Queen Darlene comes clean

Yesterday, we brought you an extract from the sensational trial currently taking place in the High Court, in which Mr and Mrs Norbert are suing the Tory party for 15 years of misrule on the grounds that Mr Norbert has never had a job during that time and Mrs Norbert has been awaiting an operation since 1985. Counsel for the Norberts hascalled the Queen as a surprise witness, on the grounds that as it is Her Majesty's Government being called into question, she should be allowed to defend it. We join the case as Her Majesty takes the witness stand.

Judge: May I say what a pleasure it is to have you in one of our humble courts? I don't suppose your Majesty remembers, but we met briefly during a Buckingham Palace garden party several years ago...

Queen: It is quite possible. One meets so many people.

Judge: Yes, I'm sure. Perhaps you remember my saying how good the begonias were this year...

Counsel: M'lud?

Judge: What?

Counsel: May I continue?

Judge: Oh, yes. Your witness, I think.

Counsel: Now, your Majesty, you are, I think, Elizabeth Windsor, Queen of England?

Queen: Correct.

Counsel: What is your occupation?

Queen: I am Queen of England.

Counsel: No - I mean, what do you actually do?

Queen: I rule.

Counsel: Via what agency?

Queen: My government.

Counsel: Ah ha! And how do you rate this government?

Queen: The present government?

Counsel: Yes.

Queen: The one that has been in power for 15 years?

Counsel: Yes.

Queen: I think they stink worse than a kangaroo's droppings. I wouldn't trust them to clean up the streets of Sydney for fear they'd pick up the rubbish and sell it back to us. If I found myself in a lifeboat with them, I'd throw myself to the sharks!

Judge: Your Majesty...

Queen: Yes?

Judge: Forgive me asking you, but you are her Majesty, aren't you?

Queen: What makes you think otherwise?

Judge: Well, you may look like the Queen, but you don't sound much like her. You have something of an Australian tinge to your diction. And I don't think the Queen chews gum, as you do.

Queen: All right, blast your eyes! You win! I'm not the Queen! I'm Darlene Hordle! I'm a Queen lookalike from Brisbane, and I wish I'd never opened my mouth in your damned country! I used to earn good money in Australia masquerading as the Queen, but ever since this republican movement got under full steam, they don't want a Queen lookalike, except to make fun of! After I was half pelted to death in a bunfight in Queensland, I decided to emigrate to Britain, where I could continue my career as the Queen, even though my experiences have converted me to republicanism! Can you imagine the personal tragedy of a republican trapped in a Queen's body?

Judge: Hmm... So you have been coached by the prosecution to say these things about the government, have you?

Queen: Not at all. I believe them devoutly.

Judge: As the Queen, or as Darlene Hordle?

Queen: Both.

Judge: Hmm... tell me, Mr Bristlethwaite, why did you lead the court to believe we were about to receive the Queen, when all we got was Darlene Hordle of Brisbane?

Counsel: That is all we could afford, m'Lud. You must remember that the Norberts, like millions of ordinary British families, have been kept impoverished by the actions of the Tory government. How could they afford the real Queen? It is another indictment of this morally bankrupt administration. And now I propose to call hundreds more witnesses to testify that this clapped-out government is well past its sell-by date, staggering from one crisis to another like the homeward progress of a drunkard who can remember neither where he lives nor where he last saw his front-door key!

Judge: That's very good. Is that your description or did you make it up?

Counsel: Neither, m'Lud. It was coined by William Gladstone, my Lord.

Judge: About the present government?

Counsel: I really couldn't say, m'Lud. And now I propose to call another member of the highest family in the land. Call the Duke of Edinburgh.

Duke: G'day.

Counsel: Your Royal Highness, do you have as low an opinion of the present government as the previous witness?

Duke: Strewth - I should say so, sport!

Judge: Just a moment! There are one or two questions I want to put to you, Duke...

The case continues.