“This is not peaceful protests at all — this is acts of wanton vandalism, wanton violence and a complete disrespect for central London. … Not only have we had attacks on Parliament, the attacks on our officers, we’ve now had the Supreme Court that has come under the attack of vandalism and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have also come under attack in Argyll Street.” — “Royal car attacked in UK fees protest” (Irish Times)
I’m sure you see the guy in the hoodie just beyond Camilla. The figure you might not see as easily is the reflection of the guy against the Prince’s right shoulder. The effect of these other figures is to suggest that the commoners have invaded the royal bubble. In fact, though, the faces of panic reflect the same thing. Every other day, the have-nots know enough to respect the boundaries of the aristocracy, bound to the born fact of class separation. In this instance, though, as the English face the harsh reality of conservative rule — in this case, the go-ahead for English schools to triple tuition — people aren’t directing their anger in either a random or a misguided way, as the quote above implies. Instead, the hostility is being directed in an incredibly guided and economic way, at the societies sacred symbols of power.
And, how quaint to be taking the abuse in the heart of the fashion district on the way to the theatre!
Update: A take from the Guardian: “In the Charles and Camilla photo, the royal mask finally slipped.”
(photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham .caption: Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall react as their car is attacked, in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Angry protesters in London have attacked a car containing Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. An Associated Press photographer saw demonstrators kick the car in Regent Street, in the heart of London’s shopping district. The car then sped off. Charles’ office, Clarence House, confirmed that “their royal highnesses’ car was attacked by protesters on the way to their engagement at the London Palladium this evening, but their royal highnesses are unharmed.”)