Would Jubilee Eve It?
Regular readers of my assorted drivel and tripe will be aware that I am something of a benign republican. It strikes me that inherited titles, let alone the inherited right to be crowned a Head of State, are anachronisms in the 21st century irrespective of the (usually) high regard in which the UK’s current Queen is held.
Anyway, I’ve just refreshed my memory on some of the 60 Thoughts About Turning 60 that were penned a few years ago in the Graun by Ian Martin, probably best known as the writer of TV’s The Thick Of It. He summed up his view of our Royalty in quite a succinct way (but do click on the link above and take note of his thoughts on some other matters, numbers 17, 18, 49&50 and 56 in particular!):
54. The royal family. Bunch of trust-funded hippies. Good riddance.
55. But not quite yet. I respect the Queen. I do, honestly. She has been Queen for as long as I have lived. Good effort. Once she is dead, though, enough’s enough. The idea of my grandchildren having to stand up for organic sausage king Charles III or any of those other doughnuts, ha ha, come on.
That seems fair to me, so, how does my ‘benign’ republicanism evidence itself in other ways? Well, apart from not discussing the matter with the family’s royalty-loving matriarch (neither of us likes to argue as we get on too well for that), I slept through the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Merioneth, Baron of Renfrew, Baron Greenwich, Lord of the Isles and Great Steward of Scotland, KG, KT, GCB, OM, AK, QSO, CC, PC, ADC in 1981 as I was a student on a summer-long research expedition to the northern rain forest of Trinidad. (I well remember our local contacts’ bemusement at the fact that none of the University of Dundee staff or students on the research trip could be a***d to watch it!)
I also possess a pair of signed, limited edition royal wedding sick bags; the first of which I was given to ‘celebrate’ the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus, KG, KT, PC, ADC.
I bought the second one myself to complement my other ‘goody bag’ on the occasion of his brother’s wedding (that would be His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David, Duke of Sussex, KCVO in case you need reminding. The fact that Harry doesn’t want to be known as ‘Prince’ Harry and, like Elvis, has left the building – or at least that part of it that associates him with his father and brother – didn’t stop him signing himself as ‘His Royal Highness’ on his daughter’s birth certificate despite having bailed out of the Royals!).
Thirty years after successfully avoiding Charles’ wedding, I was fortunate enough to be hidden in a cave 500 metres under Ingleborough during William’s espousal and, thus, avoided it too (it was planned that way!). Firstborn accompanied me, also to hide from the event.
Sadly our plans to hide from Harry’s union, by zip-lining through the slate caverns under Blaenau Ffestioniog in the heart of Snowdonia, came to nought (although both Firstborn and I still managed to avoid embroiling ourselves in the national cap-doffing-to-royalty pantomime).
So, how to avoid today’s Jubilee jamboree without upsetting the royalists amongst us (or at least those that haven’t read this encyclical)? Well, I’m going to hide in my shed and drink tea whilst wearing my baffies.
The only problem is which shed?
And here’s the limerick…
The Jubilee fills me with dread
‘Cos I’m not a big fan of inbred
And entitled Royals
Or their troubles and toils
So I’ll hide for the day in my shed!