Over the American holiday weekend, I was on the beach at Princess Margaret’s estate in Mustique with one or two of my many younger lovers, slathered in baby oil and engrossed in a beach read: The Sovereign Grant and Sovereign Grant Reserve Annual Report and Accounts 2021-22. It’s a flirty little bit of chick lit about the Queen and her official expenditures and the roles of the (throbbing) members of the senior royal family. But this year’s report was decidedly less sensual than its prequels, as it seemed to hint that the Queen’s summertime tryst with the living realm may be short-lived.
According to the New York Post, this year’s edition tweaked Lilibet Sr.’s official role from the 13 specific bullet points to a more vague description. “It’s the first time in more than a decade that there have been formal changes made to her job description. And it’s an acknowledgement of the long-reigning monarch’s health issues,” the Post reported.
In particular, the once-specific chapter entitled THE OFFICIAL DUTIES OF THE QUEEN, has become mealy-mouthed and subjective. There’s a wishy-washy official decree that states “[The Queen] and the Royal Household must be prepared to react appropriately to unpredictable national events.”And another that says:“The conditions of the [Queens’] Royal Prerogative are such that it is difficult to estimate the extent of their provision due to the uncertain nature of the circumstances that might prompt their use (such as a ‘hung parliament’).”
Oh, the Queen using her prerogative with regard to a hung parliament? Sounds like the cheeky girl’s got some life in her yet. Another chapter of the report states that in the course of the Queen’s reign, she has sent “307,000 congratulatory telegrams to centenarians on their 100th birthdays,” which not only seems like a good use of time, money, and antiquarian technology to me, but also a clue that the girl’s still got it.
Maybe I’m existing on island time and having a hard time believing the 96-year-old Queen is on borrowed time, but it seems like she’s living it up to me.