Saturday, 31 October 2009

The House of Gaffes

The House of Windsor? How very British that name is. Thanks very much George V for thinking about the new name of your progeny when the name Saxe-Coburg Gotha became uncomfortable. Based on their recent performance, I have a suggestion for a new name for this august and noble institution: how about the House of Gaffes?

The latest gaffe is of course Prince Edward, or to give him his full title: His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex, Viscount Severn, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty. But that’s quite a gobfull so lets call him Eddie Gaffe. He was off on a junket to Oz where he rather tactlessly put his foot in his mouth on air when talking about the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. According to Eddie the risk that you might die while obtaining a DOEA is part of the thrill for young people and was a reason for the initial success of the scheme here in the UK.

Of course last week we had Andy Gaffe or His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, telling us that in the scheme of thing bankers bonuses were minute and that we should not throw the baby out with the bath water. He was also concerned for non-dom millionaires (ie his golfing mates) when the loop hole allowing them to pay nothing despite living here is closed.

You might very well ask what exactly gives these people the right to go around spouting the biggest load of hot air that rumbles in their bellies. It’s quite simple really they are related to the Head of State. I remember a mini outcry on the blogosphere not so long ago when it seemed that President Sarkozy’s son might get preferential treatment because he was the related to the head of the French State. Words like “emperor” and “nepotism” were bandied about. It seemed it was only unreasonable that this sort of disgraceful preferential treatment should occur in a foreign country, that is nothing to do with us, because they were.... errr..... foreign.

So are Andy and Eddie not getting preferential treatment because they were born into the House of Gaffes?

Isn't His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Philip Arthur George, Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Great Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Member of the Order of Merit, Knight of the Order of Australia, Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Honorary Member of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Chief Grand Commander of the Order of Logohu, Member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Canadian Forces Decoration, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, or as he would like to be, George VII, going to be getting the top job in the nation because he is the eldest son of the Head of State?

If this is not all the greatest argument for a republic what is?


  1. Hmm, Mr Munguin, Yes, the fact that Charlie is going to be king because his ma's the queen, is indeed the greatest argument against monarchy. It is indiscriminate in it's conferring of power on a man like Charles. He becomes king purely on the basis of his birth, and not upon any qualities, talents, attributes of his own.

    He doesn't become king because of any deeds he carries out, nor of any truths he tells. He will become king anyway, he always walked the path to kingery. Nothing he did or said would make this more or less likely.

    In his position, he can say nothing which will make his ascension more likely, and neither can he say anything which will make it less likely. It really doesn't matter.

    If we think that the monarchy is wrong, that rule by hereditary principle is wrong, we should attack the principles and not the actors.

    I don't think Charles should be heir, I don't think he should become king. I just don't think about Charles the person when I think that.

    I'm not sure we should care much, or give much notice to what the princes and princesses say.

    And anyway, what Edward said made much sense. Kids aren't going to Cub Scouts these days cos getting your 'Health and Safety' badge or 'Clenliness Champion' stripe just ain't got the same ring to it. As far as I'm aware (and that isn't much) the Chookie Embra Wards is still v.v.popular.

    And I remember the incident he was referring to, and yes it did lend a 'cachet' to the awards. They were seen as dangerous, and by implication both more exciting, and more meaningful. It did them no harm, though that was back in the bad old days of 'risk' and would probably kill the whole scheme nowadays.

  2. I think in Scotland there isn't the same affection for the Royals as there is in England.Apart from the Labour activists in Larkhall that is.
    So if we want rid of them, the easiest way would be Independence with Liz as Head of State: when she pops her clogs, a referendum on forming a Scots Republic.

  3. Sophia: I agree with a lot of what you say. But I’m afraid that life is not an intellectual exercise and these people are their own worst argument. If the actors were all exemplary upstanding figures who we could respect, that would be used by the Monarchists as an argument for keeping them. So then, why can’t the fact that they are a bunch of, in my opinion, useless freeloaders not be used as an argument against them?
    It would be great if we all did not care what these people do and say, but I’m sorry to say that is not going to happen while there are still people who are starry eyed at the sight of an HRH and when the press gives miles of column inches to tittle tattle regarding even the most junior of them.
    Why are these people where they are? Do they even know what a CV is? I very much doubt it because they get there titles and honorifics because of who they are and not because of what they can or have done.
    One other thing is that the position is not inherited indiscriminately. If Charles had been a Charlene then then his future would have looked altogether different. Ask Anne.

  4. Conan: I agree just don’t see us Scots going Doe eyed over them just because they have an HRH. And let’s face it Brenda only ever spends 2 weeks officially in this country. It use to be ten days until they gave us that, as Billy Connolly described it pretend wee Parliament when they graciously upped it to 14. Gee Thanks!

    How many people who come to Edinburgh come during that 14 days in the hope of seeing HRH for only that reason, I don’t know but I would guess at none. Guess it’s only fair that Brenda fills out her natural but I just do not see Charles III as being a very good King. I can’t even see the English being prepared to put up with his antics so he had better watch out or he will go the way of his earlier namesake.

  5. Like most people I think that the Queen has done a good job as head of state. Come to that her dad did a good job too from what I've heard. It seems from the "Thank God for a good King: Thank God for a good People" story that there was an rapport between them at the time.

    Anyway, given the role of the head of state here the Queen has more than fulfilled her duties: opening things; reading the guff that successive governments have made her read; signing stuff into legislation; meeting ambassadors; meeting heads of state; giving them dinners; having garden parties; trying to look interested in the boring rubbish that people say to her; wearing a crown and riding in a golden coach a bit like Cinerella. She's been good. If she'd been up for election, I'd have voted for her on the basis she would be infinately better that President Blair or Thatcher or Kinnock or whatever..

    I don't know or much care what the future of the English crown is, but I completely agree with Conan as to the future of the Scottish head of state.

    (Personally I think Charles will blow it by getting involved in politics and by insisting his wife be Queen.)

  6. The Socialist Republic of Scotland - I'll vote for taht.

  7. I'll vote for any republic Scunnert. That way when they turn out to be crap there's always a chance of getting rid of them.

  8. Tris: yes the Queen possibly has done a good job, although the fact that she always has a face like a broken plate indicates to me at least that she does her duty with bad grace. For God’s sake would it be so difficult for her to smile from time to time. I know that if I lived in one of 6, 300 room palaces in the lap of luxury (if she felt like paying for it and not her more usual Tupperware party) with the very best medical care to keep you going well past the Tory date of retirement, I would be laughing like the proverbial drain. Just like her and Liberace I would be laughing all the way to the bank, pointing to my expensive art collection and saying “do you like them? You paid for them!”

    Why exactly do we need a President at all? In the 21st Century do we need a titular head of state with no power. The US does well enough without a division like that and we all know how keen they are on the division of power, checks balances and so on. Get rid of the monarchy I say and farm out her silly duties to various Secretaries of State, Ministers and so on. We have a Foreign Secretary do we not? So why can’t he represent our country abroad and meet foreign dignitaries? Oh yes he already does. The Queen and Royals are only any use because foreigners get starry eyed over royalty and flock to them like the proverbial flies to ****. They think that these people still have the ability to sway decisions here at home and so by wining and dining them and making a fuss they might get that arms contract or whatever. Is the French or German state so massively disadvantaged by not having these blue blooded ambassadors? Well if so I don’t think Scotland would lose out from having a similar disadvantage as these countries economies are so much better off than ours.

    As for Big Ears, I agree he will be a terrible King. I really think that if they let him have a go a Republic will be several steps nearer. So for that reason alone I really want him to be the next King. Incidentally I was astonished at his list of titles, he has plenty of them but I racked my brain to think of a single achievement.

  9. Scunnert: I was thinking more of a Social Democratic Republic are Socialist Republics not usually one party affairs?

  10. Tris: I don't think that just any Republic will do. Is change for the sake of change not a Thacherite way of doing things.

  11. Personally, I think that Gordon could address the recession by selling the Queen, her family, her relations and all their assets to the highest bidder.

    Incidentally, we've been "reigned over" by a Queen all my life so why don't we live in the United Queendom? Maybe things will change when Mandelson takes over?

  12. Brownlie: I think the trouble with that would be that nobody would want her and blood sucking brood. It’s all very well to enjoy the benefits of someone else’s Royal Family without the need to pay for it. Not that we are actually entitled to know how much it actually costs. The only entitlements around seems to be old Taxi Doors’s entitlement to more titles.

    Yes Mandelson will probably make himself the Queen. (I'm sorry that was cheap.)

  13. I've just noticed that comment Munguin, when I was removing a spam advertising post.

    It was a bit cheap. Mandleson may have many faults, (what am I saying 'may have'?) but his sexuality is his business. He doesn't flaunt it in any way. It can't be any more remarkable that some of the weirdos in parliament.