By Hank Nuwer

Guarding a former king was a royal pain
My response to the ascendency to the throne of King Charles III is simply to stifle a yawn.
Hey, I’ve suffered a personal run-in with the British Crown. I have a right to my opinion.
I remember well that July day in 1968. On my summer’s job as a security guard at a New York city department store, I guarded the former British King Edward VIII and his wife Wallis Simpson.
I’ll spare you a trek to Wikipedia for background on the onetime ruler of England. Edward became the House of Windsor’s monarch following the death of his father, George V, in 1936. The new king created an international scandal when he announced plans to wed the American Wallis Simpson of Baltimore after her second divorce was final. To head off the hullabaloo, Edward abdicated after 326 days, married Wallis on June 3, 1937, and (gasp!) accepted an invitation for a tour of Nazi Germany about the same time .
Now back to the summer of 1968. The then-Duke of Windsor and Duchess of Windsor traveled from home in France to socialize with Alexander S. Farkas, head of Alexander’s Department Store on Manhattan’s 57th and Lexington streets.
Farkas was my boss. In addition to tackling shoplifters on the street, I guarded his Salvador Dali collection while outside contractors worked after hours in the store.
One day he assigned me the task of guarding the former monarch. My boss gave me no specific instructions. Farkas gave his royal friend permission to snatch everything he wanted into his cart—free of charge.
The royal pair and the head of store security stepped off the escalator onto the men’s clothing floor where I stood waiting. “Good morning, your Majesty,” I said.
The couple withered me with an icy look. A store VP barked,“You do not speak to royalty,”
I stayed quiet as a Sphinx while the couple dropped paisley shirts and wild ties into a shopping cart. After an hour, the couple went down the elevator with their loot and left my life.
I uttered a mere unanswered four words to the former king. I wished I could tell His Frostiness that he’d be speaking German that day if American soldiers like my dad failed to rescue England in World War Two.
Edward died in 1972. My invitation to his funeral from Wallis must have gotten lost in the mail.