It’s Jubilee weekend soon, celebrating 60 years of Elizabeth II’s reign (the second longest next to Victoria). To celebrate, I thought I’d give you my top five facts on the British Monarchy. Add your own in the comments!
Prince Charles is an interfering wizard
Like Dumbledore but on the wrong side, Prince Charles likes nothing better than to stick his nose where it isn’t wanted, particularly on his pet subject alternative medicine. He’s been exposed secretly writing to British government officials pushing for his wacky ideas to become policy, and enjoys endorsing companies like Ainsworths of London which in 2011 was caught selling homeopathic polio and typhoid vaccines. Accio yellow fever!
Gender equality only just arrived
And only then because of the embarrassment it would have caused if Kate and William had been silly enough to have a baby girl followed by a baby boy. You see, up until, well, now, the male heir of a royal family took precedence for the throne. We only have a Queen now because she had no younger brother. That’s right. For hundreds of years older sisters have been denied rule if they had a younger brother. Men being more qualified and less obsessed with tiaras or something.
Freedom of religion still hasn’t arrived
A future British monarch may now marry a Catholic, but may not become a Catholic, because they’re all evil backstabbing bastards with funny customs. In 1701 there was a little panic that the selfishly childless William III would die and leave these shores wide open for the Catholics to come back and steal our jobs and women, and probably fiddle with our altar boys, so a law was passed banning them from being monarch. The marriage ban was addressed in 2011 at the same time as the gender problem, but the monarch still can’t convert if he/she wanted to because you can’t be head of the Church of England and be a Catholic. It’s a totally different God. Imagine a Rabbi being Chairman of the Pork Sandwich Tasting Society. Ridiculous.
The Queen owns the swans
All the unmarked mute swans in Britain, they’re all the Queen’s. She can’t do anything with them, it’s illegal to kill one, although she gives them as gifts now and again. In 2007 Prime Minister Gordon Brown tried to remove her ownership and title, Seigneur of the Swans, but presumably nothing came of that because in 2009 she attended the annual Swan Upping ceremony (where the birds are counted and checked) for the first time ever. I can’t find any update so perhaps some sort of use-them-or-lose-them deal was struck. Apparently she also owns all the dolphins and whales around British waters. I would definitely want to keep the swans. I just like saying the word. Swan.
The Queen was a hologram before Tupac made it cool.
Okay, okay, the Tupac thing wasn’t a hologram. But it was still cooler than the weirdly unsatisfying holoqueen portrait from 2003 (pic at top of post). Read the PDF for a full description of nearly a decade-old technology or just look at the other portrait of Liam Gallagher in the document and laugh with me.