The Queen: My husband and I would like to tell you what we really think ...
On Tuesday, the Queen addresses both houses of Parliament for the umpteenth time in her reign. What if, instead of the platitudes written for her, she gave vent to 60 years of pent-up feelings about the British political class? What if she told us what she really thinks?
My lords and members of the House of Commons, I've called you all together because there's some things I've been wanting to get orf my chest for a long time. For 60 years, I've been reading out speeches written by other people – mostly by urbane men of a certain age who went to the right schools, know when to serve the fish course, where to pass the port, and who wear faint, ingratiating smiles all the time. Well frankly, I've had enough. Talk about bland! It's about time I told you all what I really think. So here goes: my Queen's Speech.
Let's start with the prime ministers. Every week, for six decades, along they've come to the palace for an audience. Some were all right. Old Churchill was a great man, but carried on for far too long. In the end, he didn't even know the name of the prime minister. Eden seemed to be not quite all there. Macmillan? Talked to me as if I was his beater. And Sir Alec – always such a gentleman, but really no more intelligent than one of the corgis.
Wilson? Too slippery by half. We always felt we should count the teaspoons after he'd left. He had a line in those awful Gannex raincoats, and tried to get Philip to wear one. Heath and Callaghan? Forever on about the unions. Scargill this, and Mick McGahey that. Honestly, by the time they'd finished, I could have joined a picket line! And then there was that Thatcher woman with that silly walk which looked as if she was expecting to step into something nasty at any moment. So aggressive, so angry all the time! Terribly wearing. What a relief when that nice Mr Major came along – very sweet, but really quite out of his depth, poor man.
Mr Blair, greatest peacetime prime minister, I hear one of you up in the press gallery cry. What a popinjay! You couldn't believe a word he said – like having a double-glazing salesman call round every Tuesday. At our last audience, he said the palace was far too big for me and if I ever wanted to sell up he'd be interested in making an offer. Then there was Gordon, who tried so hard. Always biting his nails and fidgeting as if he needed the smallest room. I once asked: "Do you need to go, Gordon?" But he said no, got angry, and threw one of the arrowroot biscuits across the room. I wouldn't have minded but it was still on the plate.
And so, we come to you, David Cameron. Well, in my line I'm used to being flattered, but every week it's like being addressed by that Stephen Fry character in Blackadder. "Majesty" this, and "Majesty" that. Typical Old Etonian. They think we can't see through all that excessive self-deprecation. My advice to you, Mr C, is: drop the oily manner and we'll get along a sight better.
There, I've said it. My husband and I feel much better now.
As dictated to David Randall
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