WHEN I was younger, big royal events came along only once in a blue moon.
We had the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 then after that, nothing. There was more monarchy-based pageantry in North Korea.
5After Charles and Diana’s marriage, there was nothing for years, but now it feels like we are breaking out the bunting and the plastic flags every other weekendCredit: Getty5Fly-pasts down the Mall? Done that. Put Brian May on the roof of the Palace? Done that as wellCredit: Rex FeaturesNow, though, it feels like we are breaking out the bunting and the plastic flags every other weekend. It’s a constant stream of weddings, funerals and jubilees. And it’s not over yet because in May, there’s a Coronation.
It must be a nightmare for the organisers, because how do they make it feel different?
And bigger. And better. Fly-pasts down the Mall? Done that. Put Brian May on the roof of the Palace? Done that as well. Soldiers marching up and down? Been doing that for centuries.
Whatever they come up with, though, it’d better be good. Because I have a sneaking feeling there won’t be another Coronation after this one. It’ll be the last.
For many years, there have been questions about the Royal Family. People have said it costs too much and that it’s stupid to have a hereditary head of state. And now, of course, those questions are getting louder.
People are saying that thanks to Prince Andrew and Harry’s book, the whole royal thing is broken, that you could take it down to Jay Blade’s Repair Shop barn but the experts would be forced to conclude that all of the king’s horseman and all of the king’s men couldn’t possibly put it back together again.
I see their point. The monarchy is built on a foundation of mysticism. It derives its magic powers from forces we don’t understand. It’s an institution built on fairy dust. And that is lost somewhat when they’re all falling in dog bowls and, like Prince Andrew, giving money to girls they’ve never met.
At a Coronation, the congregation is expected to believe that a normal person goes under some kind of cloth, with an archbishop and some potions, and emerges a few moments later as a king.
That might have worked in the Middle Ages and it was still just about working at the Queen’s Coronation back in 1953. But now? Nah.
People are going to look at the scene in May when Charles is anointed and go, “What the bloody hell is that all about?”
The Australians and Canadians will then excuse themselves, along with most of the rocky islands dotted round the world’s oceans, and then we’ll have a vote here.
And everyone will decide they’d rather have an elected president.
Really? You mean like Joe Biden, or Emmanuel Macron or Vladimir Putin?
Of course, here, our head of state doesn’t have the ability to do much of anything at all.
They can dissolve Parliament — which right now wouldn’t be such a bad idea — and, theoretically, they can start a war. But mostly they just go around the country being famous and opening ramps at libraries.
And can you even begin to imagine the brightly coloured, prime-time X Factor candidate selection process that would be created to find a suitable person?
The mere thought of it makes a little bit of sick come in my mouth.
Because I know that, after months of constant shiny floored nonsense and telephone voting, there’d be a shortlist of two, Georgia Toffolo and Joey Essex.
And shortly after one of them won, you’d look at William and Kate and think: “You know what, I’d rather have them.”
Feisty Eva gets even more hot
5Eva Green, full of vim and vigourCredit: Getty THE actress Eva Green described her film crew as “peasants” and the executive producer as “pure vomit”, we heard this week.
So, not only a great actress and beautiful but also full of vim and vigour as well.
I’ve always liked her. And now I like her even more.
Forget E.T and hunt the killer rocks
AN asteroid the size of a Transit van screamed over South America this week, at an altitude of just 2,200 miles.
5Neither NASA nor any of the other big agencies had a clue a huge asteroid was heading or way. It had been spotted by an amateur stargazer in CrimeaCredit: RexThere are satellites that are further away than that. It was, by any definition, a very close shave.
Did we see it coming? Well, yes. Just three days earlier, it had been spotted by an amateur stargazer in Crimea. But neither NASA nor any of the other big agencies had a clue it was there.
They claim they know the whereabouts of all the really big asteroids. The 10km monsters that would go fully Michael Bay on our behinds. And they reckon they have a handle on 90 per cent of those which are one kilometre in diameter.
But the ones that are smaller than this, which could still kill hundreds of millions of people if they landed badly? They reckon about half have not been spotted.
If you are wondering why, you have to remember what Billy Bob Thornton told the president in the movie Armageddon. “Our object collision budget is about $1million. That allows us to track about three per cent of the sky. And begging your pardon, sir, but it’s a big-ass sky.”
That being said, I think we’d all breathe a little more easily if they stopped searching for signs of life on the other side of the universe, which we’ll never be able to meet or even talk to. And concentrate on finding the killer rocks which are in our back garden.
CHINA WON’T LISTENWE were told this week that if you buy a Chinese-made coffee machine it could well be listening to all the conversations you have in your kitchen.
And it’s not just coffee machines. It’s television sets and doorbell cameras and hot tubs. Everything, everywhere in your house is listening to what you say. And watching what you do.
Right. I see. So I am expected to believe that right now, in Beijing, there’s a man in headphones, in front of a screen, watching me talking to the cleaning lady about getting more bin bags. And is there another man sitting next to him who’s watching you trying to unblock the sink?
Because that would mean they’d need six billion people doing nothing all day apart from listening to the whole non-Chinese world being as dull as ditch water.
HS2 is a load of bull
WHEN the economy is broken, it’s the job of government to employ as many people as possible to build important new stuff. This is how Germany got its autobahns and America got the Hoover Dam.
5The Hoover Dam did what HS2 can’t, it seemsCredit: GettyHere, though, things are different. Because we are getting a railway line that cuts the journey time from London to Birmingham by four seconds. And now it seems we aren’t even getting that.
Sources inside the HS2 project say that it’s too complicated and expensive to get the line all the way to Euston in London, so it’ll stop at Old Oak Common.
Yup. That’s what we’re getting, folks. Not a bridge across the Channel or a new nuclear power station or a sewage system that keeps our faeces out of the nation’s rivers. But a new railway line that will only benefit people in Old Oak Common who wake up in the morning and think: “I want to go to the Bullring today.”
And how many people is that? Well at a rough guess, I’d say none.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk