Well I’m back in print, but with one difference… I’m no longer the Monday Columnist. The column appears in Saturdays’ Observer, along with columns from the other 3 contributors. No feedback on the new slot yet!
It was Queen Elizabeth’s birthday recently and I found myself wondering just how hard it must be for her loved ones to pick a present for her; seriously, what do you give the worlds’ richest woman? Obviously scented talc from the chemist is out for starters.
And they’ve got a few more years of gift related stress ahead of them, because there’s no reason why QE2 shouldn’t live to see one hundred, and get to send herself a congratulatory telegram.
Meanwhile Liz soldiers on, refusing point blank to retire, no matter how much her oldest son hopes she’ll step down off the throne and spend more time in the royal garden; ordering the royal gardeners about from the comfort of her royal deck chair.
And why should she retire? It’s not like she actually works for a living, or has to put up with the countless stresses which sap the life out of the rest of us mere mortals on a daily basis, eg: red lights, poor service at restaurants, shonky health care, and waiting in line at the Department of Transport.
Who wouldn’t be reluctant to give up living the sort of life where no-one would ever think of asking you to unblock the royal dunny, or clean out the royal budgie cage?
So, I’m betting that for some time yet the British anthem will continue to be ‘God Save the Queen’, although I’m still unsure what she needs saving from. However, I have noticed that since we stopped singing that particular anthem here in Oz, her Commonwealth, and personal life, have taken a bit of a battering. Coincidence?
Perhaps this explains why not many people these days keep a special tea set aside in case the Queen pops in for a cuppa between royal engagements. But I haven’t quite given up hope of hosting the ultimate high tea, and still keep a special mug handy because you never know… perhaps Will and Kate might visit Bray Manor after their honeymoon and they can use it, in fact I might even give it to them as a wedding gift.
Maybe they’ll re-wrap it and present it to Liz as a late birthday present. I’ll bet no one has ever given HRH a slightly chipped mug with a fuzzy photo of Barney Point beach at low tide on the side of it. I reckon she’d be ‘very amused’ indeed.