A Video of King Charles Getting Annoyed With a Malfunctioning Pen Is Going Viral

Kings and queens, they're just like us.

Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort (R) watches as Britain's King Charles III signs the visitors' book, alongside an image of his late mother Queen Elizabeth II, at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast on September 13, 2022, during his visit to Northern Ireland. - King Charles III on Tuesday travelled to Belfast where he is set to receive tributes from pro-UK parties and the respectful sympathies of nationalists who nevertheless can see reunification with Ireland drawing closer.
(Image credit: Photo by Niall Carson / Getty)

While many aspects of life as a royal come with deep privilege, some little annoyances in life are just inevitable: stepping into a puddle, spilling coffee on yourself, spats with a family member, pens that refuse to function.

King Charles III may be the new monarch of the United Kingdom, but that hasn't stopped him from running into the latter problem—and the whole incident was caught on video. That video, shared by CBS News on Twitter, has quickly gone viral, and reactions are mixed to say the least.

The news channel tagged the video with the tongue-in-cheek caption, "King Charles' signing ceremony at Northern Ireland's Hillsborough Castle made one thing clear – even royalty can't escape the frustration of an inadequate pen."

In the clip, the King can be heard asking for the date (which, relatable). He then says, "Oh, God, I've put the wrong date down." His wife Camilla then points out that he signed the wrong date on another document.

Charles then gets visibly flustered, saying, "Oh God, I hate this," as he hands the pen he was using to Camilla. She says, unfazed, "Oh look, it's going everywhere, hang on."

An aide rushes to take the pen from her as she takes the seat her husband has just vacated. Behind her, Charles further loses his temper, exclaiming loudly, "I can't bear this bloody thing! What they do, every stinking time."

In response, a journalist wrote, "I hope people don’t forget his mum died days ago. The most extreme pressure imaginable."

Someone else echoed that sentiment: "Give him a break. He's 73 years old, how much sleep do you think he's had, how much travel, in the last few days?

"As he mourns his mother?

"'Even royalty'. His mother passed away only days ago."

Others didn't think Charles deserved the same amount of slack. "I manage to use an inadequate pen quite frequently without throwing a little tantrum that requires several of my little employees to manage," someone said.

Another person wrote, "True colours showing again."

My humble opinion is that this is just a funny little anecdote amid what has been a troubling time for many. Comic relief, if you will. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.