doing all this high and lofty tumbling. As a suggestion if our respective countries want to do something to protect our welfare the best thing I can suggest would be to get us some horses that can stand up. The Prince and I both have to take every precaution to protect our looks. It would be terrible if his face was marred. And I certainly don’t want anything to happen to mine to make it look better. My living depends on it, just as it is.” WA #71, Apr. 20, 1924.

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