We love our knights here in Britain. There is something special about being defended from evil by these men in shining armour and long pointy swords. That’s why they are all going to the wedding of Prince William Windsor and the young damsel Kate Middleton, soon to be a bit of a Lady Guinevere herself.
Hang on a moment, I may have got this wrong.
I am told that the knights going to the wedding are not heroic fighting figures at all, nope they are mostly old geezers in funny hats with a few younger royals thrown in to flesh out the numbers.
How disappointing that there won’t be a few daring blades there like that heroic knight in the Monty Python film about the Holy Grail who carried on fighting even after his arms and legs had been chopped off.
Well, I suppose, one of those knights of the funny hats who manages to survive as many attempts at chopping him down is the Queen’s favourite son, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, rejected husband of the lovely Lady Fergie, and Imperial Envoy and Ambassador to dodgy businessmen around the World. He will be at the wedding.
Young William is also a knight of the funny hats as is his Dad, Prince Charles, a near-sighted Don Quixote who tilts at windmills such as modern life and who looks strangely normal in this outfit. The royal princes, also William’s other uncle, Edward (who has now given up working because his failures got too expensive) are just some of the honorary members of this noble order of knights known as the Knights of the Garter and they are obviously going to be at the wedding. They are not real heroes though, they are known as supernumerary knights as they are only included because they are royal princes – supernumerary indeed.
No, the real knights are people like this man:
Sir John Major, Lancelot to some but failed Conservative Prime Minister to many others. He is going to the wedding.
Another knight is invited who was never frightened of wielding a sword or a handbag:
The iron lady herself, former Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
The Order Of The Knights Of The Garter goes back to the olde worlde dayes of medieval England when knights were knights and peasants knew their place. The boss knight who gives out these knighthoods is the reigning monarch who, in the case of Queen Elizabeth is no stranger to silly hats.
It is odd how she looks perfectly normal in this gear whilst the others all look like prats. Anyway, in this week of so-called royal wedding fever, the Knights of the Garter business has caused a scandal. Why is it, even stout royalists, ask, why is it that the order of the funny hats get in to that wedding but the last two British Prime Ministers do not? If even the Syrian ambassador gets an invite whilst his government is killing Syrian citizens, how could the last two Labour Prime Ministers be left off the list?
Well, even though as former Prime Ministers, they will get those feathery hats one day, they haven’t got them yet and so, sorry loves, you can’t come in. I suspect they are not bothered but it says two things about the British establishment. One is that it has become, once again, an aristocratic elite and the other thing is that it has shown its increasingly fumbling grasp on reality.
I bet William and Kate wish that they could have had that small Norfolk wedding after-all.