Windsor Hassle


93 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88794-325-X
DDC C818'





Reviewed by Peter Martin

Peter Martin is a senior projects editor at the University of Ottawa


It’s all too easy to make fun of the Royal Family and of rustic Canadian mores, but just because it’s so easy it’s devilishly hard to do it well. Paul K. Willis does it well. There aren’t many pages in this book, but there are laughs on every page, some of them obvious, but a surprising number of them sufficiently subtle to need a double-take or even a second reading.

Willis’s material was originally presented as a 12-part series on CBC Radio’s “Basic Black.” It works as well on paper as it did on the air. Although one-liners and comic vignettes abound, there is actually a story line here, mostly a Royal visit to Canada. While Elizabeth and Philip and the rest stay at Buck House, Charles and Di are the family losers: they go to Calgary for Yahoo Days. Paul Willis bashes everybody in sight: Princess Margaret Rose (nobody has appended the “Rose” since WWII), a slimy press baron called Rupert Mollusk, Richard Hatfield, Brian and Mila, and, of course, Margaret Thatcher. Says Thatcher, “As you know, Your Majesty, I have strong views on the subject of terrorism.” “For or against?” asks the Queen. Ted Michener’s drawings are not very effective, but endorsements by Ben Wicks and Princess Michael of Kent add to the fun.



Willis, Paul K., “Windsor Hassle,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,