Friday, 24 March 2017

A Strange Family

Some people might consider me to be a bit strange but as far as I know my family history is a normal one. Of course, that might not be true and I may uncover some weirdness in my ancestors when I eventually get around to tracing my genealogy.

However, I doubt I will find anything as odd as the family that supposedly rule our country – the Royal Family.

People in Britain, either love them or loathe them. I’m indifferent to them if I’m honest.

Given our history, I find them fascinating in their eccentricity. Here are some odd things perhaps you never knew about the Queen and her clan.

Judge for yourself which one is the oddest.

(1) The Royal Family don’t have surnames. The Queen’s name is Elizabeth II and while she is supposed to belong to the House of Windsor, apparently nobody calls her Elizabeth Mary Alexandra Windsor.  When Kate Middleton married Prince William, she lost her surname (how careless) and became “Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge”.

(2) The Queen has won thousands of awards. Apparently Elizabeth has been awarded well over 380,000 honorary awards – for doing what I don’t know. I would imagine that smiling isn’t one of them because these days we rarely see her smile.

(3) It is illegal for anyone of her subjects to stand within 100 yards of the Queen when not wearing socks. I would love to see the powers that be enforce this law. Also, if you misuse a postage stamp containing the image of the Queen, it is considered an act of treason. I suspect this is why the Post Office has now made stamps sticky enough to apply to the envelope without licking it. Thank God for that! That sticky stuff on the back of stamps tastes disgusting.

(4) King Charles II decreed that there must be at least six ravens in the Tower of London because, he thought, that if they fly away then the monarchy will implode and fail and Britain will collapse in a heap of raven shit. I think politicians are doing a good job of trying to break Britain without these bloody ravens – but we won’t descend into politics at this stage.

(5) The Queen is the Duke of Lancaster, rather than Duchess. This is because Queen Victoria regarded a Duke as superior to a Duchess therefore gave herself (and all of those who would follow her on the throne) that masculine title.

(6) The Queen has two birthdays – her actual birthday in April and a made up (and more traditional one) in June. Lucky her!

(7) The Queen is not legally obliged to have a passport or driving license. She is the most travelled person in Britain, I guess and I have seen photos of her behind the wheel. I wonder who taught her to drive. I imagine that he was forced to pass her even if she was a terrible driver.

(8) It is illegal to die in any Royal building. That means the Tower of London isn’t a Royal building because Henry VIII had an absolutely amazing time butchering people there by proxy. It does make me wonder about what would happen were an MP to die in the Houses of Parliament. What can they do to him? Give him a jail sentence?

(9) The Queen no longer has any real power. These days that is up to the government or as she refers to it “my government”. When we go to war it is the Prime Minister who declares this – not the Queen. She has no say on the matter.

(10) The Queen owns all swans on the River Thames. These swans are actually marked with a ring. Moreover she owns all swans in open water in the UK – but perhaps it’s too difficult and dangerous to catch the nasty hissing buggers. Even more strangely she owns all sturgeons, dolphins and whales in British waters. So if a whale pops into our waters on its way to a holiday somewhere else, for that brief period of time, it is the Queen’s pet.

(11) Apparently the Queen can fire the entire Australian government. I doubt whether this is still true but she must have been sorely tempted to exercise this right when Tony Abbott was the man in charge down under. Sorry – shouldn’t do politics!

(12) The Queen is immune from prosecution. I suspect if she were to beat up Piers Morgan in a fit of rage (who wouldn’t want to do that?) she might be forced to abdicate. If she did that she would go up in my estimation.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. I’m sure if we delve deeper we can uncover even more weirdness and eccentricity.

I need to be careful though – as one of her “loyal subjects” I might end up in the Tower of London for this post.

 I’ll have to learn how to cook raven pie!


Elephant's Child said...

Some of these I knew, some I didn't.
And how I wish she would fire our Government. Preferably from a cannon.

River said...

I'm as indifferent as you are. Isn't the Queen's surname actually Mountbatten, not Windsor? Or whatever Phil-the-Greek's surname is. Something opolopolopoulous maybe?

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

A 21 cannon salute with the worst Aussie politicians flying out across the Coral Sea perhaps? And sharks waiting with open jaws?

Sounds good to me.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Apparently Phil the lunatic tactless Greek did pick Mountbatten but like Kate, he lost his surname when he married Liz and inherited the HRH before his name. Careless muppet that he is!




JahTeh said...

The Princess Royal was the first to sign an official document with the name of Mountbatten-Windsor and that was her second marriage. The Queen changed the House of Windsor to Mountbatten-Windsor not so long ago, probably a present to Phil for not naming him Prince Consort. He didn't have a last name because he was a Prince of Greece.
As for the ravens nicking off, no chance, their wings have been clipped. Callous Brits.
How can you wonder who taught her to drive, she joined ATS during the war and was in the Motor Brigade or whatever it was called. I bet she could still strip down an engine and change a tyre.
Owning the whales etc is not so great as she only owns the ones that end up dead on the beach and she's probably glad for the peasants to chomp on those.
She didn't fire the government, the drunken social climbing bumbling moron Governor-General did that but he was her representative so that goes in the 50-50 basket.
I wonder what she did with the portrait done by Rolf Harris, down in the dungeon as a dart board?

Here's one for you. Hidden away in Buck Palace is a huge refrigerator for her fur coats. I'm sure PETA wouldn't mind a dear old thing wearing a fur coat that was nearly 100 years old but you never know with these animal lovers and no one wants to see a Queen with egg on her face.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

I didn't know the ravens' wings had been clipped. That's utterly ridiculous. I also didn't know about the fridge for her fur coats.

Even stranger ...