The leaflet advertising Ryde’s jubilee celebrations.
THE VIEW FROM HERESO it’s here at last. After months of preparation and anticipation, we can now embark on this thrilling weekend of pageant and ceremony in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
In all the realms and dominions over which Her Majesty holds sway, there can be none more excited than her loyal subjects on the IW. So many events, so much junketing, so much devoted homage to our beloved sovereign.
Do you suppose she has any idea of the effort we’ve made to show our respect and admiration for her diamond reign? Has anyone thought to keep her informed?
She’d be jolly impressed if, for instance, she saw the leaflet advertising the three-day celebrations in Appley Park, Ryde.
Did anyone send it to her? No? Well, that’s a pity. I like to think of her relaxing on a golden couch in her boudoir at Buckingham Palace, her corgis snoozing at her feet, while she admires this glorious document.
"Golly," she’d say to herself. "My people upon the IW hev done me proud and no mistake. Here, Philip, take a dekko at this. It will make you very heppy indeed."
It is quite possible those responsible for this leaflet had Prince Philip especially in mind as they designed its front cover. It is dominated by a photograph of a strapping young madam, flashing a lot of thigh.
Her wardrobe consists of long scarlet gloves and sensuously floaty swansdown. She is posing in front of a blowzy arrangement of red feathers and on her head is a huge glittery crown.
Heavens, can it be Her Majesty? As we’ve never seen her before? Surely not.
On the other hand, this blonde bombshell is undeniably the main feature on this cover and the caption beneath reads "Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee."
Ah, no, here we are. They’ve managed to squash in a piccie of our monarch, albeit quite a small one and definitely in a supporting role to the thigh-flashing cutie in the crown. Does anyone know who this woman is?
Ideas above her station, if you ask me, shoving Her Majesty downpage like that.
Still, Prince Philip will like her and the Queen will surely be pleased at the Island’s thoughtfulness in lining up such a sensational understudy in case anything goes wrong during her visit here in July.
The Appley Park event is organised by an enterprise which calls itself Quture. Quite apart from the fact this company is a mainstay of the "I Love Luton Festival", did the Appley Park sponsors (including the IW Council) not hear alarm bells ringing when they realised Quture, which can’t even spell its own name in a proper manner, would have to deal with the Queen’s representative?
When it comes to pronunciation, Lord Lieutenant can be a tricky one.
Former council chairman Cllr Arthur Taylor never got the hang of it. 'Lord Loo-tenant,’ he’d say, producing an unfortunate hybrid of monocled gentry and gum-chewing GI.
Cllr Susan Scoccia temporarily revived the Lord Loo-tenant on becoming vice-chairman but since her elevation to chairman, she can, with a deep breath and careful thought, get it right.
The Queen may be interested to read that her representative will be in Appley Park. Or will he? The highlight of the event’s "Cool Britannia Parade" is, according to the leaflet, the "Lord left Tenant salute for veterans".
"Philip! Hev you seen this? The IW’s got a Lord left Tenant! Do we know him?"
I daren’t ask Maj Gen Martin White if he’s aware of this usurper. What with the Lord left Tenant and the dolly in the crown and the swansdown, the Island may yet bring the monarchy to its knees.
New use for the official sword
WHEREAS some titleholders have a purely symbolic function, it is good to know the Island has somebody really useful at its disposal (particularly if the blonde in the crown brings everything down to a functionary level.)
I refer to our High Sheriff, Mr Nick Hayward, whose surname, I discover, derives from Old English and relates to the chap who was once employed to tidy up the hedges in his area.
This job should obviously already have been done on the Island by Alan Titchmarsh but he’s got far too hoity-toity for that sort of thing, so it’s up to you now, Nick.
We can no longer rely on the council to keep anything looking nice, so get trimming immediately. In the old days, your ancestors probably wore moleskin trousers tied at the knees with string and carried a billhook but as High Sheriff you can adapt your duties.
Hayward, breeches, sword, hedges, the job’s as good as done.