The Daily Telegraph

King’s tension spills over at leaking pen

- By James Crisp

AFTER days of mourning and commemorat­ion, and his first visit to Northern Ireland as monarch, it was the last thing the new King needed.

Having sailed through the delicate and tricky waters of Northern Irish politics with diplomacy and charm, King Charles lost his cool. The culprit was not a truculent member of the public, or a bolshy politician, but a leaky pen.

His Majesty had delivered a heartfelt pledge at Hillsborou­gh Castle to continue the late Queen’s work to safeguard the peace process.

The visit had so far been a huge success, with even Sinn Fein holding out an olive branch to the new monarch, and ecstatic crowds lining the route to the Georgian stately home.

As the King sat down to sign the visitors’ book, the pressure of the past few days may have got a little too much.

“Oh God, I’ve put the wrong date down,” he said, after checking with an aide. The King then noticed his pen was leaking on his hand.

“Oh God, I hate this,” he said, before handing the offending ballpoint to the Queen Consort. “Oh look, it’s going everywhere,” she said, as her husband wiped his fingers. “I can’t bear this bloody thing... every stinking time,” the King declared, before walking away.

Northern Ireland will forgive the flash of temper, after the King spent 10 minutes greeting the crowds outside the castle. At one point, he could be seen using both hands to shake those of the well-wishers.

It is not the first time since becoming King that the monarch has been frustrated by stationery. After he was confirmed monarch in the Accession ceremony, he became frustrated by an ornate pen holder that was preventing him signing documents.

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