King Charles’ Leaky Pen – Why Do Pens Leak & How To Fix Yours

After the quite funny “pen tray episode”, King Charles had to deal with a leaky fountain pen during a ceremony while in Northern Ireland. He was shown signing a visitor’s book in front of cameras at Hillsborough Castle and he reacted annoyed after the fountain pen he was using leaked onto his hand. Rumour has it that the new monarch used a Montblanc 146 Solitaire Sterling Silver. 

Although the scene has intrigued many pen enthusiasts, I won’t react to it as it can happen to anyone. However, I would just mention that the fountain pen should have been checked beforehand to ensure its functionality. In today’s article I’m going to explain why do fountain pens leak and how to fix yours.

First of all, let’s be clear on one thing: a properly working fountain pen should not leak. Apart from the case where the pen is malfunctioned, there are other situations where you can expect leaks from your pen. If you’re used to carrying your pen in your pocket (other than your jeans, I hope) make sure the nib is facing upwards. If you place the pen in your pocket upside down, chances are the pen will leak because the ink flows from the reservoir through the feed causing the cap to fill. Once you unscrew the cap, excess ink will inevitably leak out.

Photo courtesy of The Scribe Co

The way you store your pens is also important. It is highly recommended to store your pens in a cool place. Avoid exposing your pen to heat of any kind and high temperatures in general, as heat can cause the air inside the pen to expand and force the ink out.

Photo credit: Galen Leather

Changes in air pressure can also cause your pen to leak, that’s why you should empty the ink reservoir of your fountain pen or fill it completely during a flight. This way you will significantly reduce the risk of ink leakage. 

Of course, there may be other situations where your pen may leak, but this is because your pen is not working properly. At this stage, you may consider sending it to a service to have it checked and eventually repaired. Even if you think you can fix it yourself, it’s always better to let the professionals do the work, especially with expensive fountain pens. 

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