James Delingpole’s letter to the royal baby

What you need to know about being born a Windsor

13 July 2013

9:00 AM

13 July 2013

9:00 AM

Congratulations, Baby Windsor. You have just been born a subject of Her Britannic Majesty (as it used to say on the passports) and have therefore won life’s lottery.  Actually, given the state of the nation and the economy, maybe ‘won life’s dog-eared scratchcard’ is more the phrase juste. Still, you’ve done amazingly well. Thanks to the freakiest odds imaginable you have, merely by the accident of being conceived by the right couple, leapfrogged to the covetable position of third in line to the British throne.

So that’s the good news. The bad news is that it comes with a certain amount of baggage. Problem one: you’re a constititutional monarch. This means that when eventually your dad pops his clogs, you won’t be able to do nearly so much of the cool stuff as you might have done had you been born to the same position 500 years earlier. You won’t be able to have people’s heads chopped off on a whim, nor expand your territory by force, nor up the tax rate whenever you’re feeling skint. All those big decisions are taken by the government of the day. (Well, by the EU, actually, but don’t worry about that detail: it will have ceased to exist long before you inherit the throne.) And no matter how stupid and useless it is — as it will be — you’ll have to go through the motions of pretending when you read out its crap policy plans at the beginning of each parliament that they’re, like, a really great idea and exactly what you would have done had you been in charge. (Which, sadly, sorry to rub this one in, you’re not.)

Then there’s the money and property thing. At first it might strike you as impressive: the big house in London (a bit grim and heavy inside but within walking distance of the Caprice, the Wolseley and Harvey Nicks), the holiday homes in Norfolk and the New Republic of Windfarmia, plus, of course, all the other dosh and assets accumulated by your ancestors. Problem is, it’s not technically yours. Thanks to some ghastly lefty stitch-up long before your time, the government gets to rifle through your laundry bills and decide how much you can reasonably live on. And it gets worse: even though the nation you serve gets by far the better end of this financial arrangement, still you’ll be perpetually berated by ignorant chipsters as a scrounger.

Imagine: interminable dancing displays; rictus grins and ludicrous headgear in bakeries, building sites and factories; your weekly ordeal with a dork of a prime minister; endless tedious state banquets where you can’t ever get drunk, pick your nose or let slip a crafty silent one. And yet you’re expected to feel, like, grateful for your privilege…

Still, there’s always Family. For better or worse, the Firm (as you call yourselves) are the only ones who’ll understand what you’re going through. So make the most of them, grab their advice while you still can. There are many of us out here rooting, praying, for both your royal great-grandparents to make it well past the ton. That’ll give you just enough time to pick up a few tips on tact and diplomacy from your great-grandad Phil, and Cheltenham and Aintree from your great-grandma. Make the Queen, especially, your role model. She’s probably best monarch we’ve ever had: wise, judicious, inscrutable.

Unlike your dear old grandpa Charles. Unfortunately, we know all too well what he thinks (on climate change, on organic food, on architecture, on becoming a ‘Defender of Faith’…) but the great thing is that you can use him like an anti-Queen: if he holds something to be true, just do the opposite. Also, he’ll be great to take the mickey out of. From about the age of seven onwards, you’ll be able to bait him every day with the sentence beginning, ‘Grandpa, you know how you said in Rio we had just 100 months left to save the world?’

As for the rest of your rellies, you know what they say: you can choose your friends but not your family — and at least they’ll never leave you less than royally entertained. At state occasions, you’ll be photographed waving a lot with theatrical great uncle Eddie, spivvy great uncle Andy, fierce but rock-solid great aunt Anne. Then there’s naughty Uncle Harry who’ll spoil you rotten and teach you how to light farts and what not to wear at fancy-dress parties; and your various first cousins once removed, who’ll teach you how to be quite normal and will probably end up producing about the only people you can safely hang out with without having your every secret blurted all over the internet.

Oh dear. I hope I haven’t made it all sound like too much of a poisoned chalice you’ve just been given, through absolutely no fault of your own. Anyway, cheer up, it could be worse. At least, unlike Spain’s or Greece’s monarchs, you’ve still got a throne to inherit; and at least, unlike Sweden’s, we’re not yet so burdened by the equality thing that you have to go round acting like you work in Ikea….

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Show comments
  • john

    Let’s just end the nonesense and move to an electoral, democratic, republic.

    • Joshaw

      Wouldn’t do anything for your spelling though, would it?

      • john

        Your comment is duly noted but the issue is proof-reading rather than spelling!

        • JohnHoulihan

          How about Obama as the new monarch or messiah ?!?!?

          • maintanos

            moron alert.

  • The_greyhound

    “Then there’s naughty Uncle Harry who’ll spoil you rotten and teach you how to light farts”

    It’s nice to think of Crown Princess Jezebel carrying on an old family tradition.

    • Titus__Pullo

      Surely the latest royal will be called either Mohammed or Fatima in line with her grandfather’s desire to be the “Defender of the faithS”.

  • Shoe On Head

    my pimms just pyroclastically flew out of my nose.

    well that caused me to erupt in laughter.

    a welcome flattery james; a hanger-on; wannabe toady; a sycophant; obtaining nourishment; to anything he attaches himself, whose juices he absorbs; supported at our expense.

    (shoe on head)

    • dalai guevara

      No other Western democracy can afford the exuberance we are accustomed to. All those Royal spare room subsidies!
      Sorry, must top up my glass of champagne now, given the weather.

  • Captain Yossarian

    Why do we need a monarchy again?

    • Thor fenris

      Because it annoys Urban75 types like you.

      • maintanos

        moron alert (2)

  • Remittance Man

    Sorry to be pedantic James, but unless it is sold in the meantime, Sandringham will be his or hers; it’s owned by the Queen in her personal capacity, not the state.

    Indeed the House of Windsor is actually quite well off even without the fripperies of state. Great Grandma has seen to that thanks to an uncanny financial acumen. So as long as Grandpa and Daddy don’t suddenly decide to spend their lives at the tables in Monte Carlo, he/she shouldn’t be short of a bob or two.

  • William Reid Boyd

    Amusing. I’m impressed by your knowing what a first cousin once removed actually is.

  • ghanimah

    Just a small detail, we’re all citizens not subjects and have been since the Nationality Act 1981 – in force 1983 (leaving aside that we’re also EU citizens as well)

  • IanB

    Such foul cynicism. If he/she could have seen how hard Princess Anne worked at the World Skiff Championships in Ullapool this weekend, how she was able to rise above her ‘burden’ and make a lot of people’s day special, he/she might relish his/her luck! Miseryguts.

    • Carolyn Armour

      Gosh – what did she do? I find it hard to imagine what she could do even with the best of intentions and I do like her. Just curious.

  • Chris Hobson

    Hopefully with the increasing immigration from eastern europe & France we can develop a republican undercurrent of grampsian marxism and destroy this nationalistic jingoisim. Egalitie, fraternmitie, equalitie!!!

    • Groverbaku



      • La Fold

        What the hell has the Grampian region got to do with this?

  • Frank P

    Seems the whole world is in labour …. PUSH … FFS!

    Sorry Ma’am. Not you … deep breaths now. Gawd bless ya gel.

    It’ll all be worth it in the end.

  • Frank P

    Btw … you do realise that on this day (or tomorrow, as the case may be) the diefied Diana will become a granny. Adjust your sepia reveries accordingly please. No longer MILF, but GILF?

    • Sanctimony

      Diana would now be a GILF…. Lordy, that has produced the biggest stiffy that I have ever experienced… Thanks for the memory, Frank !

  • Temporary ID

    Remember to do whatever Great-Uncle Gary does.

  • zanzamander

    Perhaps this country’s last Christian Monarch?

    • maintanos

      moron alert (3)

  • jazz606

    Much though I’m not a fan of the Monarchy and QEII in particular. I would rather endure them than President Tony, Dave, Ed or some other political tosspot.

  • ohforheavensake

    One more piece of advice: never accept advice from James Delingpole. Never. Ever. Just don’t.