The British band Coldplay once sang, infamously and sensually, “Closing walls and ticking clocks.” I am not strong enough today to go to Genius.com to see what some chads think this lyric is referencing — I have made up my mind that it is in reference to Her Majesty the Queen. The definitely still-living Elizabeth II apparently has at her frail-handed disposal “a specialist team of clock masters that spend 40 hours tweaking over 1,000 clocks in her residences for daylight-saving time,” according to an Insider headline.
This information was gleaned from a video that the Royal Family Twitter account posted on October 30, the day before daylight saving time ended in the U.K. (and, not to make everything about us, but a week and one day before it will end in the U.S. (this Sunday, get ready to be depressed)). The video introduces to ignorant viewers such as myself the concept of “horological conservators,” who, according to Wikipedia, are professionals in “the science and art of preserving timepieces to connect humanity with the history and heritage of timepieces.” The Royal Household employs several of them, one of whom is the fellow in the video, Fjodor van den Broek, who oversees all 400-some clocks across the estate of Windsor Castle.
“I go ‘round once a week to wind them up, so I get to know every clock very well,” van den Broek says in the video. I’m someone who clickity clacks on my laptop for a living, so I’m not in any position to judge, but that — plus the 40+ hours that go into adjusting the clocks for DST twice a year — seems like an awful lot of time spent on an unnecessary task. Has the Queen heard of atomic clocks, which automatically adjust for time changes? Or maybe just checking your cell phone whenever you need to count down how many torturous hours are left in the cursed workday? Or, if Her Majesty is too old to peer at objects anymore, even just one servant whose exclusive duty it is to hover around the Queen and tell her what time it is whenever she uses one of her remaining, rattling breaths to croak out an inquisitive, “Time?”
But here at Gawker, we love when people can find gainful employment doing what they love, so in that regard, God bless the Queen for keeping a few clock nerds on the royal payroll at all times. May she, like her timepieces, keep ticking along forever.