Tuesday, 27 July 2010


The Queen has decided to take her family on a little holiday, not this time to her own house in the peaceful Scottish countryside at Balmoral, but on a cruise around the Western Isles. This cruise used to be a regular feature of the royal family’s annual 2 month break until John Major pulled the plug on the state footing the bill for a royal yacht, and the Queen declined to pay for it herself.

This year, however, the Queen has chartered, at her own expense, a cruise ship, aptly named the ‘Hebridean Princess’, so that she can enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery of the Scottish islands. But, when I say “at her own expense”, that isn’t entirely true.

It seems that whilst the Queen and large numbers of her extended family are enjoying their break, the country is picking up a massive bill for their security, including the use of a Royal Navy warship at around £3/4 million, together with divers, MoD police launches, Scotland Yard body guards and local police. Although the cost of royal security is never divulged (the government says for security reasons; some others might say because we would be horrified at the amount), it is estimated that the cost for the 10 days is likely to be well over £1 million.

Although this blog is republican in nature, I personally have no particular grudge against the Queen. It’s not an easy job in the first place, made much more difficult by media attention, hungry for stories as trivial in nature as what she has for breakfast, and a set of selfish children and grandchildren who frequently abuse their privilege. I tend to have sympathy for her rather than anything else. She’s been lumbered with the job, like it or not, and worse, she’s been lumbered with the family from hell.

However, at this time when we are all tightening our belts, getting ready for the spending review that is to come, with reductions in spending of between 25% and 40%, a frightening amount, I wonder at the wisdom of the royal family insisting on such an expensive holiday for themselves.


  1. I'd have thought that you'd be happy the Queen is spending more time in her Scottish realm, with her Scottish subjects.

  2. But she's not Dean... she's on a cruise.

    I wanted to go and see her to ask if she couldn't do something about this 'junior partner' business, and when I showed up at the palace at Holyrood, they said she was away and wouldn't be back till next June!

    They offered me the Governor General, that wee Liberal blokey that was second choice, but i declined.... I want the real thing.

    She's not even anwering her cell phone Dean.

    I don't know what to do.

    Maybe you could call her and get her to give me a ring... just leave a message if I'm out!!

    BTW, I have the feeling that in Scotland she is Queen of Scots rather than of Scotland. I'm not sure if we actually are her "subjects".

  3. Hey, Dean, where do you stand on all this ER2/ER1 stuff?

    I'm absolutely a republican but consider the ER2 thing to be a right royal slap in the face for Scotland. They moved sharpish to rename JR6 as JR1.

  4. Of course her own money is more or less what her and her ancestors have stolen off uncle Tom cobbly and all but especially the state over the centuries.

  5. yeah but its only so she can keep a close eye on them

  6. I know you're asking Dean naldo (nice to see you again btw), but I thought I'd chip in with my view.

    Elizabeth is I as far as I'm concerned... as she is for Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

    It was suggested by Winston Churchill, that when a sovereign had the same name as previous sovereigns in England and Scotland, the higher number of the two would pertain to the UK monarchy. Thus Elizabeth II.

    Apparently there was a bit of bother back in 1952 when the first street furniture with the letters “EIIR” appeared in Scotland, and indeed in Leith the first pillar boxes with that cipher were destroyed. (I suspect Sophia Pangloss had a hand in that.) Since that time, the cipher used in Scotland on all Government and Crown property and street furniture has carried no lettering, but simply the Crown of Scotland from the Honours of Scotland. However, a court case, MacCormick v Lord Advocate, contesting the style ‘Elizabeth II’ within Scotland, was lost in 1953. (Sourced from Wikipedia.)

    I think Churchill’s suggestion may have been accepted by the governments of all the 16 countries of which she is Queen, but not necessarily by the people. I guess that she IS Elizabeth II of Northern Ireland and of Wales!

  7. Well Munguin, there's a lot of money been stolen by a lot of people from a lot of people(and organisations.

    Much of what the kings stole was stolen from the Church, and let's be honest, if they hadn't stolen it, the church would have just drunk it, or hoarded it... and it would belong to the Vatican now!

  8. Hum... Imagine a holiday, on a boat with all your family Niko.... Yuk!

    Anyways...how are you? How did you get on on Monday?

  9. Naturally the numbering is as Tris said. Though I'd like to chip in my few coppers on the matter...

    As a staunch royalist [as opposed to mere monarchist], I feel that she is ERII & I until Francis, Duke of Bavaria claims the throne, as he is more senior in family decent [following the Brit principal of male preference]- he'd then become Francis II, by the Grace of God etc etc.... though to see that happen we need to undo the bigoted act of settlement...

  10. p.s does Her Maj even have a cell phone [scratch that americanism, MOBILE phone]?

  11. hope the midges get in her knickers and bite her bum.July 27, 2010 3:50 pm

    Queenie will be ok as long as her ship doesn't encounter ferocious Somali pirates. The Royal Navy tend to back off when the fuzzy wuzzies start shooting.
    Seems strange that people enjoy priviledge depending on which womb they came out of. We are in the 21st Century yes ?

  12. My lifetime's pension saving wouldn't fund their first night's supper.

  13. OR... Welcome to our humble republic:

    I think you'd have to get Mrs OR to open her garden to the public at a fiver a time (well worth it too, I might add).

    Soon raise money for their meals!!

    Mind you, at £300,000 for a couple of weeks to charter the wee boat, I'd kinda expect full board!

  14. Mr Midgie Man...

    ewwwww... that's a fate I wouldn't wish on anyone. I went camping once up north... and was stupid enough to take "bath" in the river at the bottom of the field about five o'clock..... what a night of misery I had after that!

    Somali pirates.... nah, much worse than that is a band of the Wee Frees (Brownlie and crew) if Her Majesty takes a wee drink on the Sabbath! They can spot you enjoying yourself from 5 miles away....

    Hey Brownlie, where are you my man? My mum's been looking for your blog...well, so have I!!

  15. Dean....well, your man Cameron promised to that until he got the keys to number 10, then it was ditched. I expect he'll have to try a different ploy to get the Catholic vote next time!!

    Of coure HM has all the latest gadgets. I bet she has a Wii too, only hers will be a Royal Wii... boom boom!!

    ..... and President Obama gave her an iPod.

  16. Who can argue with any of that? Well, the royals could (in theory): "Orf with his head!"

    Incongruous as this might seem, I'm not much of a royalist. Not sure we need them really, or really want them. But I am a pragmatist, as I suspect the writer of this excellent piece is.

    So I think we don't defenestrate the foppish, interbred bloodsuckers until we've got something better (and I mean something *better* - ie, not a President) with which to replace the vital sovereign symbol that is our current head of state (even if her offspring are a bunch of Scots-Dutchoid - apologies - expensive numpties).

    When she dies, half-Welsh as I am, I will not tolerate that moronic Prince as my King. "Prince of Wales" my arse. I won't tolerate any of his challenged children for that matter. Actually, I reckon that that's when it will all end (the monarchy, I mean), not with a bang but with the death of a great Queen and an act of parliament (which is far lamer than a whimper).


    Sorry about this comment, tris. It must be quite disturbing. It seems that that part which made me believe, years ago as a firebrand (pissed) student, that I was some kind of usefully idiotic theoretical anarcho-syndicalist is still ticking away somewhere in the back of my red-star T-shirt.

    Like a pacemaker.

    It must be the royal thing that triggers it. Clearly, I need some therapy. Better get back to my blog... :)

  17. Ha... yes Denverthen.... therapy.

    I think that probably this is what counts as therapy... you know, typing out what you think... That done you can get on with the important things in life like.... oh, whatever.....

    Actually it didn’t really seem in the least strange to me. The points are good. More or less Elizabeth has been a good Queen, but the problem with the monarchical system is that whether you like it or not that rude, unpleasant, stuck up, selfish man, or his son will be King.

    Mind you I reckon that he may well bring down the monarchy.

    Of course the whole silly system is the cause of the whole silly system not working... That is to say that imagine that back in the days when Charlie was a young man, they had to try to find him a princess, and she had to be a protestant Christian, and she had to be a virgin. In fact she had to be untouched by any possible scandal. And because Charlie was quite content to enjoy all the privileges of the job and cherry pick the responsibilities, he was allowed to wait until he was half way through his 30s before he made that choice.

    Of course trying to find a protestant princess who was a virgin and around 30, young enough to bear princes, and old enough to amuse HRH, was a thankless task. Most of the princesses were Catholic; and all of them had been round the block several times. So he had to settle for the only young virgin of sort of aristocratic breeding that would have him. She was 18; he was 33 (or thereby); she was dim, he was serious; she was lovable, personable and adored by the public; he was stuffy, old before his time and no one much thought about him. They were a marriage made in hell. And on the day after his wedding he was arranging a tryst with his mistress, a horsy faced female from the county set.

    He’s always wanted everything his way; and because he is who he is he’s always got it his way. So he has the wife he wanted, though by the looks of things it was more fun having her as a mistress than a wife. She is a lazy witch who “doesn’t like hot climates” and prefers to be at home.... if you please with her grandchildren to Mr Parker Bowles’ children than getting on with the job we pay her so handsomely to do.

    So, when the Queen dies... you will have him and his horsy faced lazy wife, whether you care for it or not. However, hopefully he will rage and rant that he wants his wife to be Queen. And the Archbishop of Canterbury (let’s hope it’s a new one by then) will kick off about the sanctity of marriage and Mr Parker Bowles still being alive... tra la la... and hopefully, because it’s the last thing we are interested in, the public will tell him or them to buggar off!!

    I could always stand in until we find a suitable alternative if you like. I fancy Holyrood House!

  18. The end of the monarchy will not happen without revolution and bloodshed, the loyalists of this Kingdom shall see to that.

  19. p.s I am not refering to me, but the dangers of forcing these kinds of issues for society during difficult socio-economic times:

    spanish civil war,
    Northern Ireland dispute

    etc etc

  20. I'm glad to hear that you're not going to take to the streets Dean my boy.

    I'd not want to see you thrown into one of Kenny's 'oubliettes'.

    I wonder what kind of bother there will be. Maybe I'm doing the man an injustice. Perhaps he will accept that Mrs Parker-Bowles will have to remain Mrs Parker Bowles....when he becomes King Chic.

    On the other hand, I doubt that many people care enough about that to take to the streets. Aren't most loyalists elderly?

    There will be plenty taking to the streets over the 80 million Turks that will doubtless be headed our way tomorrow, and over the fact that 40% of everything is about to disappear... and that if we want anything done in the future we should rely on volunteers.... and keep our fingers crossed that someone turns up.

  21. I think she definitely has a cell phone. At least "she" used one a lot in "The Queen" (movie). That was a cool yacht she had BTW. Who would have imagined that it would be a TORY Prime Minister who would take it away?

  22. See Dean... She has got a cell. She used it in the movie!!! LOL

    Yeah Danny it was indeed a cool yacht. I was thinking of getting one, so I could be cool too... but I think another Tory prime minister is going to take everything away from us shortly to pay for all the bankers' carry ons, so maybe I'd best keep my money under the bed!

    It needed a refit Danny and we simply couldn't afford it. We were broke, as usual! So she had to get used to being yachtless!

  23. We had a crazy president (Jimmy Carter) who, at a time of fiscal austerity in the 1970's, sold the presidential yacht. Of course it was little more than a rowboat compared with the Queen's yacht. But it did have a lot of history attached to it.

    Jimmy also reportedly announced to a startled White House staff one day that he had decided to sell Camp David. But cooler heads prevailed and the rustic retreat in the Maryland mountains remains in presidential hands.

  24. We could do with Jimmy across here Danny, selling off some of the palaces.

  25. Actually Danny, John Major was quite good at stuff like that. When parts of Windsor Castle burnt down, it fell to him to tell the Queen that the country simply couldn't afford to foot the bill for it to be rebuilt. As she loves the place I think it must have been a hard job.

    In another world the Queen would have been a businessman. She simply opened Buckingham Palace (a place she reputedly doesn't care for, and isn’t hers) to the public and charged an enormous amount for trippers to see the rooms that no one except the toffs had ever seen before.

    She paid for the restoration of Windsor (which also isn’t hers) at least partly out of that, and I think she got some sort of grant from the EU or Historic England or whatever they are called..

  26. PS: And the mystery is solved about what she carries in that handbag that seems to be more or less permanently attached to her arm. For years it was a mystery, since surely a Queen doesn't need ID....or money for that matter. Clearly that's where she carries her cell phone.

  27. ... and her sweets (candy)!

  28. "I could always stand in until we find a suitable alternative if you like. I fancy Holyrood House!"

    ROFL. And just what would you choose as your royal name, Your Majesty? Macbeth? Mind you, if you strip away all the Shakespearean nonsense, he actually wasn't all that bad. And there's a lot to be said for the return of a bit of Claymore Diplomacy.

    David Cameron seems to agree...

  29. Hum.....

    Kibng Tristan doesn't sound too cool does it?

    There's a few good names to chose from through from history:

    Còiseam mac Choinnich seems reasonable, but i'd have difficulty pronouncing it. I think I prefer Dub, who was king 962-967.

    MacBeth.... nah... although I've always fancied being a Thain.

  30. And before you ask Denver, 'Kibng' isn't a Scottish word, I'm just a terrible typist!!


  31. "Good King Dub". Like the sound of that, despite its alarmingly Garage music overtones.

    King Tristan. Hmm. I was too focused on the worn out tradition of monarchs using other people's names when they inherit the top 'job' to realise they might actually want to use their own.

    Also, "Tristan" could be a little too, er, Wagnarian for any respectible Scots chancer overlaird to use.

    Mind you, having said that, you'd be a sort of Cornish-Pictish-Norman hero-king. I can see it now: an island nation unified by an etymologically complicated name. I'm actually beginning to warm to the idea.

    I'll get my tributes ready - I've got some nice tomatoes in the garden. And some runner beans.

    Or do you royal types still only take gold?


  32. nah... a bag of spuds will and some tasty fresh tomatoes will do the trick nicely ta... and I'll get Isolde to peel them for the royal repast... seeing you've talked me into keeping my own name.

    Btw....If you're a gardener, you should have a look at the photos on Old Rightie's site. I'd give my back teeth for his garden!!


  33. *speechless*

    That's not a garden, that's "grounds". I knew it: Old Righty is one of them nobles. I'm surrounded by them! (Virtually.)

    All I've got is a few feet of growing earth, a bit of tired lawn and a shed full of tools I don't need. It seems I am but a vassal of you landed gentry and your ilk. And a pretty empty one at that. Must be why I make so much noise (empty vassals tend to).

    Lol? Er, okay. I'll get my coat...

  34. LOL.... idiot vassal, but amusing one for all that... you might make court jester yet!!

    (I'm only saying that beause I can't think of anything clever to say: I wore myself out with the "Royal Wii" joke above, that no one commented on... baaaa. Why do I bother!!??!!

  35. Do bother.

    My failure to notice your side-splitting pun which I missed ("Royal Wii" indeed! It does have an historically salient plumbing dimension as well, in the Victoriana sense, mind, so ten out of ten for depth. But, you know, leave it to us jesters in future, my liege) made me look back through your responses.

    That was a useful thing because I re-read this gem what you spoke in response to my drivel, and it's well worth repeating:

    "...the whole silly system is the cause of the whole silly system not working."

    Not just logical, that, but universally applicable - and wise too. Potentially an epigraph.

    See, that's why I like your blog. I can mine it (mining being in my genes, of course...ask half my male ancestors - if you know how to do a seance).

    Seriously though, that was a great observation, at least in the opinion of this internet serf. I shall read more attentively in future - and in anticipation.

  36. Oh lordy Denv... that's too complex for me... wiis and plumbing and depths all in one sentence is surely a record even for you... But yes. I know where my place is, and it sure as hell ain't making jokes... so you have the floor my good man. Do with it that which you will!!

    Yes, I was rather pleased with my 'whole silly system' speech which sadly until you noticed it went erm.... unnoticed.

    I'm delighted to be mined, but I hazard to warn you that for every lump of burnable coal there were tons of dross. (I draw for my example on the coal mining industry... what with you being one of the Welsh Denverthens....as opposed to the Cornish ones who were inclined to be a little Stannum offish!)

    Oh no. I promised I wouldn't do any more stand up, even if it relied on classics for its punch line!

  37. Sir, you are tue anthracite. (All fire and no smoke.)

    There can be no hired praise from even half a Welshman, like me.

    Changing the subject (I'm dog tired after a hard day so please understand that this might be the product of weariness) but "Denverthen" confuses me. I regret opting for a sobriquet that recalls an American city I haven't even seen, let alone lived in, for 30 years. I still don't know what possessed me to type that into the thing when I started my blog.

    Much as I value a reasonable level of online anonymity, as I'm sure you do too, "Denverthen" has become a bit of a pain in the arse, frankly. It just seems so nerdy but I just do not know how to get rid of it. Maybe the nuclear option (start again).

    I ramble. Good night, Your Majesty.

  38. Anthracite.... splendid... I am flattered beyond measure...

    I'm sure we can find a way to change your name without having to go for the nuclear option!

    Go to bed now.... ... that's a royal command!!