In a break with tradition the Queen’s Speech has been pared down to ‘a quick chat and a coffee’ at the request of both Her Majesty and the Prime Minister. The Queen had considered sending a footman to perform the duty, but Prince Charles had already booked an appointment to have his toenails trimmed.
The general ritual of Black Rod preceding the Monarch will also be pared down as it turns out that the present incumbent has booked a ‘duvet day’. In his place will be the Sodexho duty manager, Phil Jenkins, as the maintenance of premises is outsourced to that organisation and Phil is the only duty manager known to have a full set of keys. ‘It would be embarrassing if Her Majesty is locked outside, although she has said that she “couldn’t really be arsed to meet that woman” this time, so who knows?’ said a Westminster spokesman.
It transpires that the official frock and regalia is ‘in the cleaners’ at the moment, and Her Majesty is ‘disinclined to pop into Moss Bros for what amounts to a five minute chat’, so she has agreed to wear ‘something comfortable’ and ‘just my slippers and crown’. The suggestion that Her Majesty could combine the Queen’s Speech with the Wednesday Lottery draw was denied. ‘One does have a ticket, though,’ she is reported to have said.