Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Royal Name A Royal Pain

From today's TIMES and NEWS-STAR

Just suppose you need to call the Queen of England.

Why? Oh, there are dozens of reasons, my good man.

You live in Twickenham and the privy is backed up at York House Gardens and the landlord is -- well, don’t get me started -- and you wish to have some strings pulled;

You wish to donate to the “Remodel Buckingham Palace Fund” since the place is -- how does one say? – looking sooooooo 14th century;

You need a recipe for bubble and squeak with a blood pudding chaser to feed 142 heads of state, give or take a duke or a backbencher of Parliament or the casual Eurocrat;

Or you simply wish to inquire as to why the seasons of “Downton Abbey” are so bloody short on the telly.

You don’t need a prime minister or a bobby or the Farmer’s Almanac: What you need is a Queen. THE Queen. Time to pick up the blower and bell her highness.

Spot on old chap!

The problem is, you grab the phone book and … what? Look under “Q”? Under “E”? “M” for matriarch or monarch? “R” for royalty? “D” for dowager?

Of course not. You look under her last name, silly. Which is … duooh?! One of the most recognizable figures in the world for the past 60 years, and we don’t even know her last name.

What does it say on the top left of the Queen’s personal checks? That’s my question. That’s what I’d like to know.

How did she sign her children’s report cards?

On her driver’s license, it can’t just say “The Queen.” Can it?

Has anyone ever seen her luggage? Is it monogrammed? Can you share?

This question of royal surname raises its head because of the birth of a boy child from the royal loins this week in London, a product, at least in part, of the family jewels you hear tacky people talk about from time to time.

Surely even the Queen and the children and, in this most recent case, the great-grandchildren need a last name. While odds were placed on the child’s first name, this guy doesn’t even have a LAST name, something the rest of us are born with, like it or not.

You need a last name. What will it say on the back of the child’s soccer/football/cricket jersey?

Where does he sit if they put him in alphabetical order in the third grade?

How will he countersign the back of his royal paychecks?

A great deal of research (“great deal” being a relative term) suggests the royal family’s surname is anything from Cambridge to Wales to Windsor to the somewhat tedious Mountbatten-Windsor. If so, that’s going to be tough for autographs, unlike it is for, say, Henry/Hank of Wales or that old fan favorite, the Wizard of Oz. (“Yessir. Uh, just make it, ‘To Toto.’”)

Not that “of Wales” or “House of Tutor” passes for a last name. It passes for a prepositional phrase, I’d say. It’s in the preposition family. But I’ve never seen it on a mailbox.

On the other hand, England is the country that invented the language, one I can hardly speak myself. So I give the Queen and her family a pass. Besides, as much as I like William and Kate, I read in a British tab that it took them three weeks just to name their dog, and the best they could come up with was Lupo. (No last name, natch.) Imagine how long it’d take them to buy a car.