Recently, there’s been quite a bit of hubbub around what will happen when that kindly old lady in the big house in London decides to shuffle off and be Queen of the afterlife. However, that being said, there will be many queens in the afterlife, so many queens that not even RuPaul could wrangle them, and competition for her to be supreme Queen of the afterlife will be tough.
Plans for the Queen Elizabeth’s funeral sound awfully bombastic and expensive, but hey, that’s the royal family for you. But that being said, when I die, I just hope I’ll be trim enough to be thrown in the bin, who cares, I’ll be dead, can’t smell things when you’re dead.
But the one thing that really stuck past the words ‘bank holiday’ is the secret phrase officials will be using to secretly signal that the Queen is secretly dead. In order to keep the news of Madge’s majestic mortality on the hush hush until an official announcement is made via a series of emojis and an on-trend meme, Palace officials will say that “London Bridge has fallen”.
Now, this code phrase is secret for a reason, so that royal switchboard operators and filthy serfs are unaware that the Queen has died, and we’re not supposed to know about this secret phrase, because obviously, being the smart buggers we are, we’ll know that the Queen is dead. That, or London Bridge has fallen, and the open top bus tour around London just got a hell of a lot shorter.
Can you image if the Queen died and London Bridge fell down on the same day? It’d be chaos and before we know it, pallbearers are carrying a giant bridge past crowds of mourners down the fucking Mall and we’ve got the builders in to assess the damage to the Queen, working hard to erect her.
However, if “London Bridge has fallen” is the secret code phrase, then it’s not a secret any more, is it? A secret, to most people, is well, a secret. It’s something that the general public or certain people aren’t meant to know? Your PIN code? Secret. Your Twitter password? Secret. Your browsing history? Oh boy, that’s a big ol’ secret. For all we know, this could be a dummy phrase and the real secret phrase to announce the Queen’s passing is something so ridiculous that not even Donald Trump could conceptualise it, and he believe that his microwave is spying on him and the toaster’s been laughing at him. Sad!
But if we now all know the secret phrase, then I’m sorry, but you’ve royally fucked up there. The whole point of a secret is that you’re meant to keep it. The worst kept secret in London isn’t some weird artisanal pub with beers that people pretend to like, it’s now the phrase to keep the passing of our head of pissing state on the down low. Not that we really have a state any more, Norn Iron wants to get back with its ex, Scotland wants to understandably deny our existence and Wales is just really here because it’s got nowhere to go, but anyway, head of state.
Make the plans for the Queen’s funeral public by all means, because it was genuinely interesting to read the sheer amount of work that’s going to go on behind the scenes to make sure that Mrs Queen gets a proper send off after successfully being the Queen for so many years. A lot of it sounds quite pompous, old fashioned and downright confusing, a bit like Boris Johnson, and much like Boris Johnson, you really have to question if we really need it all.
Maybe we need all this to slowly come to terms with the fact that the Queen, a solidly reliable monarch has made way for Charles, a man who strikes you that if you asked Rowan Atkinson to play the King in a film, he’d come up with Charles.That man will soon be the King of however many countries still want to be friends with us. Chances are it won’t be a lot, but hey, you’re the King, dude! Have a wander round the palace, get some heads chopped off, sort the garden out, maybe stop for a beer along the way, it’s your country, buddy.
Back to the topic at hand, whoever was in charge of the code phrase has really screwed the pooch on this one. Literally, you had one job, and that was to make sure that us common idiots would have no idea the Queen had died because you were speaking in riddles. We’d have all dashed out of our hovels to check on London Bridge to make sure that it hadn’t fallen into the river, but now we’re smart, cunning peasents, who will know that the bridge is fine, the Queen is dead, and it was all a simple lampoon. You were lampooning us.
It’s like that website, secretescapes dot com. They’re not secret escapes because we all know about them, they’re regular escapes. Less Colditz, more whenever Coldplay come on the radio. Though, in mitigation, they did run with the slogan “The Worst Kept Secret in Luxury Travel”. They acknowledged their secret escapes weren’t so secret, and they secretively ran with the secret ball. Good on them, but still, shit idea, because the escapes weren’t secret. We should have received coded phonecalls about how the rooster had nested in St Moritz, all inclusively, instead of a widespread marketing campaign.
Maybe the codeword for the Queen should be some gubbins about “secretescapes.com”. Unwitting Palace switchboard operators will think that either the footman is looking for an all-inclusive in Malaga, or that he’s trying to get a city break sorted for ‘er maj for a few days. Just her and Phil, in Barcelona for a bit, few pints of Estrella, maybe a tour of the Nou Camp. Lovely.
But, in a world where the secret sauce that goes into Big Macs is still secret, and we still don’t know whether Barack Obama can hack into microwaves, one of the biggest secrets has been allowed to become common knowledge. It’s not exactly going to compromise the security of the nation, but for fuck’s sake, it’s the secret password. I bet everyone got into your clubhouse when you were younger because they all knew the password, you absolute dunderhead, even the Queen thinks you’re a twat.
Furthermore, who chose this codeword? Does the Queen get to choose it, and why would she decide to say “London Bridge has fallen”? Moreover, what is the codeword for Prince Philip, will the “wheels on the bus go round and round”? If the Queen got to choose her secret phrase, why didn’t she have a bit of fun with it. If I were the
Queen King, my code phrase would be “The King is fine and not dead at all” to really screw with people. They’d hear that I was fine and not dead, when in actual reality, I am very dead. Ha! Peasents.
That being said, in whichever guise, code phrase or discount holiday website it may take, Operation London Bridge sounds awfully cool. Instead of slowly, quietly and peacefully passing on into the next life, it sounds as if the Queen will rappel down the side of Buckingham Palace before speeding off in an Aston Martin with a gaggle of SAS soldiers in tow. Quite how a woman that’s 90 years old will be able to rappel down the side of a building and perform a j-turn in a high performance vehicle is another matter all together, but the principle of it remains the same, Operation London Bridge sounds slick as hell.
So, if at any point you hear on the down low that London Bridge has fallen down, fallen down, fallen down, do not rush to see an entire bridge floating down the Thames, because you will have been mislead by fake news.