TWO stories this week have featured the Windsors, the UK version of the royal court of Freedonia. In the first one, Scotland’s Alba party had attempted to run a billboard that was somewhat uncivil about King Charles. The artwork, which some might have considered unimaginative and clichéd, featured the King’s face with a prohibition sign scored through it. The image was accompanied by a slogan: “It’s time for an independent Scotland.”

My personal view about targeting Britain’s royals as a means of gathering support for Scottish independence is that it’s counter-productive. Like it or not, many of those whom the Yes movement must reach if they are ever to win their fabled referendum, harbour deep feelings of affection towards this family. Mocking them in such a predictable and clumsy manner adds nothing to the cause. Rather, it signifies immaturity and a lack of originality. It simply wasn’t smart enough ever to be considered offensive.

Yet the media company which owns these advertising sites refused to accept Alba’s artwork on the basis that it fell foul of their house rules regarding adverts deemed to be "political". Alba is a political party, so what else was this media company expecting, a picture of a Highland coo draped in a saltire?

A few days later, the Sunday Mail revealed that the UK Tories were seeking an audit of schools and public facilities across the UK who might like a portrait of King Charles to hang on their walls. This would be purely voluntary, but a relatively modest consideration of £8 million had been budgeted for the exercise. Nevertheless it allowed scope the paper to dress the story up and apply the following intro: “The UK Government wants schools and nurseries in Scotland to display a framed portrait of King Charles.”

Among the expressions of outrage at the concept of Charles looking down on wur kids was one by Ross Greer, the Bearsden Bolsehvik. The Scottish Greens MSP thundered: “Spending a small fortune on pictures of the King is simply wrong.”

Now, if you were being unkind you might suggest that any idea which upsets this insufferable individual can’t be all bad. But at The Herald we’re all resolved to be gentler and seemly in our political comment. And so, we must concede that Mr Greer makes a reasonable point. And besides, if Alba’s slightly disobliging billboard is deemed to be offensive then what are we to make of any school that tells its pupils that King Charles and his family are decent role models for their bumpy journeys through youth and adulthood?

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However, I wonder if it might be possible to deploy a more artful approach to the concept of hanging the King. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in predicting that in Scotland the take-up of the Tories’ royal offer will be a degree or two less than in England.

Apart from anything else, those pictures of Charles we’ve already seen don’t exactly possess the same aesthetic as those featuring his late mother, Queen Elizabeth (God rest her). The Queen was a good-looking woman in her pomp and conveyed a certain regal bearing. The same simply can’t be said of her son who looks like a 1970s holiday camp resident Uncle Arthur judging the Thursday night talent show.

Yet, I’d encourage all Scottish head teachers to accept the offer of a framed portrait of King Charles. And then, in the same way that fake liberal civic authorities are now scrambling to reword the encomiums attached to statues and portraits of problematic historical personages, I’d be inclined to do something similar in the descriptions underneath Charles.

Thus, you could use these pictures as a learning tool to increase the pupils’ knowledge about the history of Britain’s royal family and what values they truly represent. Indeed, you could even get an entire term’s module for Modern Studies out of it.

On its own, a portrait of the King trussed up in his fur and bangles conveys messages to impressionable minds that fly in the face of what we’re seeking to implant in their impressionable minds. Among the fundamental values underpinning our entire education system are that if you work hard, conduct your business honestly and be just in your treatment of others you’ll make your mark in the world as a good citizen.

Another is the concept of all human beings being created equal and that status and dominion should not proceed purely on the status of inherited wealth secured over many centuries by mere birthright. How irresponsible would it be for any head teacher to suggest that, no matter how industrious and honest you are, no matter how naturally gifted you may be in any discipline, that for an anointed stratum of British society such values will always be subverted?

Yet, that’s effectively what you’d be telling your pupils if you agreed to hang the portrait of King Charles without adding anything in the way of context or historical perspective.

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So, why not use his image to tell your pupils that their King sits at the head of Europe’s biggest and richest landed property cartel whose fortune partly derives from a feudal system of patronage? And that the House of Windsor originates from the seed of minor German royalty and that they had to anglify their names at the time of the First World War lest they be too directly associated with our wartime foes.

Or that some of their forbears, including the man who would have been king during the Second World War, like several other English aristocrats, were ready to provide succour to Britain’s enemies.

You might even throw in the odd fact about how much they get paid by us to live billionaire lifestyles. And that this status is protected by those whose own privileges are similarly unearned.

Nor would any of this signify negativity and class envy. Rather, it tells children always to question such inequality and to be aware of the forces which will always seek to restrict their own advancement. There’s a reason why images of royalty are popular in places such as Conservative clubs and certain types of restricted membership societies. These tend to favour ideas that you can succeed in life without putting in the hard work or possessing any natural ability. In Scotland’s Catholic school sector, for instance, you could use King Charles’ portrait to inform pupils that he sits at the head of an institution that won’t allow them in by reason of their problematic faith. And that they need to know what they’re up against.

Three cheers for the King. Hip hip …