Drats! King Charles III experienced a snafu with a leaky pen during a signing ceremony in Northern Ireland – and the monarch was less than pleased.
“Oh God, I hate this thing!” Charles, 73, quipped as a pen leaked all over his hand while signing a visitor’s book at Hillsborough Castle on Tuesday, September 13.
The monarch quickly stood up and handed the pen to his wife as he rubbed his fingers clean. “Oh look, it’s everywhere,” Queen Consort Camilla, 75, said as she inspected the pen, to which the king replied, “I can’t bear this bloody thing … every stinking time,” before exiting the room.
The sovereign was also frustrated due to initially signing the wrong date on the documents before checking with an aide who alerted him that he was a date behind.
The royals arrived at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast on Tuesday as part of their U.K. tour following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8. They viewed the tributes, including flowers and handwritten notes, left in honor of the late queen. They also attended a Service of Reflection in honor of the queen at St Anne’s Cathedral.
While addressing Irish residents for the first time as king, Charles said he’d continue his mother’s mission to maintain the welfare of Northern Ireland.
In the years since she began her long life of public service, my mother saw Northern Ireland pass through momentous and historic changes,” the royal patriarch declared in his speech on Tuesday. “Through all those years, she never ceased to pray for the best of times for this place and for its people, whose stories she knew, whose sorrows our family had felt, and for whom she had a great affection and regard.”
This isn’t the first time Charles has been seen getting flustered since the death of his mother. At his accession council on Saturday, September 10, the monarch looked irritated as he signaled for aides to move pen holders that were in his way as he signed documents.
It has been a busy — and difficult — few days for the monarch following the 96-year-old’s passing. After heading to Scotland to be by his mother’s side at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, Charles returned to London on Friday, September 9, for his accession ceremony. On Monday, September 12, he then flew back to Edinburgh to walk behind the queen’s coffin alongside his siblings Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne.
After spending time in Ireland, the king returned to London once again to meet the rest of the royal family — including sons Prince William, Prince Harry and their respective wives, Princess Kate and Meghan Markle — to receive Elizabeth’s casket. She is scheduled to spend a final night at her longtime home, Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, September 14, there will be a procession to Westminster Hall where the royal family will attend a short service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury with Reverend Dr. David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, before her lying state begins.
Following Wednesday’s event, the public will be able to pay their respects in-person for several days until her state funeral ceremony on Monday, September 19. Her final resting place will be at Windsor Castle in a tomb with her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at age 99.