By Tom Interval
A young heckler
Paul Daniels, the brilliant UK magician who sadly died a few months ago, once got a call from a prominent woman asking him to perform for a children’s party. Although Paul normally didn’t perform for children, he made an exception.
There was a young boy in the audience making noise, blurting out what he thought was the secret to the classic Chinese linking rings trick, and basically disrupting the show at every turn. Paul had had enough.
He told the child to approach the performing area, grabbed him by the lapels, picked him straight up, and said, “Now look, son, one day you will be King of England, and then you can have my head chopped off. But in the mean time, you will sit down, you will shut up, and you will be good because this isn’t your party and you mustn’t spoil it.”
From the audience, the prominent woman gave Paul the double thumbs-up as she whispered, “Yes, yes, yes!” No one had spoken to the child like that before. Why? Because the boy was a young Prince William, a guest of the prominent woman—Princess Michael.
Today William celebrates his 34th birthday.
William, second in line to the British throne, is a helicopter pilot with the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) in the UK. As far as I know, magic is not one of his hobbies. But it’s no surprise he heckled Paul during the linking-rings routine. William’s father, Prince Charles, is an amateur magician and member of The Magic Circle in London. During his childhood, William must have seen Charles perform many magic tricks, including the linking rings.
To hear Paul tell this story in his own words, watch his video on YouTube. He also mentions it in his autobiography, Under No Illusion.