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King Charles III faces first major opposition of his reign after pen explodes in his hands

The pen went and yeeted ink all over the newly crowned King.

King Charles III departs St Anne's Cathedral after attending a service of reflection in memory of Queen Elizabeth II on September 13, 2022 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Carrie Davenport / Stringer / Getty Images

Cue the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song, because King Charles III ran afoul of a pen this week.

The ruler of England was visiting Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland with his wife, Queen Consort Camilla, on Tuesday when the moment occurred as he signed the castle’s guest book. First, there was some confusion over the date as Charles III attempted to write Sept. 12 in the book and had to be corrected to the actual date, Sept. 13.

“Oh god, I’ve put the wrong date down,” Charles III said, just before the pen went rogue on him and emptied its bowels into his hand. “Oh god, I hate this,” he exclaimed exasperatedly, as Camilla noted, “Oh look, it’s going everywhere, hang on.”

Camilla was given a fresh pen to sign the date book with as Charles III seethed, “I can’t bear this bloody thing! What they do, every stinking time!”

We suppose we can probably forgive the King’s frustration, as he’s been undergoing a grueling schedule of ceremonial duties since his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away last week on Sept. 8 at the age of 96. The visit to Northern Ireland was just one of many stops on his tour of the United Kingdom.

As such, some on Twitter have expressed sympathy for Charles III having to deal with so much traveling on top of grieving the loss of his mother.

“King Charles has been non stop, it’s been like a presidential campaign yet he is in deep grief having to mourn his dear Mother for the world to see in public,” tweeted British media personality Lizzie Cundy. “He must be exhausted! It’s no wonder he got irritated with a pen! He is our new King but he is also human.”

Others expressed similar sentiments about the King’s physical and mental state.

On Monday, Charles III addressed the Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall on Sept. 12 and quoted Shakespeare while remembering his late mother, the Queen.

“As I stand before you today, I cannot help but feel the weight of history which surrounds us and which reminds us of the vital Parliamentary traditions to which Members of both Houses dedicate yourselves, with such personal commitment for the betterment of us all,” Charles III told the Lords and Members of the House of Commons.

“I am deeply grateful for the Addresses of Condolence by the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which so touchingly encompass what our late Sovereign, my beloved mother The Queen, meant to us all,” he continued. “As Shakespeare says of the earlier Queen Elizabeth, she was ‘a pattern to all Princes living.'”

Stacey Ritzen
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Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen is a Philadelphia-based reporter with 15 years of experience covering pop culture, entertainment, web culture, and news. She has previously worked for outlets including Uproxx, Pajiba, Daily Dot, and more.