WE KNOW YOU LOVE TO READ ABOUT THE ROY­ALS

On the in­ter­net, where hope dies, some will claim that they don’t want to read about roy­als and that Ir­ish me­dia should not cover such things. Liars!

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

This week was a good week for fans of minia­ture roy­als, be­cause the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex, Harry and Meghan, an­nounced that they have con­ceived a sprogling and po­ten­tial fu­ture head of state. Now, a dis­claimer. On the in­ter­net, where hope dies, some will claim that they don’t want to read about roy­als and that Ir­ish me­dia should not cover such things.

To which I say – You big ly­ing liars. You can’t lie to us at The Ir­ish Times, you ly­ing liars. We have the data. You love read­ing about the roy­als. The roy­als in­fu­ri­ate you, but they also con­fuse you, like a sexy ar­ro­gant lead from a 1990s rom com. You hate them, but you also want them to grind you un­der their heel and to speak to you in crisp posh vow­els while you touch your fore­lock and ut­ter some­thing quaint and agri­cul­tural from deep in the mud. You liars. I’m not fin­ished. “Rule me,” you whis­per when­ever the roy­als ap­pear on your news­feed. “Oh yeah, rule me good, you big dirty royal. Sub­ju­gate me for eight hun­dred years then turn up and speak Ir­ish to me, you im­pe­rial freak. Ooooh yeah king-per­son, take my an­ces­tors’ corn then come around and go on the Vik­ing Splash Tour. Oh yeah, take it! Take my land and give it to your wealthy cousin but then a few hun­dred years later come and visit the English Mar­ket and make a joke with a Corko­nian, you filthy, filthy monarch. Oh ma­tron! Lawks! Hubba hubba! Vroom vroom! Low lie, the fieeeelds of Athen­ryyyyy!”

And then you fall asleep for a while, be­fore fi­nally, weary and filled with shame, you write “Why is this news?” in the com­ment box be­low the ar­ti­cle. We see you. We know what you’re at. So, aware you wish to keep up this pre­tence that you’re ac­tu­ally else­where read­ing ar­ti­cles about data pro­tec­tion or cli­mate change, let me ex­plain who Harry and Meghan are.

Harry is a re­formed bad boy and WWII re-en­ac­tor who is a ginger, has been to war and knows Ant and Dec (I’m not sure which of these things is most trau­matic, to be hon­est with you). He is the Duke of Sus­sex, which means, I think, that he need not obey the laws of man. Mean­while, al­lit­er­a­tive ac­tress-turned-royal Meghan Markle for­merly ap­peared on the TV drama and/or cloth­ing op­tion, Suits, has been an out­spo­ken fem­i­nist blog­ger and is, these days, the sort of crazed rad­i­cal who opens her own car door. This caused a bit of a scan­dal re­cently be­cause ap­par­ently open­ing her own door de­prived some in­den­tured door-opener from en­act­ing their vo­ca­tional des­tiny.

Any­way, Meghan and Harry, along with fel­low blue bloods Will and Kate, are of­ten ac­claimed for “mod­ernising” the royal fam­ily. This means, I think, that they know about Twit­ter and have not yet been filmed beat­ing an in­so­lent street urchin with a sil­ver cane while an old widow woman in a shawl weeps. Fair dues to them, says you. They’re so re­lat­able.

Crack­co­caine

The news that this transat­lantic union has in­stantly led to more roy­als has been a source of de­light for many Bri­tish peo­ple who are tired of hav­ing to care about Europe or North­ern Ire­land or their chil­dren’s fu­tures. Yes, royal baby news is crack co­caine for those Bri­tons who have given up hope of bet­ter­ing their lot and see sit­com re­peats on UK Gold as “rolling news”. And the Bri­tish me­dia have also, as a con­se­quence, flocked around this news nugget. Many breath­less royal cor­re­spon­dents were clearly wait­ing for this mo­ment. The most avid of them may well have been present at the con­cep­tion. Nicholas Witchell is, I be­lieve, in­cu­bat­ing the egg.

It’s very timely. Based on the nor­mal ges­ta­tion pe­riod of hu­man ba­bies (royal ba­bies are phys­i­o­log­i­cally quite sim­i­lar to hu­man ba­bies) the new-born royal will hatch around the same time that Brexit will hatch. A royal baby may well be needed then. Who knows what type of govern­ment our neigh­bour­ing land­mass will have at that point? My money is on ei­ther a gru­elling dystopia in which the royal ho­muncu­lus will be in­stantly is­sued with a ski mask and their own petrol-guz­zling war char­iot (the famed Mad Max Brexit of David Davis) or else he/she will be at the apex of some sort of rigidly hi­er­ar­chi­cal un­der­ground colony of food hoard­ers (This is the model for a suc­cess­ful Brexit you’ll recog­nise from Ja­cob Rees Mogg’s fa­mous ral­ly­ing cry: “My fel­low nut­bags! Come sum­mer, we will live as ants!”).

Any­way, I’m a big fan of royal ba­bies and aris­to­brats in gen­eral. Simba, Je­sus, the Zuckerbaby, the Glee­son broth­ers, God­zooki, Prince Adam of Eter­nia, you name a princely in­fant and I’ll prob­a­bly think they’re great. My favourite UK royal, for ex­am­ple, is prince Ge­orge be­cause he is a small boy in­ex­pli­ca­bly dressed like an Ed­war­dian bank man­ager (he’s ba­si­cally cos­play­ing Ge­orge Banks in Mary Pop­pins) and, as read­ers of this col­umn will know, I find this de­light­fully ter­ri­fy­ing. I imag­ine him read­ing Shake­speare’s his­tory plays and some med­i­cal re­ports he has had com­mis­sioned on his fa­ther and grand­fa­ther while swirling brandy in his chubby paw and bid­ing his time. He feels very states­man­like to me and will make a fine monarch.

And this week, here in Ire­land, roy­alty ac­tu­ally looks like a half de­cent model for gen­er­at­ing fig­ure­heads. Sev­eral pres­i­den­tial de­bates in, I can’t help feel­ing that maybe the Brits have it right. Heads of state are ba­si­cally pre­tend bosses who cut rib­bons and smile while the real boss is off in a back­room look­ing at charts and pan­ick­ing. In Bri­tain they out­source the job of cre­at­ing these diplo­matic front­peo­ple to an aris­to­cratic fam­ily that came first in a game of “his­tory”.

Here in Ire­land the elec­torate have to en­dure the labour pains them­selves (Yes, I am say­ing that watch­ing the pres­i­den­tial de­bates is worse than giv­ing birth). And ul­ti­mately when the royal baby from such a fam­ily is held aloft on a clifftop by a wise old baboon (pos­si­bly Alan Titch­marsh), weep­ing, poo­ing and glow­er­ing with lofty en­ti­tle­ment, they’ll still emerge with more dig­nity than the av­er­age Ir­ish pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

‘‘ I’m a big fan of royal ba­bies and aris­to­brats in gen­eral, Simba, Je­sus, the Zuckerbaby, the Glee­son broth­ers, God­zooki, Prince Adam of Eter­nia

PHO­TO­GRAPH: STEVE PAR­SONS/AFP/GETTY

For­mer royal baby, fu­ture king: Ge­orge, with his royal sib­ling Char­lotte, at a royal event last week.

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