The Strange Case Of Prince Charles And Chubbles

We all saw that bizarre picture of Prince Charles chasing a little girl with a bubble blower around the garden, but I couldn't stop at just laughing and re-tweeting, I needed to find out where this girl came from, and why Charlie was so hell bent on catching her!
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We all saw that bizarre picture of Prince Charles chasing a little girl with a bubble blower around the garden, but I couldn't stop at just laughing and re-tweeting, I needed to find out where this girl came from, and why Charlie was so hell bent on catching her!

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If you were anywhere near the internet  last week you will have probably noticed the hilarious picture of an even creepier than usual Prince Charles chasing a ridiculously round girl with a bubble blower. The photo bares all the surreal trademarks of an Internet meme. But I didn’t want it to be. I wanted to know where it came from. Who was the girl and where was she from? Was she a member of the royal family? And just what exactly was Prince Charles doing?

With so many vital questions eating away at me, I decided to skip the more obvious method of asking Google, and instead went straight to the source. I rang the press office for The Prince of Wales ready to demand answers.

Two rings in and I began to doubt myself. Was I about to be placed on a government watch list titled “mentals”?

Me: “Hi. I have a picture of Prince Charles chasing a chubby girl in a garden. Could you shed some light on it for me?

…uncomfortable pause…

Me: "uhm… she’s got bubbles too.”

Posh woman: “I have never heard of such a photo. Let me ask the rest of the office.”

… more silence, muffled speech – was I onto something?! I felt like a subversive investigative journalist. I began to prepare for the inevitable negotiations on my silence….

Posh woman: “Hi. None of us are familiar with it. You could send it over in an email perhaps?

Feeling ridiculous and ever so slightly deranged I sent the photo over and received the inevitable answer I was hoping to avoid – it was a photoshop. Surprisingly however, the woman from the press office revealed to me the origin of the Prince Charles image – it comes from the prince running under a parachute at a youth event in Guernsey. As far as comedy value goes – it’s not far off the original.

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Yet I was still disappointed. A photoshop. A meme. I cursed my runaway imagination and luddite Internet awareness. I gave in and two seconds later I had my answer. This young girl goes by the name of Chubby Bubble Girl, or Chubbles or Chubbly. She is apparently a toddler of superhuman speed and notoriety. It is not only the clutches of Prince Charles she runs from. Chubbles eludes dinosaurs and herds of Wildebeest. She entertains Barack Obama and races Usain Bolt. Always with the same bulbous eyes of terror and always leaving a stream of bubbles in here wake.

I was highly amused but still not satisfied. I needed to dig deeper if I was to find out just where this girl came from – who was Chubbles? I took to urbandictionary.com, usually a reliable source of enlightenment for all online lingo I need translating. It told me that chubbles was: “the leftover semen on a girls chin after ejaculation that resembles five o'clock shadow a.k.a. stubble.” Most enlightening, and a valuable piece of vocab for sure, but not exactly what I was looking for.

Two rings in and I began to doubt myself. Was I about to be placed on a government watch list titled “mentals”?

Thankfully, knowyourmeme.comwas far more helpful, informing me that the photo first originated on that Mecca of memes, 4chan. I apprehensively took to the website to search for more information. Surely the maestros at 4chan, a forum home to some of the most wised-up men on the web, had tracked down the location of Chubbles?

Alas I still had no luck. The girl in the photo had a name but no identity. The original photo was sadly lacking in princes, Popes or presidents. I had uncovered a never-ending stream of laugh-inducing pictures yet I began to wonder if my Chubbles chuckles would come at a cost.

Chubbles, or Bubbly Chubs (my own name suggestion) is a real girl with real parents. Were they aware of what was happening to their daughter in the virtual parallel world? The photo could well have been taken years ago – could Chubbles have since suffered from high-school bullying as a result of the meme? They were questions that extended beyond Chubbles to the other memes I have regularly guffawed at. What is it like to be a meme? How does it leave the subject feeling? Victimised? It’s something to think about next time you hit share.

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