Charles_HRH’s guide to Great Britishness, by Prince @Charles_HRH, is as outrageous (especially if you happen to be French) as it is funny. Stereotypes, puns and wordplay abound as the ‘heir to the throne’ expounds on British history, government, culture and the lifestyle choices of his future subjects. It is wittily irreverent with pin sharp truths occasionally penetrating the amusing silliness. For example, when commenting on minimum wage employees he notes:
‘People working in shops can look out of the window and see parking meters earning more than they do.’
Written by the author of a popular twitter account it can easily be dipped into and enjoyed in small doses. Much of the humour relies on the reader being aware of how the characters or events being discussed are mocked in the media. Recent popular news stories are referenced to good effect as are the habits of the various elements of British society. The wry observations sit comfortably alongside the waggery, such in the opening sentence of The History of Britain:
‘For some, history is that thing you hastily delete whilst logging off the Internet.’
I suspect that the book has been released as a potential stocking filler for the Christmas market, and it would serve this purpose well. It is light hearted and amusing but has enough substance to provide a smidgeon of food for thought alongside the laughs. It reminded me of a stand up comic except that it succeeded in entertaining without descending into sexist innuendo. This is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone who understands what the British are like. As HRH opines:
Where would we be without a good sense of humour?
(My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Headline.)