The Empire Strikes Back: US Voters Prefer Former Colonial Masters to Obama

Prince Charles Barack Obama Reuters

A private remark by US President Barack Obama to the Prince of Wales has prompted some amusement after it was picked up by a well-placed microphone.

Chatting among themselves before entering a private White House meeting, at which it is presumed they discussed Middle Eastern diplomacy, Obama remarked to the prince: “I think it’s fair to say the American people are quite fond of the Royal Family”. Chuckling at the suggestion, Prince Charles replied: “well that’s awfully nice to know!”.

Warming to the theme, Obama reflected on his own unpopularity with voters and the general mistrust of the political process in the United States at the moment, saying: “they like [The Royal Family] much more than their own politicians”.

Although well known in the United States for being the heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, the prince is also heir in Australia, New Zealand and North American neighbour state Canada. As well as the clear interest in Monarchy apparent in the United States, enthusiasm for the trappings and traditions of their head of state is enjoying a renaissance north of the border.

Having ‘modernised’ the rank structure and uniforms of the Canadian forces in the 20th century, the three services are now returning to the ranks, titles, names and uniforms they carried during the Second World War and Imperial era. Canadian ships had their ‘Royal’ prefix restored in 2011, with traditional British style uniforms and rank insignia being re-introduced last year.