Thursday, September 8, 2022

Long Live King Charles and His Environmentalist / Pro-Pot Stances?

More news from the UK: just after the country's second female Prime Minister took office, Queen Elizabeth has died after 70 years of her reign, and her son Prince Charles, 73, is the new King. He will presumably be coronated using the holy anointing oil, as his mother was. 

In December 1998, Charles surprised a Multiple Sclerosis sufferer by suggesting she try medical marijuana. Karen Drake, 36, said: "He said he had heard it was the best thing for relief from MS." 

Rita Marley with Charles in 2000. 
In February 2000, he visited Trench Town, Jamaica, the neighborhood of late reggae legend Bob Marley, and was greeted by Marley's widow and Tokin' Woman Rita Marley, who gave Charles a red, yellow and green Rastafarian knit hat with false dreadlocks. The prince put it on, and said, "I'll tell you who would really love that—my children." Marley said her husband would have been amazed by the royal visit to the neighborhood. "Boy, he'd burn a spliff to this - a big, big spliff,'' she said, "Rastafari lives!''*

Charles's son Prince Harry (who has now rather renounced his title) also visited Jamaica and met Marley in 2012. Harry was 17 in 2002 when he was taken by his father to a rehab clinic for a few hours after admitting to smoking cannabis and drinking heavily at a pub near Highgrove the previous summer, when he was 16. The News of the World said Harry had experimented with marijuana over a two-month period at Highgrove, in a rundown shed at a nearby pub and at private parties held by friends. When he was 14, Charles himself was at the center of an infamous underage drinking episode after he entered a pub on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. He asked for a cherry brandy, and the incident attracted international attention. 

In March 2005, during a trip to Fiji, Charles drank a cup of kava juice and reportedly told Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister Kaliopate Tavola he was hopeful that the export ban on kava, Fiji's traditional drink, will be lifted in the near future. Shortly after sipping the traditional beverage, Charles slipped up in a speech, muddling the dates he last visited the Pacific Ocean islands.  

In November 2005, Charles and his then-new wife, Camilla, visited the San Francisco area, spending a Saturday morning at the farmers' market in Point Reyes Station in Marin County, followed by lunch in hippie haven Bolinas with local farmers, inspiring this Farley comic in the SF Chronicle. The Royal couple also visited the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, an educational program founded in 1994 by renowned chef Alice Waters before heading back to the city, where the prince gave a speech to environmentalists. 

*As John Oliver points out, after Britain invaded Jamaica in 1655, the Royal African Company was set up by the monarchy, and through Jamaica they "transported more enslaved African slaves to the Americas than any other single institution ever." Many slaves were branded with the initials "DY" for the Duke of York, who lead the company and later became King James II, a direct ancestor to today's royal family. And let's not get into who poorly the British Mr. Rochester treated his Jamaican wife in "Jane Eyre." 

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