The Diamond Jubilee…and why Britain’s next King should be a Watermelon

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom durin...

Queen Elizabeth II (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take down the bunting, put away the flags, Britain’s brief holiday from the grim realities of the 21st century into its royal fantasy is done for another year. For the second year running, the country has come to a standstill to celebrate its strange anachronism of a monarchy, and everyone is congratulating themselves on how marvellously we do these things. But I should like to make a humble submission: that when Queen Elizabeth II eventually passes on, we should replace her with a watermelon.

For, though no one can deny that Elizabeth has made a generally excellent job of being Queen, I can’t help feeling that the peculiar requirements of the role could be equally well fulfilled by a watermelon.

The weird pageant of the last few days has been held up as evidence of the advantages of a monarchy over an elected head of state — and, it has to be said, the Queen did exhibit superiority over France’s President Francois Hollande in one area: she had the good sense to keep out of the rain, and didn’t stand dripping like a drowned rat, as M Hollande did at his investiture.

It’s always pointed out at these events, too, that the fact the Queen is apolitical means the entire nation can rally around her in a way the US, say, cannot unite around Barack Obama. This argument, of course, always infuriates Britain’s small republican minority, who point out that they can’t unite around a monarch they don’t want.

The strongest argument in favour of the Queen, though, has always been the elected presidents she prevents us from being forced to endure. President Tony Blair, for instance — though I suspect these days we’d be more likely to end up with President Boris Johnson.

Even if you make a presidency apolitical and purely ceremonial, and strictly exclude politicians from it, you could still end up with President Simon Cowell. Or President Cheryl Cole. Or President Posh Spice. Quite.

This is a forceful argument. Even the prospect of the strange Prince Charles becoming King pales into insignificance beside the image of President Russell Brand.

The problem here, though, is that a watermelon could just as easily block the path of all these presidential hopefuls. Essentially, what we are saying we want from a head of state is some one prepared to take part in all the ceremonies and pageants, but refrain from interfering with the government, and generally keep their opinions to themselves, much as Elizabeth II has done.

Prince Charles is regarded as a loose cannon because from time to time he expresses an opinion about architecture. This, we feel, is not his role.

Kings and Queens, as far as the British are concerned, should be seen and not heard.

What better to fill this role, then, than a watermelon? The melon, which I should like to humbly suggest we call George, would sit quietly on its throne, consent to be carried upon a royal litter, ride past adoring crowds in a gilded carriage or an armoured Bentley, and never presume to interfere with the workings of elected government.

And he would do all of this a lot more cheaply than the current set-up. Sure, we’d still have to fork out for the big state occasions, and keep the palaces standing, but other than that his only runnings costs would be a decent refrigerator.

Yes, we’d have to change the watermelon from time to time, but we have to do that with the people.

The Royal Family is a valuable tourist attraction that brings a lot of money into the British economy, but I can’t help feeling that our reputation for endearing eccentricity would only be enhanced if we chose a watermelon as our next King, and tourists would still flock to Buckingham Palace eager to catch a glimpse of his noble green skin.

I suspect that the experiment woud prove so popular that other countries would quickly start to emulate it, and France would soon have a watermelon of her own, named Louis.

In short then, I humbly submit that this is the perfect compromise for these times of austerity, that by choosing our next monarch from the melon patch we can retain all the advantages of a hereditary monarchy without ever risking that it falls into the wrong hands, and save a fortune, as we advance into the glorious new age of King George the Watermelon.


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  1. Sushmita Clays says

    Do add a christmas speech paragraph!!! With a voice for the melon…!! That would be hilarious!!!!! A bit seedy maybe??!!

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