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When Queen Elizabeth II died her eldest son, Prince Charles, became King Charles III and began work as the new monarch. The king traveled to different areas of the U.K. in the days following his mother’s death but his appearance in Northern Ireland raised eyebrows and drew comparisons between him and the late queen.

King Charles III, who lost his temper when a fountain pen leaked, is greeted by members of the public outside Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland
King Charles III is greeted by members of the public outside Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland | Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Video shows King Charles becoming frustrated after fountain pen leaks

Just about every move King Charles has made since Queen Elizabeth’s death has been seen by millions around the world. And on Sept. 13, royal watchers witnessed him become angry after a pen he was using leaked onto his hands.

Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles, now Queen Consort, were at Hillsborough Castle when he accidentally signed the wrong date on a document. Upon realizing his mistake, Charles noticed that some ink from the fountain pen he was writing with transferred onto his palm.

He stood up and voiced his frustrations saying: “God, I hate this!” The queen consort then pointed out: “Oh look, it’s going everywhere.”

The king’s temper flared as he wiped his hand and continued: “I can’t bear this bloody thing! It’s what they do every stinking time!”

An attendant can be seen taking the leaky pen from Camilla and giving her a new one to use before her husband disappears from view.

Commentators discuss how Queen Elizabeth never showed that type of emotion

Once the video made the rounds, royal commentators started comparing Charles’ behavior to his late mother’s opining that the queen would not have acted that way.

“We saw a little of King Charles’ temper and irritation … We never saw that in the queen, there would be a pursed lip and that was it,” Talk TV host Julia Hartley-Brewer said (per Express).

She added that people should cut him some slack though due to the circumstances of the last several days pointing out: “We all find fountain pens annoying, he is under a lot of stress, his mother has just died and he is in the public glare. I think we should have a bit of empathy and sympathy at this time, but we also know that this is what he is like.”

Panelist Adam Boulton agreed that the king’s mom wouldn’t have shown emotion like that saying: “The queen wouldn’t have behaved like that. She would have made a joke of it.”

However, political commentator Sophie Corcoran completely defended the monarch noting: “Charles has lost his mother and has had to become king and mourn in full public view — who cares if he got upset over a pen.”

Another recent video of the king also made headlines


Everything We Know About Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral and How to Watch It

But that video isn’t the only clip that has made headlines and given people a chance to critique the new king’s behavior.

During the accession on Sept. 10, another video showed Charles looking upset with royal aides as he motioned for them to quickly clear off items lying on the desk where he needed to sign documents.

History correspondent for The Times Jack Blackburn offered this explanation: “I think it’s possible to read too much into a bit of grouchiness from someone who has been traveling non-stop since his mother died.”