Throne of Thorns

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AUCKLAND, Today: The Listener columnist Paul Catmur (formerly of Barnes Catmur & Friends, and the NZ Herald) has turned his penetrating gaze on the Monarchy.

Listener editor Karyn Scherer told M+AD the title is currently re-installing its website – a process that will be completed early in 2023.

Sadly, that means no link access. Here’s Catmur’s column as he wrote it – before the Listener‘s subs got their mitts on it …

Monarch wanted
A recent bereavement has left the United Kingdom with a vacancy for a MONARCH. Although the post is based in London, the role will include extensive travel. Applicants should be prepared to devote their life to the Crown and peoples of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Candidates require no formal qualifications and will be selected purely by accident of birth. An extensive knowledge of history, British constitution and a love of small dogs is a definite advantage. Prior experience in horse riding, crown wearing and the ability to choose the correct cutlery for each course will help.

Job Description

  • The role will be based on continuing the life and work of your predecessor and includes: 
  • Overseeing the dissolution of the largest empire the world has ever seen. This includes the ability to maintain good relations with former territories and colonies who may have the tendency to feel aggrieved.
  • Being the figurehead to a disparate nation of millions of different races, beliefs, and football teams.
  • Maintaining peaceful government in the UK and ensuring the calm transfer of power from one regime to another whatever the politics of the new government. The candidate’s own prejudices or political inclination will always be secondary to the wishes of the people as expressed through elections.
  • Looking interested at interminably dull events, such as operas, nine course banquets, and the Commonwealth Games.
  • Entertaining visiting dignitaries (however repugnant they may be) opening shoe factories, launching battleships etc.

All this should be done while maintaining a long and happy marriage and simultaneously controlling the worst excesses of your extended family.

“You will be provided with a large staff including 158,000 soldiers, many aircraft, and a smattering of aircraft carriers.”

The salary is available on request. It is extraordinarily generous and includes bonuses for further conquering. Fecklessness is frowned on, but decades of self-sacrifice would culminate in a widespread outpouring of grief and a tremendously impressive funeral.

The role comes with extensive accommodation throughout the UK, including palaces in London, castles in Scotland and estates in Norfolk.

Extensive holidays and travel are included, though the winning applicant is expected to be on call 24/7.

You will be provided with a large staff including 158,000 soldiers, many aircraft, and a smattering of aircraft carriers. (These are generally used for ceremonial purposes only.)

Start date
This role will start on the passing of your predecessor and continue until your own death, whenever that may be. NOTE: early retirement is forbidden unless physical or mental decline prohibits further work.

A full uniform will be provided. This includes medals, crowns, tiaras etc. You will also be expected to provide your own extensive wardrobe of semi-formal wear.

There are those who view your role as the continuation of an aggressive and rapacious regime which has for centuries sought to subjugate people around the world for the benefit of the inhabitants of the British Isles. This is not your concern; you are merely doing your job to the best of your abilities. Try not to take offense.

Performance Reviews
Reviews will be conducted by national and global press who will be sure to let you know what they think on a regular basis. Again, try not to take this personally.

Next steps
Those interested should write c/o Buckingham Palace enclosing photos, CV and a covering letter listing relevant experience. Interviews will not be necessary as we have known you since birth. The Monarchy is not an equal opportunities employer.

Your predecessor was extraordinarily accomplished in the role and loved by millions. Don’t rush into it, you have a very hard act to follow.

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