All the major media recently went bonkers over an unemployed little old lady in London, let’s call her “Liz,” who has lived her entire life in public housing.
She’s 86 years old and has never known gainful employment. Throughout her adult life, she has relied on the kindness of strangers.
It’s an extremely sad story, until you read the fine print and discover that “Liz” is better known as Queen Elizabeth II.
The public housing in which she resides is Buckingham Palace, located in a quiet neighborhood with a fairly low crime rate.
Her net worth is estimated at $500 million. I’m not sure what that equates to in English pounds, 6 pence, half-pints, quid or squid, but you’d think with that kind of swag in her sugar jar, she would get off the public dole, move into a nice retirement center, and enjoy her twilight years on the shuffleboard court.
Maybe it’s the perks that keep her perky.
The queen gets to ride around town in a gold-plated carriage drawn by six white horses, attended by a flock of servants.
She’s iced over with diamonds; the first time I saw her I thought she’d been stored in the royal fridge.
She has enough maids and butlers to conquer Normandy (again), and a palace staff bigger than most Vanderbilt University football crowds.
One of the palace guards does nothing all day except stand by the gate, wearing a funny hat, and tooting a horn whenever somebody walks up.
Apparently, they’ve never heard of a doorbell.
The queen has a team of personal assistants who attend to her every beck and call. You might say they do the old biddy’s bidding.
One attendant does nothing except pluck the royal eyebrows and another files the queen’s toenails. Government works.
I suspect – and my research isn’t clear on this – she also has a royal flosser.
During the recent Jubilee Celebration, I saw one giddy British subject being interviewed on TV. (After all these centuries, Englishmen still submit to being “subjects.”)
This particular subject was gushing about what a “jolly job” her royal highness has done over the decades.
He was asked what, exactly, is the queen’s job. That subject stumped the subject.
The queen has no official power. The country is run by the British Parliament and the prime minister. Unlike back in England’s “good old days,” the royal family can’t lock folks in the Tower of London for stealing the king’s pig, chop off peasants’ heads, colonize the globe and other fun stuff.
Today, the royal family is merely a symbol. A symbol of snootiness.
I don’t profess to understand the British mindset. I don’t get the so-called British wit. Honesly, did you ever watch “The Benny Hill Show?” I don’t know a crumpet from a strumpet. So, there’s no way for me to fathom the English fixation on royalty.
And what I really don’t get why so many Yankee Doodles seem mesmerized by the monarchy. The concept of royal entitlement and privilege defies everything our country stands for. It flies in our face like bullets at Bunker Hill.
Even after we won the American Revolution, England wouldn’t leave us alone – it started the War of 1812, burned the U.S. Capitol and sent over The Beatles.
Granted, King George III’s 1776 tax rate was much lower than our present government’s, but that’s another rant for another time.
I probably shouldn’t be too hard on Queen Elizabeth. She’s just doing what has come naturally for British royalty century after century.
But times have changed.
There has been enough lollygagging on the public’s dime.
It’s time for all the queens, kings, princes and princesses to climb down from their gilded thrones, get off their royal duffs, and get a real job.
Larry Woody can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org_vinson56@yahoo.com.
WOODY: British Royalty Should Get Off Public Dole
June 17, 2012