Every man a king…well almost…

Most of us get a toaster or silver plated teaspoons when we get married.  William’s grandma gave him a pile of titles.  The Duke of Cambridge; ooooh!  The Earl of Strathearn; aaah! Baron Carrickfergus as well; crummy.  But come on now, the lad’s only 28 and he’s already walking around like an advertisement for the Ordnance Survey.  Mind you his dad’s got more on his shoulders:  Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland and Earl of Chester.  I’m taking it that Great Steward doesn’t mean he takes round the drinks.

Look, I don’t mean to begrudge a chap a few titles, but isn’t three a bit greedy?  The last non-royal dukedom was created in 1900.  The last non ducal Duke was Duke Ellington and he didn’t get invitations to posh parties unless he brought his band.  Even to get so much as an earldom mere mortals have to be Prime Minister.  Hereditary baronages and baronetcies are all but defunct; after all the last one they created is in the hands of Mark Thatcher, hardly a great advertisement.  And yet royal children seem to get a shire and a half to hang round their necks.

Personally I’d have thought Prince was enough.  Come on!  It does for the purple guy from Minnesota and he’s a monstrous egotist.

It’s not just that Duke of Cambridge seems a lot more stuffy and unapproachable than Prince William (and seeming oddly normal and likeable for a royal is one of the things he’s got going for him).  It’s that it encourages a whole army of flaky descendants of former hangers on who got titles back in the day to go on swanning around as the Duke of This or Lord That giving the right royal two fingers to social mobility.  It just props us a crappy system that, just like the X factor, manages to separate talent from recognition.

So here’s my plan.  A lot of people might suggest abolishing titles.  I say go the other way.

If you abolish titles by decree, as they did in France, people will go on using them regardless.  European titles, even where they’ve been officially done away with, still carry a certain cache.

If you want to devalue a currency you simply print more of it.  If you want to devalue aristocracy you expand it, massively.

Think about it; the next reforming government creates hundreds upon thousands of dukes, earls, counts (yes, with an ‘o’), lords and what have you.  It could be a money spinner.  You don’t sell them to rich people.  No, that’s been done before.  You make them lottery prizes.

Those that don’t get allocated by lottery can go to deserving dinner ladies, nurses and the guy who runs the British Legion bar.

It would do wonders for tourism.  If you’re visiting the UK from New York, Tokyo or Ouagadougou your chance of having your picture taken with a titled person soar.

It also means that if your dukedom goes back to the conquest or your great great great great granddad bought an earldom no one will take it seriously any more.  People will assume you won it.  You won’t even be able to get a better table at McDonalds.

And of course all us newly ennobled hoi polloi can choose our title: Duke of Hazzard?  Let me wrap it for you.  Duke Nukem?  Why not?  Earl Scruggs?  Sorry, I’ve put it aside for my bro’ who’s a bit of a demon on the banjo but Earl Tupper is still available.  Count Basie?  Play us a tune and it’s yours.

Of course I’m only suggesting this because I secretly hanker after a title myself.  I have my eye on Lord Scricket-Ground, but don’t worry, I won’t stand on ceremony.  We can even have a piccy taken together if you like.  Come on now.  Say cheese….

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3 Responses to “Every man a king…well almost…”

  1. blackwatertown Says:

    Good thinking – ad good dukedom ideas.
    I think I’ll go for a double honour – Baron Knight – which will only mean something to someone old enough.
    (Think of a visit to the dentist to the tune of By The Rivers of Babylon…)

    • headstrongclub Says:

      Arise Lord Paul and accept your baronial regalia of a spangly silver sequinned cocktail jacket and a bushy moustache with a handy self adhesive patch on the back.

  2. blackwatertown Says:

    he perfect attire my liege and just what I was hoping for.

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