Gotta love those Royals: on the Tube, eating Big Macs, doing a day’s work

Just imagine the possibilities if the Royals were just like us...

Related Topics

It was a moment to make the nation proud.

The heir to the throne, throwing protocol to the wind, has travelled on the London Underground with his wife. He mastered the art of the Oyster card and was ushered to his seat where he stayed for a full three-minute journey.

The prince’s ride on the Tube, attended only by a few equerries, ticket-bearers, seat-finders and London Transport executives, is the first part of a plan to show that the royals are as in touch with the real world as any family in the UK.

The thinking behind the idea is simple. Not only will they be helped to understand how their subjects live, but allegations that their own lives are cosseted by privilege will be shown as unjust. Among the planned real-life experiences are:

  • The Queen is to eat a Big Mac. Although Her Majesty once enjoyed a Hamburger Deluxe at a state dinner in Washington, she has never actually eaten the food which is the staple diet of millions around the world. The Big Mac will be delivered to the Palace, prepared by kitchen staff, and eaten in the presence of an official photographer.
  • Prince Andrew will travel economy class to Australia. The globe-trotting prince has, in all the millions of miles he has flown, always travelled by private jet or in First Class. Later this year, he will undergo the full economy experience, waiting for hours before the flight, sitting in uncomfortable proximity to flatulent strangers on very small seats, wandering around blearily at Singapore airport before a few more hours of the same.
  • Prince Harry is to be entirely ignored at a party. Many problems the prince is experiencing, psychologists believe, are caused by the fact that everyone he meets want to talk, drink or sleep with him. He has fallen for the delusion that he is more interesting and attractive than in fact he is. At this carefully arranged party, he will spend most of the time in the kitchen, pretending to text on his iPhone.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh will spend a week in an old folks’ home. The famously resilient prince will be the guest of a modest home where he will sit in a semi-circle in a stiflingly hot room with a blaring TV showing a daytime chat show.
  • The Duchess of Cambridge will go to work. In a daring break with tradition, the wife of the heir to the throne will commute to a place of work, and stay there, working, for several hours. Since she has little experience outside working for her parents, her tasks will be straightforward. A call-centre is currently the favoured option.

That was all a bit rum, sisters

Tributes to Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters, who has died at the age of 94, have centred on the trio’s wholesome American charm and the clever close harmonies of their music. Yet those who like to divide music into neat categories – the bland or the edgy, the acceptable or the problematic – might usefully look at the story behind one of the Andrews Sisters’ biggest hits, “Rum and Coca-Cola”. The original lyrics were written in the early 1940s by the Trinidadian calypso musician Lord Invader, and poured scorn on the moral effects of visiting GIs on the behaviour of local women.

Invader’s song was plagiarised by a visiting US musician, cleaned up a bit and eventually became a No 1 hit in 1945 for the Andrews Sisters. Jauntily sung by three white American women, a hard-hitting satire was transformed into a jolly, middle-of-the-road pop tune. It is that version which has lived on. Admittedly, the fake, stolen calypso was banned by the BBC. The mention of Coca-Cola, a brand name, was quite unacceptable.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The plan could lead to up to 15,000 people being operated on annually  

The obesity crisis affects the whole of Europe... apart from France

Rosie Millard
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month  

General Election 2015: Politics is the messy art of compromise, unpopular as it may be

David Blunkett
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'