The lords and ladies of the realm need not fear - they still have vital role to play

Now that the hereditaries have lost their day-jobs, I understand that a lot of them are planning to go into tourism, where they will once again have the chance to shine for Britain. This time as an asset for the British Tourist Board.

For this purpose all lords, even the young ones, will be required to dress up to look their age by donning tweeds, monocles and fob watches and carrying canes. They will sport wild thatches of hair on the sides of their heads, and sit motionless in rocking-chairs while American tourists are brought in quietly behind their backs, being instructed by their guides not to talk too loudly or throw food.

Some of the clever lords will renovate their suburban homes to resemble atmospheric castles, with deliberately engineered draughts whistling in under the doors and around the stairwells at all times of day and night. The more energetic ones will wrap themselves in ermine and commandeer small punts to take Japanese visitors on fishing expeditions from the banks of their rivers.

Britain will become known as the land of the smiling lord. Every foreign visitor will pick up leaflets in Heathrow Airport decorated by photos of mysterious and alluring lords who will do for Britain what geishas do for Japan and koala bears do for Australia. Tourists will study the behaviour of this indigenous tribe of people, unique to our shores, any encounter with which will offer visitors ... "a rare and precious insight into a uniquely British way of life".

Prices will be high, of course. A tour of a stately home is already expensive. For those willing to pay for the pleasure, even closer encounters will be possible. American businesses will take their best-performing sales staff on incentive trips to serve tea to lords, to sit in baronial halls with lords, to watch lords hunt stag, to have their accents derided by lords. In short to be lorded over, in the good old-fashioned way.

Such a potentially profitable business will raise its share of problems. Unscrupulous lords will employ their cooks and gardeners to stand in for them while they themselves fly off to take part in unlordly activities such as yachting on the Costa del Sol or shopping in New York.

The British Tourist Board will issue warnings for tourists to be on their guard against the possibility that the gentleman with the coat of arms and the pedigree may in fact turn out to be a fraud or an impersonator. Any person claiming the right to sit in the British parliament - it will warn - cannot possibly be regarded as an authentic British lord.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before