• Author:Ben Jones
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We went to London, but not all of us wanted to see The Queen

She was home. The flag was flying and the crowds were gathered. The guard were being changed. But we didn’t see Her Majesty. Not even a glimpse of her flicking through the Racing Post. Miss J was disappointed as Peppa did meet The Queen when she visited London in her recent film – Aoife’s cinema debut. Although our historical, sporting, cultural and nationhood indoctrination is going well – her current favourite songs are Ireland’s Call and Danny Boy – there was little too much excitement to see Liz and her big house today for my tastes.

It did however provide me with a great opportunity to explain her role – not as easy to do as you might think as she doesn’t have a meaningful one and why she has such a big house. Aoife now knows that Mrs Windsor doesn’t really have a job – and only does what she does because of the money we provide. Trying to put my republican tendencies aside for a moment, I still objectively believe that we are heading for a huge turning point. When The Queen passes away – given her age that is something that must be in people’s minds – the public mood will turn. I’m not saying the monarchy will end swiftly but it will need to change very quickly and significantly to survive.

The days of dozens and dozens on the public payroll will end. The pomp will need to be toned down. The outdated and displaced language used to describe ‘the firm’ and our elected representatives interactions with it will have to go. This week, the Prime Minister was described – as always – as being “in attendance on her majesty” as if she was a flunky rather than the people’s elected leader. It sticks in my throat – I believe in merit and not birth as your route to success and status – and the sympathy for all this nonsense will end at the same time of the extraordinary and popular reign of this monarch.

Until that day, we will have to continue to put up with the Nicholas Wicthell-style sycophantic drivel that comes with the territory. In the meantime, Miss J is much clearer after today about The Queen’s relevance to her life – she has none.

The rest of our day was a joy – aside from nursing a slightly sore head and receiving far less sleep than the body would have desired. Aoife was up and ready for action at 05:30 – excited about her day touring the sites of London. Big Ben. Green and St. James’s Park. The London Eye – from the ground, not the sky. South Kensington for museums – and her favourite; getting on and off the tube! We had a blast today – started in style at the majestic Wolseley, where we, ironically, breakfasted like monarchs.

Wearly legs aside, it has been a great day. This time tomorrow we will be home after the best hospitality possible to find anywhere in these islands. Buckingham Palace it may not be; and thank God for that. It has been our great pleasure to be in attendance on our friends; God save them!


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