23 January, 2019
Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth
Dear, um, Queen:
Please accept my most profound sorrows at the misfortunes which have recently befallen your family. It is a terrible thing when the only way for the young ones to “do their own thing” is cause difficulties for others in the family.
I realize that this may be an unorthodox idea, but I would like to offer my services to you and to your family. It seems to me that with the sort-of-ex-Prince Harry and his bride decamping for North America, it would create an appealing symmetry for someone from America to replace them, something of a cultural exchange, perhaps.
My Mrs. and I are not as young and photogenic as the Prince and Duchess, but we believe that we would make up for it in our appreciation for the lifestyle expected of their station and our desire to carry it out to the utmost.
We, you see, may not be the typical gauche, striving type that may immediately come to your mind when you sigh, roll your eyes, and say “Americans.” No, we are of a different sort, quite appreciative of tradition.
First, please understand that we have watched every episode of Downton Abbey, and have thereby been schooled in what would be expected of us. We have taken to heart the lessons therefrom, particularly those which would encourage us to temper our worst American tendencies. We would graciously accept a household full of help in order to be a proper fit with the family with which we would propose to associate in this endeavor.
I would propose a straight exchange. Harry and Meghan can take possession of our modest home in central Indiana while we would take their places in their former quarters. Yes, we understand that they have chafed at the hovel they have been forced to endure. We, however, are prepared to make the sacrifice which comes with housing provided by the Royal Family and the British Government, so long as I am not responsible for cutting the lawn.
We would also be prepared to accept the public schedule that would come with the office. A life of rising at nine, an hour playing with the corgis and then a luncheon in recognition of the Royal Horticultural Society (or somesuch) followed by an evening entertaining foreign dignitaries is something which we could willingly embrace as a sort of penance for luring your family members over here for fame and fabulous riches. And if the Trumps come back, be assured that we will not abandon you to them alone, but will be right there to laugh at his jokes and make him feel at home. How hard can that be in the gilt-encrusted surroundings of Buckingham? More’s the pity that Harry was not up to the task.
Harry and Meghan will surely get a glorious start from our locale, where I am certain they will receive the warmest of receptions. Our home is conveniently located between Los Angeles and New York, places where they will undoubtedly maintain the corporate offices from which they will convert Harry’s birthright into currency, both social and monetary. Our locale has the added benefit of plenty of the sorts of people that Megan wishes to aid as well as a wholesome environment for Baby Archie. They will no doubt come to love breaded tenderloin sandwiches and the Indianapolis 500.
We, on the other hand, will happily wear whatever outfits are chosen for us and will do our best to carry out a proper British deportment. Would it be too much to ask for a vintage Bristol for our day-to-day automotive conveyance? It seems to me that such an auto would be necessary for giving the British Throne the respect which it deserves. If this is not acceptable, an ordinary Range Rover will suffice.
I also happen to be expert in understanding Americans. I have spent plenty of time around young women like the Duchess, and could help you to decipher what seems madness to you. In a show of goodwill, I will offer you this first tidbit with no strings attached – while it may be madness to you and to me, it is assuredly not madness that she might want everything her way, having lived among people who have never disagreed with anything she has ever said. She would have preferred your role, but it having not been open at the time, she settled for Duchess, which translates in American to Co-Queen.
Yes, we are a little older than your grandchild and his royal bride, but would have no difficulty deferring to Harry’s older brother in his rightful role. Should you need some occasional fill-in for Andrew, I should be happy to assist as well. A point of clarification, that fill-in for Andrew would be on your agenda and not on his, which I presume he has been able to keep up on his own.
The only difficulty I can see is that pesky matter of the Reformation. With my Mrs. and I being Catholic and all, I can understand how this could appear to be a point of difficulty. However, I would propose that our brand of Catholicism is not significantly different from the brand of Anglicanism practiced by the Royal Family of as recently as a generation or two ago. And besides, I can think of few ways where this kind of religious diplomacy could be more easily accomplished. I could even assist you in figuring our Pope Francis. Or perhaps not, as it would not be very British to promise what cannot be delivered.
In conclusion, I believe that we could do a smashing job of looking good in tasteful clothing as we smile and offer comforting hand waves to your Royal subjects on the Crown’s behalf in exchange for only those accommodations the Prince and Duchess found so unsatisfactory. Please accept our warmest wishes for your good health and our appreciation for your consideration. Yours very truly, Mr. & Mrs. J.P.
Photo credit: 2011 photograph of Highclere Castle by Richard Munckton under a Creative Commons Attribution license.