King Charles finally addresses leaking pen incident that left him angry during ancestral ceremony

On Wednesday 18 October, King Charles III addressed his anger issues.

King Charles Queen Camilla Queen Elizabeth Royal Family Pearl Sword Ceremony
© Samir Hussein / GETTY IMAGES
King Charles Queen Camilla Queen Elizabeth Royal Family Pearl Sword Ceremony

Members of the Royal Family, monarchs especially, are experts at controlling their moods and behaviour during public engagements. That’s why, when a royal loses their poise, tabloids and journalists everywhere write about it. These glimpses at their humanity are exceptional considering their status.

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When King Charles III became the regent in September 2022, we quickly got a glimpse into his humanity. On 13 September 2022, the new monarch was seen angry and irritable as he signed a document on a state visit in Northern Ireland. The incident which took place mere days after his mother passed away was relegated in the press everywhere.

Now, in October 2023, King Charles finally addresses his quick temper.

King Charles’ leaking pen

The incident of September 2022 was due to a leaky pen. The very new King Charles was visiting Northern Ireland and during that visit he attended a ceremony which ended with him signing a document.

However, this simple act turned out to be harder than anticipated. King Charles’ pen was not working and he frustratingly said:

I cannot bear this bloody thing! What they do, every stinking time.

During the same ceremony, King Charles also signed the wrong date. The Queen Consort pointed it out and her husband answered:

Oh, God. I hate this.

The incident took place on 13 September 2022, 5 days after his mother Queen Elizabeth II passed away.

King Charles addresses his anger

On 18 October 2023, King Charles and the Queen Consort attended the Pearl Sword Ceremony at Mansion House in London. During the event which takes place at the heart of the economic centre of the capital, King Charles gave a speech in which he addressed, with humour, the leaking pen incident.

The British sense of humour is world-renowned. It is not what we do. It is who we are. Our ability to laugh at ourselves is one of our great national characteristics.
Just as well, you may say, given some of the vicissitudes I have faced with frustratingly failing fountain pens this past year!

Though he addressed his own mishap, this ceremony is ancestral (it dates back to 1571) and allows the monarch to speak on current events. In his speech King Charles asked for ‘tolerance’ and ‘understanding’ saying:

Such understanding, at home and overseas, is never more vital than at times of international turmoil and heartbreaking loss of life

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