WE live in a time when a “portfolio career” is the norm and many of us expect to chop and change a fair bit before finding the right job.
But close your eyes and imagine, for a moment, knowing from childhood exactly what job you are going to do — because you have no choice about whether or not you actually want to do it.
The BBC documentary Prince, Son and Heir marks Prince Charles’ 70th birthday this week[/caption]
And imagine, then, having to wait for that job to start until you are the age when most people are hanging up their work boots and starting to claim a pension.
It’s impossible, right? But the Prince of Wales — the man who was born to be king — has known since the age of four that he would one day have to step into his mother’s shoes. And what a mother.
They say no one is irreplaceable but I think she is — which must be such a lot of pressure for him. In short, he has spent his entire life waiting for his mum to die before he can start his dream job.
And in the meantime his life, in some ways, is on hold. He was not allowed to marry the woman he loved and was instead forced into a loveless marriage.
The Prince of Wales is the longest-serving heir to the throne in history[/caption]
And every time he so much as expresses an opinion about anything, he is denounced as being “meddling”.
So it’s no wonder that in Prince, Son And Heir, the BBC documentary this week marking his 70th birthday, Charles was quick to quell concerns that he would be a “meddling” or activist king, saying: “I’m not that stupid.”
Declaring the role of sovereign and heir to be different, he said he is aware of the constraints he will encounter as king, and says his behaviour will change.
I can see why he is saying that, given the amount of criticism that has come his way over the years. But when you think that he was campaigning about issues such as the environment and single-use plastic long before anyone else got on the bandwagon, it might be better to see him as a trailblazer than a meddler.
Charles has long campaigned about issues such as the environment and single-use plastic[/caption]
I admire that he has a voice.
And when he is king I think he should use it — not be silenced by the pressure of the role.
He has a very broad range of knowledge and he is absolutely passionate. We live in a society where everyone has their say — so why shouldn’t he?
In fact, I think if he visited Europe he might help with Brexit.
There is no doubt the Queen is a hard act to follow — when the time comes, that is.
Dedicated to the job
Now Charles is 70 he is the longest serving heir to the throne in history. And he may have years to go, as the Queen looks and sounds fantastic (even up close — I had lunch with her a few months ago).
But we should stop maligning Charles and start supporting him.
He is a good man and there is no doubt he is dedicated to the job. He is mature enough to know how to do the job well and he certainly knows what is expected of him.
He has brought up two fantastic sons that any parent would be proud of.
The Prince of Wales brought up two sons, Harry and William[/caption]
And he really is passionate about changing the world for the better.
It has been more than 40 years since he set up his Prince’s Trust charity.
Last year alone it helped nearly 60,000 young people get into education, training and jobs. It is simply fantastic.
He is deeply committed to his fantastic wife, who is very down-to-earth and great fun (I have met her a few times).
Charles will be the king after Queen Elizabeth II[/caption]
He is also passionate about promoting women’s issues, so whatever you think of him you must give him credit for that.
I believe very strongly in the monarchy. I would do anything the Queen asked me to do.
The Royal Family are a great thing for our country and something to be very proud of.
In a world of increasing uncertainty, they are this country’s rock and foundation. We should all get behind Charles and celebrate him as our future king.
Apart from anything else, we need all the stability we can get.
Bare truth of proud Denise’s message
YOU’VE got to love Denise Welch’s positive approach to life – and body image – when it comes to her plans to never stop wearing a bikini.
She said in an interview this week: “I’ve got bumps and lumps and a tummy and I’ve had two children. But I don’t look bad for an old bird.
Denise, 60, is proud of how she looks and will not stop wearing a bikini just because of her age[/caption]
“I’m proud of how I look at 60 and I’m not trying to look 30. That’s the message I’m trying to deliver. So if I’m still getting my kit off at 90, so be it. Sorry, children.”
I really love that spirit. What a great reminder that it’s all about confidence – if you feel good it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. And good on her.
Homeless but there is still hope
ANYONE living in London will be unsurprised to hear that there are now a record number of people sleeping rough there.
Figures show there were 3,103 rough sleepers in the capital between July and September – the first time the total has exceeded 3,000 in a three-month period.
There are a record number of people sleeping rough in London[/caption]
It’s awful and it’s shocking to see people sitting in the cold begging for money.
And it’s hard to know how to help. Of course, the temptation is to give money but obviously that’s just a short-term fix.
Night shelters are a good short-term solution. But if homeless people don’t get involved with a network that can really help them, it’s unlikely their circumstances will ever change.
My husband Paul volunteers with the fantastic charity West London Mission (WLM). It offers homeless people a hot shower, new clothes, a meal and a decent night’s sleep.
Charity West London Mission offers rough sleepers a place to sleep, food, and a hot shower[/caption]
But it also offers access to project workers who will help people change their circumstances.
Its aim is to empower and help homeless people become part of a community, because that’s the start of them getting off the streets, into accommodation, then into work.
There are so many reasons that people become homeless. Some have lost their job and can’t afford rent, or they’ve fallen out with family and turn to drink and drugs.
They might have mental or physical health problems, a history of abuse or a difficult childhood moving between foster homes.
Homeless people have to become a part of a community in order to get them off the streets[/caption]
But where there is life, there is hope. Paul has been working with one guy who was homeless and hopelessly addicted to drugs.
But, over time, he has got clean, found a place to live and, last week, got a job at a restaurant, which is what he was doing before he got involved in drugs.
He’s got his life back, basically. It does happen.
So if you are worried about homelessness, think about donating to an organisation such as WLM. Better yet, volunteer your time and skills.
Even just helping someone to fill out a form, which can be incredibly difficult for some people, can make a huge difference and is so rewarding.
TODAY is Remembrance Day and I wear my poppy with pride. This year I will particularly recognise all the true heroes from World War One. I thank them for their service, and remember we are always in their debt.
It is so important we never forget the sacrifice they made and the bravery they showed.
I doubt there will ever be another generation like them.
Changing, it’s all the R-Age
AS a rule, I like to live and let live. But I really had to roll my eyes at the story of 69-year-old Dutch pensioner Emile Ratelband, “who identifies as a 45-year-old” and is fighting to legally change his age by 20 years so he can get more work and attract more women on Tinder.
Emile, above, was born on March 11, 1949, but says he feels at least 20 years younger and wants to change his birth date to March 11, 1969.
Dutch pensioner, 69, wants to legally change his age by 20 years[/caption]
His argument is that if transgender people are allowed to change sex, he should be allowed to change his date of birth because doctors said he has the body of a 45-year-old.
So does that mean if I feel like a supermodel inside, I can I get my job title legally amended?
Or maybe at 49 I could identify as 70 so I can have access to my pension?
Grenfell Tower effigy burner
SO the six men arrested for burning an effigy of Grenfell Tower are in hiding and relying on friends and relatives to bring in food and drink. Still, they are yet to speak out – or apologise.
What beggars belief is not just that these sick men thought that no one would notice nor care when this footage emerged on social media – but really that they are unhinged enough to do it in the first place.
I’m pretty sure about one thing, though. No matter what consequences they will face for their actions from the law, they will never, ever live this down in the eyes of the world – and nor should they.
DON’T have a problem with parents kissing their children on the lips but it’s a bit weird when it happens over the age of seven – let alone 70.
I’m talking about Michael Douglas, 74. When he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for more than 50 years in the entertainment industry, he gave his father, Kirk, a kiss on the lips to celebrate.
In my experience there comes an age when your kids don’t want to kiss you – particularly on the lips and particularly your dad.
It’s part and parcel of growing up that your kids don’t even want you to breathe, let alone kiss them.
In fact, everything you do embarrasses them. But, given that Kirk Douglas is 101, maybe it’s just a reminder that things come full circle.
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