With the long drawn out suicide of the SWP finally coming to an end last week,I feel there is no point in satirising or getting angry with that inward looking, authoritarian-like family, the Party. So as well as getting back into “normal” politics, urging SWP members to leave the crashed car and wanting them to “Don’t Mourn, Organise”, I decided to write another piece on another authoritarian, inward looking family.
This family lived in a palace far far away. Not the fictitious world of Alifbay I invented in my final piece on the SWP’s suicide, but a real Royal Family and a real massacre only 12 years ago.
The names and places have been changed in what is other wise an accurate account of a royal massacre story taken from a real police investigation, If any readers are fondly remembering my jibes at the SWP in too much of this blog, you are free to imagine various CC members acting out the massacre in Vauxhall Palace instead of that other one in London, England..
Massacre at the Palace
Few dramas can match what happened at Buckingham Palace on the first night of June, 2001, when gunshots rang out, leaving most of the royal family dead.
Charles, Prince of Wales, shot and killed nine members his family and himself. His parents apparently objected to his plans to marry local aristocrat Camilla Parker Bowles.
They had reportedly threatened to disinherit him if he did so, and there has been speculation that this conflict between love and duty is what caused his rampage. Camilla Parker Bowles reportedly comes from a lower clan of nobility in Scotland, and her great-grandmother was also said once to have been a mistress to a member of the British Royal Family.
The public rioted for several days after the massacre, incredulous that the carefree prince once known as “Dippy” could be responsible for the violence. There was also speculation that the dead prince’s unpopular brother Andrew, Duke of York, who is now Britain’s monarch, was responsible for the tragedy.
New reports have also emerged ultimately blaming Camilla Parker Bowles. They say to placate his parents, Prince Charles had agreed to their plan for him to marry another girlfriend , Lady Diana Spencer, and keep Camilla Parker Bowles as a mistress. But Camilla reportedly rejected that plan.
Camilla Parker Bowles is now in hiding in Europe, and refusing to come home. Without her presence, many questions remain unanswered.
Shortly after the carnage, the new New King opened a two-member official commission to understand what happened.
This is a timeline of events, based on what the commission found:
7:30 p.m.: His Royal Highness Prince Charles arrives at the locale of a regularly scheduled family gathering.
He plays billiards by himself for some time in the palace billiard room, and drinks one or two pegs of Famous Grouse whisky.
8:00 p.m.: Prince Charles leaves the area and heads to pick up the Queen Mother to take her to the gathering. They return, and the Queen Mother stops to talks to Princess Anne in a small chamber east of the billiard hall. The crown prince returns to the billiards room.
8:12 p.m.: Prince Charles talks to Lady Diana for 1 minute l4 seconds, according to telecommunications records.
8:19 p.m.: Prince Charles calls an aide by mobile phone to get him some cigarettes. They are “a special kind of cigarette prepared with a mixture of hashish and another unnamed black substance as per an order.” The aide gives them to Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, to give to Prince Charles.
Several people see the Prince Charles in the billiards room “swaying, unable to hold himself upright.” There is suspicion that the prince was drunk from the whiskey, and four guests, including his brothers Prince Edward , the Earl of Wessex, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, help him to his room.
8.25 p.m.: Camilla calls the prince’s aides after speaking with him. She says she noticed his speech was slurred, and urged his aides to check on him.
Prince Charles’ aides reach his room and find him prone on the ground trying to undo the clothing on the upper part of his body. They help him take off the clothing and he goes to the bathroom.
One of the aides hears retching noises coming from the bathroom. After coming out of the bathroom Prince Charles orders them both to go to their respective rooms to sleep.
8:30 p.m.: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrives on foot from his office. He proceeds to meet other guests in the billiard room.
8.39 p.m.: Prince Charles talks to Lady Diana for 32 seconds. The Prince tells her “I am now about to sleep … good night, we’ll talk tomorrow.”
After the phone call, Prince Charles puts on army fatigues — black army boots, a camouflage army jacket and trousers, black leather gloves, black stockings and a camouflage vest.
He comes out of the bed chamber with weapons. One of his aides sees him and asks, “shall the emergency bag be brought sire?” The Prince replies “it’s not necessary now.” Prince Charles then proceeds to the billiard hall.
Billiard Room 1: At the billiard hall, he fires at the ceiling and west wall with a 9 mm Caliber MP-5K automatic sub-machine gun. He also aims and fires at his father Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh who is standing near the east end of the billiard table talking to others.
Charles then steps out of the billiard room and throws one of his guns near the stairs to the north of the inner garden edge, east of the hall.
Billiard Room 2: Prince Charles enters the billiard room again, shooting at Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Philip,Duke of Edinburgh, and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is wounded, Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex. are killed.
Billiard Room 3: Prince Charles moves back to the door, and forward again, firing indiscriminately a third time. Among others, he hits his sister Anne, the Princess Royal and Prince Andrew’s wife Sarah “Fergie” Fergeson, the Duchess of York, Katharine, the Duchess of kent; his aunt Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy and a neice, Princess Beatrice of York. They are all killed.
Chasing the Last Victims: Prince Edward,the Earl of Wessex and Her Royal Highness the Queen leave the billiard room and head toward the inner garden. Charles also leaves the billiard hall and goes east toward the inner garden.
Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex is found by palace officials unconscious near the garden and delivered to the hospital. He is pronounced dead on arrival at 9:15.
The Queen’s body is found in the staircase leading to the Prince Charles’ room. She is pronounced dead on arrival at 9:15.
Denouement: Prince Charles is found lying on his back on a bridge over a little pond near his room. A 9mm caliber Glock pistol, believed to have belonged to the prince, is found in the water of the pond. An M-16 rifle believed to have belonged to the prince is also found nearby.
Charles, Prince of Wales and First in Line to the Throne, reaches the hospital at 9:24 P.M. on June 1, 2001, and is pronounced dead at 5:57 p.m. at the hospital on June 4.
I hope that by doing my “cut & paste” & name-change it makes those of us more familiar with the Brit Royals more than the Nepalese realise quite how insane the news must have been for people in Nepal in 2001. You can read the BBC account here and a Maoist account here. And the BBC report on the clampdown on the press following the Royal Split here.