Supermarket giants including Tesco and Sainsbury’s have led angry calls for the Royal Family to ‘stop fannying about for the Jubilee’ after news emerged that forty fully-stocked supermarkets have been left unopened for months.
‘We’ve been continuing to expand our operations across the United Kingdom,’ said Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke. ‘But since this Diamond Jubilee nonsense started, we’ve been left with 17 stores ready to go but unopened because the Royals are all booked up reading the weather or dancing with Usain Bolt in Jamaica or sailing down the bloody Thames.’
The backlog also includes 12 new Sainsbury’s stores, five branches of Asda, and two further branches of Tesco completed since you started reading this article. Disgruntled shopper Linda Davison, 46, from Oxfordshire, spoke for many when she launched an unprecedented attack on the Royal Family during preparations for her local Big Lunch. ‘If the Duchess of Cornwall would stop wasting time consoling osteoporosis sufferers and launching boats, and just get down here to Bicester with her ribbon-cutting scissors, then we wouldn’t have to wait so long for our eighth branch of Tesco Metro,’ she said.
There are concerns among senior supermarket industry figures that the monarchy shows ‘no sign’ of getting back to its usual routine until at least after the Olympic Games. ‘We’re petitioning the Queen to at least allocate one of the minor Royals, perhaps the Countess of Wessex, to full-time supermarket-opening duties for six months so we can fix the problem,’ Clarke said. ‘But we’re not hopeful – last time we left a message with the Royal Household it took them three months to get back to us and all they said was ‘can you deliver the gin round the back, and no substitutions on the Dubonnet please.”
The imminent Diamond Jubilee threatens to distract the entire Royal Family, but Dr Chris Beattie, chief celebrity-wrangler for Waitrose, is optimistic. ‘We’re working together to find some alternative solutions,’ he said. ‘For instance, now that they’ve dropped the pasty tax we’ve been able to coax Lord Prescott into opening a Londis in Hull, so we’re on our way. Every little helps – no, that’s not right.’