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November 30, 2017

IN AN idle moment between a morning spent shooting pheasants on my estate and an afternoon assisting other worthy local dignitaries and titled folk to ease the wants and needs of paupers at the local workhouse, my butler rushed up to me to tell me the news that Prince Henry of Wales, no less, is to soon be betrothed to a divorced older black American actress.

“Has he lost all sense of propriety and decorum?” I exclaimed thunderously while being dressed by my man before adding “Are there no standards left in polite society?”

I assumed that they had fled on a night boat to France to escape the shame and scandal but no, my butler informed me that they are to marry at St George’s Church, Windsor, with the full blessing of Her Majesty herself and an apparent army of gushing admirers and supporters in a joyous meeting of old and new families, old and new attitudes and old and new cultures.  

“God bless us and save us” I muttered under my breath as I set myself to the noble and dignified toil of alleviating need among our strays and waifs and associated anonymous fallen men and women, or, as my butler suggests I should say so as to observe the dreaded current gender political protocol “women, men, transgendered or of no gender at all”.

“How can you be of no gender at all?” I wondered inwardly.

My mind instantly strayed to the dreadful predicament that his ancestor David found himself in some years ago when he fell into the tender trap set by another loose,  frivolous little American broad with her eye on the main prize who had been married before. He quite rightly renounced the throne to avoid terrible public outrage. 

And also when dear Margaret threw old group captain Townsend over as he had been divorced.

“Well sir,” my butler piped up with a saucy strum in his voice “we in Wales do not have a royal family so we don’t face these kinds of problems. Well………then again……….. actually………. in a way we DO have a royal family.”

“Who on earth do you have in Wales then, my good man?” I enquired of him.

“The Kinnocks.”

“The Kinnocks?”

Indeed sir, a rich, powerful and hugely elevated family which mixes in all the right circles with wonderful aristocratic connections all over Europe. They have made very astute marriages to build bridges with other countries whilst at the same time winning political favour with power brokers here and abroad and they have expertly bred and had their progeny educated at the finest schools, sir…… They really are quite, how shall I say, posh.”

“King Kinnock, sir, is Neil, the one with the red hair and the queen is Glenys who, although she hails from Holyhead, has quite risen out of her circumstances and is now quite regularly to be seen in immensely elevated company, sir. I understand that she sits in the House of Lords, sir.”

“The House of Lords!” I exclaimed, “have we lost all sense of propriety and decorum?”

My butler, however, went on with his breathless narrative about this new Welsh royal family.

“The prince, sir, is Stephen and the princess is Helle of Denmark, a very confident and imposing young woman with perfect pedigree and immense political clout in Europe, sir. Their wedding was the talk of Europe, sir, and I hear that Helle is rather fond of a jape and had a selfie taken of her and former prime minister David Cameron and former US president Barack Obama at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela though some found it, how shall I put it sir, inappropriate for them to be smiling at such an event.”

“What on earth,” I thundered, “is a selfie?”

“Oh that’s where people take pictures of themselves on a mobile phone, sir”

“A mobile phone! What on earth is that?” I enquired.  My butler smiled weakly.

He went on with his amusing and highly unlikely narrative.

“Prince Stephen has now inherited a seat in Aberavon, sir, so theirs is something of a long distance relationship and nasty types have speculated about his sexuality and claimed that it is a sham marriage sir as he may be, how shall I put this, sir, without offending your sensibilities, a batter AND a bowler who may spend a lot of time in the field, if you get my drift sir.”

“A batter AND a bowler?”

“Have we lost all sense of propriety and decorum?” I thundered.

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