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Anorak | George Of The Jungle

George Of The Jungle

by | 26th, January 2004

‘NO celebrity wants to be seen as a bad person. For starters, bad people tend to attract the ire and fire of George Bush. They get hate mail. And if they’ve been bad in a TV soap opera, they get accosted in the street.

The voices told Charles to never trust a begonia

To be seen as being good is a very important thing. To this end, celebrities descend on a neat jungle clearing in a former British colony ready to eat cockroaches and bathe in rats’ urine in the hope that the watching public will realise how good and noble the real them is.

But what if you’re dead? Worry not. This is not an insurmountable problem, since an historian will often come along to reinvent you as a largely misunderstood figure that wasn’t all that bad – not really.

For instance, if King George III has been around today, he’d have been less mad and more madcap, more in the manner of a Big Brother hopeful who steps before his camcorder, drops his hose and says, “I’m mad, me!”.

But King George is dead. He might have been Britain’s longest-serving King, but he still died way back in 1820.

However, even if he’s not around to retrieve lumps of cheese from a vat of maggots, he has a champion.

So step forward Britain’s longest reigning-king-in-waiting, Prince Charles, historian, plant talker and all round terrific bloke.

In a new made-for-TV documentary, Charles asks us to reconsider his predecessor.

The Independent has it that Chas believes that if the Americans had only known of George’s “energy”, there would have been no need for revolution in the colonies.

“I’ve read the doctor’s report and the King’s correspondence,” says Charles, “and I concluded that yes he was ill but he was not insane.”

He goes on: ”If a royal tour could have been a conceivable undertaking in the 18th century, perhaps the leaders of the colonies might have understood the mother country better.

“It’s possible that his energetic, down-to-earth presence might have changed their minds.”

How a meet-the-people would have altered the fact that King George was running a sophisticated protection racket with high taxation is not investigated by Charles in any depth.

But rather than that, does anyone else think that Charles has seen less a chance to review history and more a kindred spirit?

The Indy does, and lists Charles’s achievements alongside those of his hero.

Under mental state, the line about George runs: “Illness now recognised as porphyria.” For Charles, the paper concludes: “Often caricatured as eccentric.”

But nothing a walkabout in a remote part of Australia with an electric eel in his trousers couldn’t cure…’



Posted: 26th, January 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink