Following advice from top-level contingency planning experts, it is understood that the Government has taken steps to ensure that the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will not be marred by her untimely death by engaging the services of Helen Mirren to stand in, if necessary, reprising her award-winning role in ‘The Queen’.
‘Her Majesty will be 86 in June and we can’t take any chances,’ revealed a Whitehall source. ‘There is too much riding on these celebrations for them to be derailed by the Queen ruining everything and popping off just before the big day. We’ve taken advice and our consultants have recommended that we hire a double for the ceremonies and pageant to keep the nation happy, and, of course, the economy moving.’
‘The plan would be to delay the announcement of her passing until after the celebrations,’ he continued, ‘perhaps attributing it to the excitement of meeting Sir Cliff yet again. Then we can cash in on a Royal Funeral, something we British do so well.’
Although her agent is maintaining a regal silence, it is known that Dame Helen’s appointment diary has been blocked out for the next six months, adding to speculation that her reign may be extended to include the Olympics which Her Majesty is scheduled to open at the end of July, assuming that she survives that long. ‘Whilst my lips are tightly sealed,’ whispered a member of the Mirren inner circle, ‘I can say that Helen is on 24-hour standby. If a certain person so much as sneezes, Helen will be rushed into emergency make-up.’
The contingency planner’s mantra is ‘If you plan for the worst, the worst very rarely happens’. This may be rather bad news for the Duke of Edinburgh who, after studiously watching an old Caligula DVD, is considering the purchase of a little red swim suit as a welcome gift in anticipation of another Oscar winning performance from Dame Helen as she does her patriotic duty.