Clearly, some Bwog Staffers watch “The Crown” too much.

“Mhmm, don’t I look so incredibly dashing? I always knew the crown would sit daintily on my head,” Charles thought to himself. For a moment he remembered that Camilla was waiting for him to start their weekly monarch roleplay, but the way that light sparkled from the crown absorbed him again. What started out as surprising Camilla with the real crown had quickly turned into Charles gazing at himself in their suite’s bathroom, mesmerized by his new position. But as he peered intently into the mirror, he started to notice how his skin tugged away from him, how his hair seemed unbelievably sparse, and how his fingers bulged grotesquely.

“Stupid Mummy. She wouldn’t give up the crown and now I’m just an old sack of bones dragging it around. Gosh, I wish I could’ve been a king when I was in my prime!”

Immediately, a gust of wind erupted from the crown and enveloped Charles. It latched onto him and accelerated him into a kaleidoscope of colors. Intertwined with the wind’s roaring was an incredibly light, ethereal laugh – unmistakably Diana’s. What Charles hadn’t known was that Diana didn’t truly die. His mother had just trapped her inside of the crown to use as a genie, and his poorly worded wish had just given Diana the perfect opportunity to shuttle him through time, and finally exact her revenge.

Charles woke up groggily, unaware of where he was or how he had gotten there. Before he could process that, the sensation of blood pulsing strongly through his veins shocked him—it was almost as if he was young again. His hands shot up to an incredibly smooth face where he could no longer trace deeply etched wrinkles, and as he touched his body, he recognized a slim figure that had become a distant memory.

Was he young again? Charles gasped. In response a territorial squeak resounded in the room. Charles turned to the source of the sound and found two glowing yellow eyes narrowed at him and saw a grey tail swishing behind them. His heartrate quickened and he shouted “Camilla, good heavens what is this? You know I hate rodents! And why am I lying on a teeny bed with thread-bare bedding like some pauper?”

Four raps quickly pounded on the wall next to him, succeeded by an irritated “Shut up Brit!”

“Hello, who’s there? Hello! I’m speaking to you,” Charles pestered, until he heard padded footsteps gradually grow louder and the door to the room was thrust open.

“Gosh, are all of you Brits so annoying? You’ve barely been here one night but I guess we had to meet eventually. I’m Alexander Hamilton.”

“Look I really don’t care who you are! I’m assuming Camilla hired you or something like that. How about you find a way to get rid of the rodent, and also bring me some tea. Hurry along!”

“Oh, but of course good sir,” was the clipped response Charles received before the door quietly closed.

Charles lounged back on the bed, finally feeling some semblance of peace. After a few minutes he heard the door open. Before he could sit up, a freezing sensation overwhelmed his body. His eyes shot open and he saw Alexander hovering over him with a now-empty bucket and realized that his body was covered in ice-water. Charles saw red. He lunged out of the bed at Alexander but, with a quick ankle pivot, Alexander narrowly avoided him. Alexander sprinted out of the door and Charles hounded after him. They movied rapidly through a maze of corridors, stairs, and doors until finally they were outside in crisp, early morning air. Charles came to a halt, and realized that he was surrounded by a mass of boys.

“Heres’s the new kid boys!” shouted Alexander. The boys closest to him grabbed Charles and hoisted him onto their shoulders. They carried him through the streets of a city he soon realized were New York while chanting a cryptic song about roaring lions and Alma Mater until they finally arrived at a river. Charles found himself placed in a row boat with boys who towered over him. In a matter of seconds they were in the middle of the river.

He was quickly dispatched to a scull and told, “Get yourself back to shore!”

After what felt like eons Charles finally reached the shore. He stumbled out of the boat with arms and legs burning in pain, and collapsed on the river bed. An unimpressed hmph sounded above him. Charles looked up and found a middle-aged man clad in sports attire peering at him over a clipboard and stopwatch. With the last remnants of his energy Charles mumbled, “You saw them throw me in that filthy river and you did nothing? Do you know who I am?”

“A very incompetent rower,” was the punctuated response that left Charles stunned. A chorus of chuckles rose around him.

“I don’t care how they did things on that side of the pond but here at King’s College we make real men and that means you adapt, you don’t complain, and you row quickly. I expect to see you here every morning for rowing practice, God knows you need it.”

Charles picked himself up from the ground shuffling past the condemning gazes. With tears streaming down his face, he shuffled through the packed streets of New York until he reached the address for the royal safe house that had been ingrained in his mind. He slipped inside, immediately found the landline, and called Buckingham Palace. The moment the call was picked up words tumbled out of his mouth.

“Mummy I am so sorry. I guess you didn’t really die and I don’t know if you’re punishing me or if this is hazing to become king but I can’t do it. Please just let me go home and I’ll be a good little Prince of Wales. Please Mummy, make it stop!”

A gruff, regal voice replied “Who is this and how did you get this number?”

“I-it’s Prince Charles. Who-who are you?”

“I am King George the Third and you would do well to address me respectfully. And you are no prince; you are no son of mine!”

The telephone dropped from his hand, ricocheting off the ground. He pondered back on the outdated clothes that everyone was wearing, the presence of carts on the streets, and every other detail he had blatantly ignored. Had he somehow been thrown back in time and left randomly at a King’s College in New York? Fear struck his heart. For the first time in his life he knew no one and had no protection. All he had was the tiny corner bedroom that he had found himself in. Grudgingly, he turned around and began the trek to King’s College, adamant that he would find a way out of this hell.

Time-Travelling Charles via Bwog Illustration