Richard Herring: Useless spongers? Not our royals
Wednesday 9 Jul 2014
A lot of cynical republicans think our royal family are lazy and useless spongers, eating swans and living off our taxes. But the truth is they work very hard for our money.
Take Prince Charles. He is a Field Marshal, an Admiral of the Fleet and a Marshal of the Royal Air Force. In fact, his mum gave him all of those three jobs on the same day. He must have been chuffed to bits on this amazing triumvirate of success. Most servicemen and women could never dream of even getting one of those honours, so to get all three and all in one go… he had to be over the moon.
I know some naysayers with an agenda might claim he only got those accolades through nepotism but, frankly, that’s ridiculous. His mum must have been aware that people would be critical and her natural response would have been to not give him anything to stop such griping accusations. And yet her sense of fair play overrode that fear, proving he got them on merit. For all the brilliant army, navy and flying around stuff he has done.
Even now, some people reading this will be claiming he’s done nothing to deserve those titles and that the whole thing is a pathetic sham you’d think any intelligent grown-up person would be embarrassed to be a part of.
So I will have to give you further evidence of why you are wrong and why this is a deserved reward for a remarkable man (not just a man but a universal soldier as happy in the water as he is on the land, or thousands of miles up in the air): his dad Prince Philip also has the exact same three honours. Proof if proof be need be of the power of genetics. I don’t hear anyone saying it’s unfair now.
Soldiering, sailoring and aircrafting are in that remarkable family’s blood. To be honest, they’re so good at everything connected with war, I think we should just disband all the services immediately and make Charles, Philip and Elizabeth (and maybe Andrew – but, let’s face it, not Edward) responsible for all of our defences. They could be the UK Avengers.
It seems the government might have the same plan, which explains why it is slowly cutting back on the defence budget. But I say in these times of austerity we have to rip the plaster off and simply put our royals to work for us straight away. If they are good enough to get these decorations, then they are almost overqualified for the task.
I just hope Prince Charles does not listen to any of the jealous anti-royalists who don’t think he deserves to get the highest possible position in all three branches of the military. I’d hate him to be thinking: ‘Hold on, I’m a 65-year-old man having special awards pinned on to me by my mum, while dressed up in fancy dress. This is about as meaningful as a mouse’s fart. I should feel nothing but shame for going along with this pantomime. I haven’t even done anything to deserve it.’
I hope he will be thinking: ‘Yay! Look at me. With all my medals and stuff. I am brilliant. And if anyone doesn’t think I am, then screw you. Ask my mum. She says I’m ace… Mainly. Though she won’t let me be king. Do you think she’s just trying to distract me with all this shiny tat? No, I rule (though not literally)!’
Please send my OBE c/o Metro.