If we ever get a written constitution: the role, duties and responsibilities of our Royal Family will be writ large.
One of the principal duties will be breeding. Of course they'll have to be from the top drawer. Upper middle class, that sort of thing: New Bond Street, rather than Peckham High Street.
That, however, is not my concern today. Here"breeding" refers to procreating. They've got be good at the old sexual congress business naturally, but they've got to get the timing just right.
Article 1:2:5 will state that all Royal births must take place after mid July and before the annual Party conferences. Births taking place outside this "window” will result in a diminution of the Royal salary, and the child so born will be exposed naked on some rocky outcrop on one of our more isolated dependencies. (As well as highlighting the severity of the bad timing, it would give a welcomed economic boost to, say, the Falklands.)
I suspect you're wondering why all the fuss over the timing of a royal birth. However, on reflection, I'm sure you'll follow my logic.
The thing is that with parliament shut for the long summer hols and MPs off to the Tuscan hills, there's very little news to fill the hours and hours of TV, the millions upon millions of web pages gagging for stories, not to mention the acres of rain forest of newsprint ready to felled in the service of gossip.
Without the politicians and their multifarious cock ups, half baked policies and bumbling egotism, there's little "real" news to report. Instead, our fifth estate has to fall back on stories and headlines that wouldn't normally have passed the junior sub editor's initial sift.
Like the recent front page story: The Co-op to ban lad's mags unless they cover up their raunchy front covers. Eh! Is that news? Is that “Stop the Presses” material? No, it’s the sort of stuff you’d find on page two of a local free paper. But this story featured in all the nationals. Then, of course, there's the never ending fairy tales that are Posh and Becks and Angelina and Brad, not to mention the perennial summer fillers such as funny, rude shaped vegetables and bum of the week on the beach features.
Then along comes a royal birth. A godsend! Not only do we have the 9 months run up with speculation growing as the Royal mum to be’s tum expands; there’s all the chatter about past royal mums, their child birth experiences, whether there’s anything in the medical history that could be problematical etc. etc. The news media goes into overdrive, with special this and extra special that. Pull outs by the score, and queues of obscure commentators opining on some aspect or other of the happy event.
Radio goes ballistic! At times it seemed that every bloody wave band was filled with inane talk shows, half crazed imbeciles phoning in to coo, offer advice or to recount their own birthing to an equally moronic radio host.
With football taking a summer holiday (thank god), I swear all those sad men who phone “606” on Five Live, dress up in drag, put on a falsetto voice and plague Radio London or LBC with memories of their first period or snog while watching Prince Charles’ Investiture in 1969. Or how they remembered seeing Princess Margaret (what a shame she died so young and alone) getting married to that nice Anthony Armstrong Jones – their son makes furniture doesn’t he?
On reflection any written constitution will have, as its first Article, the abolition of the Royal Family and the beheading of all its family members – no matter how far removed. The second Article would ban the printing, broadcasting or transmitting of any news item whatsoever during the summer months. With compulsory summer holidays for all those working in the media in Blackpool, Bangor, Cleethorpes, Scarborough, Bognor and Hastings for a minimum of two months. That should do the trick.
The resulting void to be filled with endless repeats of “Only Fools and Horses”, “Porridge”, and “On the Buses” for The Sun and Mail readers.