- 05 Feb 20
As 2020 gets into its stride and the British monarchy begins to crumble, the feeling is growing that something good may indeed be just around the corner...
One of the things about the coming decade that we can be fairly certain of is that the Queen will die before it’s done.
It could be that her only reason for carrying on until now has been to save the monarchy by blocking her floppy-brained eldest from taking over. It’s hard to imagine a nation gathered, lips atremble, as King (!) Charles ascends to the throne.
Maybe she’ll have him murdered. After all, there are those who say that she had his first wife murdered.
A twisted lot, the Royals.
The Act which mandated the murder of Ms. Spencer (“Princess Di”) is the Royal Marriage Act of 1772, under which the death penalty is standard punishment for adultery by the wife of a man in direct line to the throne.
What has this got to do with the new decade? Well, for one thing, the act is still in force – which could explain why the killers of the late Diana have never been brought to trial. And why anybody who’s married into the Royals but wants to live like a human being should be on permanent red alert for prowling assassins.
Never mind the Queen – will Ms. Markle make it to the end of the decade?
The rationale for the 1772 Act has to do with the need for certainty about the royal blood-line. The Royals know from long experience that any doubt as to the legitimacy of a purported heir can incite pretenders from across the land to form a disorderly queue outside Buckingham Palace, picking their teeth with bayonets, muttering fragments from Marx. Remember it was Pretenders singer Chrissy Hynde on ‘Last of the Independents’ who sang out in fervid revolutionary style, “We can’t just wait/ For the old guard to die/ Before we can make a new start/ Bring on the revolution.”
Right on, sister, as we used to say.
The third decade of a century has never been lucky for the Royals – particularly for a woman daft enough to enter into a marriage contract with a scion of the Family.
It was in January 1820 that George III succeeded George II. George III had as many children as Boris Johnston in our own day. But none was legitimate. So, squads of reliable troops were dispatched to scour hither and thither across France, Germany, the Netherlands etc. to bring back an unsullied princess. There was no shortage of likely candidates loitering aimlessly around palaces.
There were other problems. George was already married, secretly, to a Mrs. Fitzherbert. This difficulty was compounded by the fact that, obviously, she had herself previously been married. And worse, she wasn’t the right colour, as you might say, being a Catholic.
A Family conference was called at Windsor with a committee of senior flunkies in attendance. After much debate, they ordered George to divorce Mrs. Fitzherbert without any further ado and marry one of the selection of imported Prod princesses. Caroline of Brunswick came first. Or possibly last.
The couple met for the first time three days before the ceremony. Instantly, they took a loathing to one another. Caroline, it was reported, swooned with disgust at first setting eyes on him. Both bride and groom were drunk as skunks on the day. George had to be held upright by the Duke of Bedford. Caroline was upended by the weight of her wedding dress.
Despite these unpropitious beginnings, the pair produced an heir. But the child was still-born. The line had run out. The prince secretly went back to Mrs. Fitzherbert. Then, after a long game of pass-the-princess, George was fixed up again and did produce an heir.
And so on and so on, down to our present decade.
With that history behind them, will the Royals survive the imminent death of the Queen? Who’s to say? Come the end of the decade, will there still be a Royal Family for Prince Harry to resign from?
Whose loyalty to the monarchy could survive the sight of Prince Charles creaking up the aisle to the sound of an Elton John hymn while his wife watches from the commoners’ pen, other than by shuddering with laughter or snuffling with grief at remembrance of Di.
We haven’t even mentioned the suppurating evil of the paedophile prince, Andrew.
Will the Royals make it through the dark night of the soul now enveloping them? Or will they all go together when they go?
Reason in revolt thunders ever more loudly against the monstrous tomfoolery being played out before our eyes.
Will anybody with a half-ounce of sense sigh with regret at the passing of this useless institution, splattered with stolen jewels, seeped in an outrageous sense of entitlement? (Apart from Fine Gael, of course.)
English Republicans sense that their time may be coming at last. I have noticed that all my English anti-Royalist pals have a glint in their eyes these days. Every BBC ‘phone-in programme includes calls suggesting, “Let’s get rid of the lot of them.”
Somewhat more elegantly, in a passage which might have been written for this hour, this day, this decade, Brecht observed: “Who’s to blame if oppression remains?/ It is us/ Who can break its thrall?/ We can/ Whoever has been beaten down must rise to their feet/ Whoever has lost must fight back!/ Because the vanquished of today/ Will be the victors of tomorrow/ And never will become/ Already today!”
Something’s coming, something good.
Pick up your copy of the Hot Press Hot For 2020 issue now!