First, Charles married above his station when he hooked up with a member of the "real aristocracy" back in the eighties. Now young William, second in line to the thrown, has been accused of "classing-down" after announcing his engagement to a builder's daughter. And in line with this change in royal circumstances, some commentators think the family, known as The Firm, is about to re-write the etiquette book by issuing a new set of guidelines more in touch with modern Britain. If indeed this story is true, here's what we reckon new guide to social protocol will look like:-
From now on it will be acceptable to:-
- Carry on a conversation with Her Majesty whilst tucking into a KFC Bargain Bucket.
- Lick the plate clean after a particularly tasty full English breakfast
- Belch loudly after a meal, wipe your hands on the tablecloth, then shout "lovely jubbly."
- Use a fish knife to cut your bread roll in half
- Break wind in the company of Her Majesty, say "pardon" then fall about laughing hysterically
- Ask senior royals what they thought of Katie Price's latest book, then wax lyrical about her "gi-normous funbags".
- Ask Her Majesty which perfume she's wearing, then follow this up with "Is it Victoria Beckham by any chance?"
- Keep tomatoes in the Royal fridges
- Chop asparagus into little pieces with a knife and fork, then shovel it into your gob with a large spoon
- Decline an offer to ride with the hounds because it means you'll miss "Snog, Marry, Avoid" on BBC3
- Refer to the wedding arrangements as "cushty".
- Ask her Majesty whether she saw the Millwall / QPR match the other day and refer to Millwall's defence as being a f***ing disgrace.
- Bring a packet of cocktail sausages to a royal picnic and say "get your choppers around that, love".
- At royal table, bemoan the fact that "her indoors" is shagging the aerobics instructor
- At Christmas time, give Her Majesty a pair of furry dice for her "new motor".
One thing however will remain strictly unacceptable, or so it seems:-
- Use of the royal "we", when discussing matters lavatorial. For example: "We have just been to the royal toilet and dumped a load. We tried flushing it down three times but the bastard still won't disappear." Alternatively: "One should steer clear of toilet for at least fifteen minutes, Your Majesty. We believe that's how long it'll take for the stench to clear. It's pretty ugly in there, we can tell you." Or alternatively: "Pardon us for taking so long in the toilet, Your Majesty. We think we're suffering the after effects of last night's vindaloo, if you catch our drift."
(The writer is the editor of a famous etiquette book)