and what is it you do?
There she was, ol’ Lilibet, one minute smiling and extending a hand in greeting to her fifteenth Prime Minister, and the next she’s gone. And, though it’d been apparently anticipated for an age by everyone that matters, it kinda caught the rest of us by muted surprise. God bless her, thank-you and my sincere thoughts remain with her nearest & dearest.
Yes, other monarchs have pegged-it suddenly, William the Conqueror and Willy III both falling off their respective horses, George II succumbing to a stroke while metaphorically sitting on the throne, Edward II devilishly dispatched by some murderer’s dagger, and a dose of the dysentery doing it for Agincourt victor and Kenneth Branagh-wannabe, Henry V, but in this modern media age we don’t expect to be taken by quite as much surprise as we all were. And the big question now on everyone’s lips is where does this leave the hardy perennial of soaps, The Firm?
Rapidly approaching his mid-70s and with tampongate receding into distant memory, there’s nothing new or revelatory about King Charles III. His ever staid and reliable elder son, William, is, believe it or not, now in his forties and unlikely to trouble the scriptwriters for fear of upsetting anybody and everybody. Disgraced, creepy younger brother, Andrew, has rightly been written out of any plot line and is unlikely to make a Larry Hagman/JR-esque return anytime soon. You would’ve been forgiven for thinking Harry and Meghan should’ve been delighted to pick-up the cudgel but you’d be wrong as, with the brothers’ feud now sorted, it seems they’re going to return to the land of the brave and continue to mine for broadcasting gold. No, my money’s on the busiest of all royals (and secretly, everyone’s favourite), Princess Anne, finally going off the rails and developing a late-in-life taste for young wiry jockeys and strong liquor cocktails. You just watch. The ratings depend on it.
So, with all of us tugging our collective and respectful forelock, it was left to our dutiful corporate and commercial sector to truly show us how to do condescending patriotism to a tee. You couldn’t open a webpage without being greeted by some sepia-tinted, vainglorious message but my top-pick was Morrison’s turning down the volume of its till bleeps ”out of respect” that won the day. Or was it perhaps pawnshop-cum-loan-shark chain, Cash Converters, announcing its self-seclusion from social media that pipped it at the finishing line, closely followed by Innocent’s smooth(ie) move to stop tweeting for a whole(some) day. And, of course spare a thought for Center Parcs’ acolytes having to follow their dictate that they should leave their doomsdayers’ shelter of choice forthwith, before being grudgingly allowed to stay provided they acquiesced to an overly-reverential four-day silence and meat-free fast.
One nation under brand positioning and deliver us from commercial evil. Every crass attempt to garner some perverse customer brownie point turns me ever more to Oliver Cromwell’s futuristic mindset.