A Royal Obsession – Part II

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales at the time of his visit to North America in 1860.

Reading a bit on the life of Albert Edward Saxe-Cobourg and Gotha (Edward VII) one can only imagine the field day the tabloids would have with him in this day and age. Though there were gossip magazines galore in Victorian England they tended to be chary in their handling of royal “affairs”. If Royal scandals surfaced – and scandals there were, I mean did you know he had mistresses???? Including the grandmother of Camillla… well enough said about that – it was in the Welsh, colonial and U.S. press seldom in the English newspapers or journals.

A few weeks ago in Sailstrait, his rich historic site on Island things nautical, Harry Holman told us about the American presses’ reporting on Albert Edward’s visit to Prince Edward Island in 1860. And though they were respectful to the Prince of Wales they were decidedly less so to our fair isle. This past week, to balance the scales, he told us about the visit as reported by the a far more circumspect British chroniclers of the age.


“Thy grandsire’s name distinguishes this isle;
We love thy mother’s sway, and court her smile.”
Banner hanging in the ballroom of the Colonial Building, Charlottetown 1860.

A recent posting on this site featured American accounts of the 1860 visit of the Prince of Wales to Charlottetown and highlighted, perhaps unfairly, the carnival-like atmosphere, overcrowding  and drunkenness which the journalists from the States chose to make a centerpiece of their reporting.  For the Americans, the Prince’s visit was a unique experience and their florid accounts strained to find moments of interest in what was oftentimes a repetition of the rounds of addresses, salutes, dinners and balls which would characterize the events across two nations as the Prince travelled to Canada and the United States.

Prince of Wales receiving addresses at Colonial Building 1860. London Illustrated News

For the English media, royal appearances were less of a one time event and more…

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A Picture is Worth …. Three Words??

Ziolek Cartoon

When I left the Warsaw Business Journal to return to Canada my colleagues were at a loss as to what to buy me as a going away present. It had to be something that could be packed in a suitcase – our belongs had been shipped – and it had to be something that reflected our time in Poland and my time at the Journal. On the quiet I mentioned to our HR chief that I had always admired the work of Ziolek, our Editorial cartoonist, and one cartoon in particular had intrigued and unsettled me. And I would like to have the original.

Political cartooning is an art form in Poland and was often the only way dissidence could be expressed during much of the 20th century. Many Polish artists learned to work a type of shorthand into their work – particularly in cartoons and posters – that spoke volumes to the Polish viewer yet said nothing to the Government Censor. The cartoon I wanted had been published without a caption but subtly addressed the allegations made in a book that had been published the week before.

My colleagues at the paper were a little perplexed and unsettled by my request but on my final day I was presented with the framed original. It has hung in our two homes back in Canada and caused some equally unsettled reactions from many of our guests. Yes it is a strange cartoon and on the surface is just another rendering of the horrors of War. But this is a Polish cartoon and there is a hidden message that speaks to a disturbing event in corporate and world history.

(The picture is rather low quality as I was not able to successfully scan the cartoon but had to take a photo of it.)