29 October 2007

Royal Scandals c. 8000 BC - AD 2007

It is impossible to exaggerate the sadness at the death of Royal Scandals, which have passed away following news that the best our monarchies can manage these days is some relatively uninteresting sex 'n' drugs allegations about "a minor royal" with "a low public profile". They will be fondly remembered for all the good works they did down the years, keeping millions enthralled and entertained and providing much useful work for paparazzi, indifferent journalists willing to swallow their pride and make a living reporting the antics of a bunch of men and women whose generations of inbreeding have left them with the noble chin, intellectual weight and dignified bearing of one of Wimpy's "Benders in a Bun", and dimwitted aristocratic offspring in desperate need of a family to marry into after failing the entrance exams for floristry and kindergarten assistant.

Rather than dwell on their sad and ignominious end - begging for a headline in the Sunday Times after overhyping in the company of members of the press - we at As A Dodo much prefer to remember Royal Scandals as the great things they once were: hanging around with kings and queens, empresses and emperors, pharaohs, shahs, rajas and ranis from the moment monarchy was first thought of, capable of altering the history of nations and the destinies of millions.

Oh what great times Royal Scandals once had - appalling whole nations even as ancient spin doctors tried to cover them up. Who can forget the quick-witted Egyptian priest who informed a shocked nation that the young pharaoh had only been pleasuring himself out of the palace window in order to fertilise the Nile, or the Greek sage who told the Macedonian troops that what they had seen was merely Hephaestion polishing King Alexander's sarissa before the battle?

Despite such attempts at suppression, by the time of the Romans Royal Scandals had assumed their rightful place in society - keeping comics and clowns, playwrights and players, hecklers and historians in business as they chronicled Emperors happy to entertain their people by marrying their sister before breakfast, murdering them by lunchtime and hopping into bed with their horse by tea.

With the rise of monarchies across Europe, Royal Scandals' opportunities multiplied. Strange sexual preferences, killings and overfamiliar meetings between the species were commonplace - it was not long before those in the know were reporting everything from Phillipe I, Duc d'Orléans's habit of wandering the docks in female attire blowing kisses to the sailors, through Pope Alexander VI's first murder (carried out at the age of 12) all the way to Queen Catherine the Great's stable relationship with Bruno the carthorse. Matters such as King Henry VIII of England's serial marriages and lethal divorce settlements were small beer, even though they helped found a new church.

Ah yes, those were the great days! Yet even in decline, Royal Scandals still had the power to shock. Tales of Marie Antoinette's excess helped to feed the flame of revolution, tales of King George III's madness and the dissolute George IV's divorce threatened the monarchy in England. But it was all downhill from here. Where once a true scandal would have required at least a few deaths or a dangerous liaison with a llama, by the 20th century the best that could be offered to shatter the world's peace was Edward VIII's decision to marry an American divorcee.

The decline continued apace as minor Royals across Europe took to sucking toes and slipping off their bikinis to whip up a whiff of naughtiness, while the best their more senior colleagues could manage was Princess Diana's liaisons with a string of well-heeled dimwits and Prince Charles's fondly-expressed desire to grow up one day to be a tampon(1). Even young Prince Harry found his Bad Boy Reputation almost impossible to maintain.

Royal Scandals' final hour came when, following allegations that two men had attempted to blackmail a royal with an envelope of cocaine and a sex video, the whole of the internet was filled with precisely five people trying to find out who the Royal was, while everyone else turned over the pages of their newspapers to read the soccer scores.

Royal Scandals will be buried at St Catherine's Church of the Hole-y Harness. A minor royal will snort several lines from the Bible and the congregation will sing Hymn 365 "All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the royals have had them all".

(1) which would, admittedly, be more useful than being Prince Charles.

1 Comment:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree! Bring back proper royal scandals!