This goes right into the “Stop making me defend Joe Biden!” files. And, if I had one, the “Princess Diana was right about Camilla” files.
During the recent virtue-signaling, wasteful gathering in Scotland to discuss climate change, at which, for some reason, the wife of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, The Duchess of Cornwall was attending, the President of the United States had occasion to spend a bit of time chatting with the woman who “crowded” Princess Di’s marriage.
And, during this bit of time, Joe Biden emitted an involuntary flatulent outburst. Now, even forgetting for the nonce the fact that Joe is older than dirt, this can happen to anyone in public, and the most basic Golden Rule-based manner of reacting to it is not to. Never elling anyone else, especially the media, about said discharge is even more required by etiquette, empathy, and reciprocity. [ Note of correction: That “not” got dropped in the original version posted last night. Ugh. Sorry.]This is true no matter who the unfortunate farter is, but it is certainly true when the individual is a world leader who must try to maintain an image of strength and dignity.
But what was Camilla’s reaction? The Daily Mail reports that Parker Bowles “hasn’t stopped talking about” Biden’s accident. The fart was, per the Daily Mail’s source, both “long” and “loud,” and also “impossible to ignore.”
This is despicable on her part: unkind, cruel, and a breach of respect and diplomacy. As Danielle Cohen observes over at “The Cut”: “Is there not a “discussing farts” section in the royal etiquette curriculum? I can’t believe Meghan Markle got in trouble for wearing nail polish and Camilla is allowed to do … this.”
16 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Camilla Parker Bowles [Corrected]”
I agree that people shouldn’t bring up public flatulence. Even though everyone does it, it’s still embarrassing at worst and hilarious at best…neither dignified for someone who holds public office.
But I couldn’t help thinking that if President Trump had farted anywhere within earshot of someone, especially an enemy, it would forever be known as “the fart heard round the world”.
Oh, there’s no doubt about that.
Oh Gosh.. now that is disrespectful to both the OFFICE of the president, and the holder of the office.
Jack, you wrote,
Somehow I keep thinking this is NOT what you meant to write.
And you have written many times that although an action is allowed by law (etiquette) it can still be unethical, this is not such a case.
Yes, that was the opposite of what I meant. Now fixed. Ugh. Dropped “nots”…
Also, there is ample precedent and endorsement for this Duchess doing precisely what she did: see John Aubrey’s Brief Lives for the story of Queen Elizabeth I and the courtier who broke wind.
Which was in Roy Dotrice’s amazing Broadway one-man show, also called “brief Lives,” where he portrayed Aubrey, easily the best such performance I’ve ever seen.
Mind if I smoke? No, do you mind if I pass gas?
I agree, there’s no justification for acting like Beavis and Butthead (I know, they’ve been off the air for decades, but there’s unfortunately no forgetting them) and making a grandstand play out of someone else passing gas. However, I have no sympathy for the president. Joe is not only falling apart, but has, in a lot of ways, no more social graces than Trump. Between looking at his watch while receiving the remains of American servicemen, falling asleep on the job, and now letting a big one rip in the presence of other dignitaries, never mind his conduct around females of all ages, I can only describe him as a senile pig who belongs in a nursing home, where he can fart whenever, fall asleep whenever, and flirt outrageously with the nurses, who’ll just sneer at him.
As much as I would like to agree with Steve I have to agree with Jack. This is not about Biden’s passing gas as it is the behavior of the Duchess. Events involving world leaders are designed to create harmony and not sow discord. Perhaps next time Charles should leave Camilla home if she cannot behave more appropriately at such events.
Advice to Joe Biden, bring a dog along that you can blame. You blame everything you have touched on others so why not this too.
Recalling a classic scene from “Arthur.” A ridiculously elderly maid to a reverend loudly farts, and the Great Dane in the room runs out, yelping. “When she passes gas, we beat the dog,” the cleric says, smiling.
“ ‘When she passes gas, we beat the dog,’ ”
That was from a different Dudley Moore flick (10), when Max Showalter’s Reverend character…um…observed:
Whenever Mrs. Kissel BREAKS WIND We Beat The Dog
Right! All Dudley Moore movies except “Bedazzled” blur together in my mind.
Maybe she’s envious of the treatment afforded to the Pope.
There was a billboard somewhere in leafy Connecticut that, on behalf of a local retailer of gasoline, advised: “You just passed gas.” Which cracked up the then twenty-two year-old soon to be Mrs. OB, further endearing her to me.
Then there was the meat provisioner’s truck I saw the same year in the hoary past on I-95 around the Foxboro area south of Boston and before you get to Providence which proclaimed “You can lick our chops but you can’t beat our meat!”
I agree. It felt very mean spirited to me.
Around here all we’d have to say is “That’s just tacky.”