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...

Share
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.

www.terenceblacker.com

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Online Advertising Account Executive , St Pauls , London

£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Advertising Account Executive - Online, Central London

£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...

Senior Infrastructure Consultant

£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...

Public Sector Audit - Bristol

£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Wages are on the rise (so long as you skew the figures)

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
 

It’s two decades since ‘education, education, education’, but still Britain’s primary school admissions are a farce

Jane Merrick
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal