King Charles III’s First Major Challenge Is Fancy Pens

Not the new guy’s favorite task, it seems. Photo: Victoria Jones/AP/Shutterstock

One reason Queen Elizabeth II was so popular, even among some royal skeptics, was her unfailingly even-keeled temperament. There are already signs that her replacement will be a little less chill.

Twice in recent days, the newly crowned King Charles III, has shown visible, not very regal frustration involving fountain pens.

In the first incident, Charles, who is not known for his serenity, peevishly gestured at an aide to remove a tray of pens so he would have room to sign an enormous medieval-looking document.

Then on Tuesday, he really let loose. As he attempted to sign another document (he’d better get used to this part of the gig), Charles went off over the leaky pen supplied to him, as his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, noted that ink was “going everywhere.” Charles fumed, “I can’t bear this bloody thing,” complaining that he encounters a leaking pen “every stinking time.” This is about the language you’d expect from a crabby royal in such a situation — though perhaps not with cameras rolling.

It’s unlikely that Charles’s personality will change much now that he’s got the top job. The only question is whether his exasperation over life’s quotidian annoyances will endear him to the people or help finally bring down the monarchy.

King Charles III’s First Major Challenge Is Fancy Pens