The Tyranny of
the Queen The Cutlery Caper
by Rod Bartchy
The Queen has
eliminated pasta, rice, and potatoes from the
menu at Buckingham Palace, all food favorites for
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. The Queen
thinks theyre too starchy.
just a flimsy cover story for the ongoing hazing
of Meghan Markle by the Royal family. Its
part of the long tradition at the House of
Windsor for newcomers. Test their mettle
and all that rot.
Philip, at 97, is still bitter about being
ordered to wear a kilt and tweeds at a 1954 state
dinner for the Scottish First Minister only to
find everyone else in black tie and evening gowns.
The Queen still smirks telling the story.
another state dinner is just a week away and the
Duchess is unprepared.
blame her? Royal dining parties involve enough
cutlery at a single plate to serve a family of 4.
four knives, four spoons, three plates, two
saucers, two cups, a bowl and 5 glasses.
An intimidating array of choices. Yet
make one error and the Queen will have your ass
on a platter.
observe as the Duchess attends cutlery boot camp.
She sits at
one solo table. The Queen presides at a
neighboring table, dressed in Royal Marine
fatigues and her day crown, bullhorn in hand.
she barks to the wait staff.
hesitates for a moment as the soup is poured.
big spoon, Meghan! the Queen shouts.
Next to the demitasse spoon. Good God,
woman, what will you do when youre sitting
next to Lord Bladderfish. One breach of
etiquette and the man farts like a bulldog on a
diet of black beans.
a little shaky, but dips her soup spoon into a
bowl of cold cream of pea and lard soup, a Royal
the Queen exclaims. Did you see me
eat first? No
too busy playing with
Meghan puts the spoon back on the tablecloth.
The Queen reddens and hurls her seafood fork at
on the tablecloth! On your plate, girl.
Do you know what I pay in tablecloth laundry
bills? Bring the fish!
Men in white
jackets swiftly clear the soup bowls, then hurry
out with a whole fish on a plate, still twitching.
The Duchess freezes.
to it, honey. Carp tartare. Put it down
like a big girl and hack off a piece. The
the knife and fork closest to the plate for this
the Queen commands. Does it look like
a side of beef? No! But there you are
with the meat knife and fork, prepared to shame
it in its final moments.
replaces the cutlery.
it with your hands? Pick up some cutlery,
dammit. Im not getting any younger
picks another knife and fork and steels herself
to dispatch the fish when it emits a full
rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain
of those talking mechanical fish that men mount
on knotty pine walls. But Meghan doesnt
know it, shrieks, and plunges her knife into the
thing, stilling it.
Prince Philips had the damn thing for years. Time
it went to the bin.
And so it went
for several hours. Meghan left, made
her way to the basement of the Palace to the New
Royals Bar. Several flagons of ale later
she unloaded her frustration to a room of lesser
royals trying to drown their own boot camp
memories in booze.
mean mark my words...(urp)
for that... Then the Duchess passed
out and was carried to her suite.
evening the Ambassador from Uzbekistan was to be
feted at a royal state dinner. But an hour
before, someone let the Duchess sneak in to check
on one particular place setting.
Prime Minister, the Ambassador and other notables
in formal attire proceeded to the grand banquet
hall where the Queen sat at the head of the long
table. Waiters swarmed into the room with
the soup. All eyes went to the Queen for
the first taste.
But her soup
spoon was firmly glued to the table cloth.
Flustered, she reflexively reached for the
teaspoon. It too was stuck.
Elizabeth, just use the demitasse spoon and slurp
up your porridge Prince Philip growled
glared at him. She knew this was payback
for 1954. This time it was the who Prince smirked.
dipped her demitasse spoon in the soup.
Several seats away a loud fart burst out.
It was Lord Bladderfish, massively breaking wind,
aghast at the Queens breach of etiquette.
Next to him, Meghan sat in full Duchess mode,
smiling demurely, and gave the Queen a wink.
The rest of
the dinner was rough on the Queen, who could only
free a butter knife and a cake fork from the
tablecloth to eat a 12 course dinner. But
now she respected the Duchess as a worthy
adversary. Game on.
The next day at the polo fields.
your Majesty, I think someone put laxative in
your apple juice
try Meghan. But Prince Charles ran that
gambit for years. I never touch the juice.
But honey, your tea contained an intense diuretic.
And youll be waiting for hours until I get
up before you can pee. Enjoy the polo match.