It’s been more than a month since the Sun published Jeremy Clarkson’s violent screed against the Duchess of Sussex, wherein Clarkson described his fantasy of stripping Meghan naked and marching her down the street so people could throw feces at her. Remember, Clarkson said everyone his age agreed with him. He wrote that right after he had lunch with Queen Camilla, his good friend. Camilla was reportedly quite angry… that she was being dragged right alongside Clarkson. Well, Clarkson has a new column at the Sun: “Royal magic is waning, but it is still the best option.” Clarkson almost edges up to an uncomfortable truth, but of course he finds a way to back away from it.
When I was younger, big royal events came along only once in a blue moon. We had the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 then after that, nothing. There was more monarchy-based pageantry in North Korea. Now, though, it feels like we are breaking out the bunting and the plastic flags every other weekend. It’s a constant stream of weddings, funerals and jubilees. And it’s not over yet because in May, there’s a Coronation.
It must be a nightmare for the organisers, because how do they make it feel different? And bigger. And better. Fly-pasts down the Mall? Done that. Put Brian May on the roof of the Palace? Done that as well. Soldiers marching up and down? Been doing that for centuries.
Whatever they come up with, though, it’d better be good. Because I have a sneaking feeling there won’t be another Coronation after this one. It’ll be the last.
For many years, there have been questions about the Royal Family. People have said it costs too much and that it’s stupid to have a hereditary head of state. And now, of course, those questions are getting louder. People are saying that thanks to Prince Andrew and Harry’s book, the whole royal thing is broken, that you could take it down to Jay Blade’s Repair Shop barn but the experts would be forced to conclude that all of the king’s horseman and all of the king’s men couldn’t possibly put it back together again.
I see their point. The monarchy is built on a foundation of mysticism. It derives its magic powers from forces we don’t understand. It’s an institution built on fairy dust. And that is lost somewhat when they’re all falling in dog bowls and, like Prince Andrew, giving money to girls they’ve never met.
Ah, don’t you see? People don’t respect the monarchy anymore because of Prince Andrew and Prince Harry! Not the other Windsors, the ones sitting on a billion-dollar empire and going empty-handed to foodbanks. Of course not. And Harry didn’t “fall in a dog bowl” – he was violently assaulted by his brother. William threw Harry to the ground, leaving cuts and bruises. Anyway, Clarkson ends his column with the acknowledgement that “The Australians and Canadians will then excuse themselves, along with most of the rocky islands dotted round the world’s oceans, and then we’ll have a vote here. And everyone will decide they’d rather have an elected president.” Then Clarkson suggests that after Britain elected a president, it will be some reality show buffoon and then, magically, everyone will want William and Kate to be king and queen. As I said, Clarkson almost admitted something real, but then he bungled it. Oh well.
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