I’m sure many of you are sick of hearing about Queen Elizabeth’s passing.
Here are 7 fun, strange, and possibly crazy facts you probably didn’t know about the vestigial remnant of an age that should’ve been replaced long ago.
#1. Prince Charles gave the middle finger to Trump
In December 2019, Queen Elizabeth was hosting a gala celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NATO alliance, with all of the leaders in attendance. A video caught Trump gesturing and blabbing off to the Queen and her son, where at one point the soon-to-be King scratches his forehead with his middle finger.
Was it just random? Perhaps. But Prince Charles is known as an occasional practical joker, so I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if this was completely on purpose. Also, Donnie pursued Princess Diana after her divorce, so.
As for what Trumpelstiltskin was saying to the Queen, I can only imagine.
“You know I’m kind of a queen myself. No, more of a king. The best king. America wanted to make me king. But I said no, you already have a queen, a great queen. And Prince. Great man, that prince. Sang songs real well. Purple songs. You should see them.”
#2. King George V was technically killed for more respectable news
Way back on January 20, 1936, King George V passed away in his sleep. And by sleep, of course, I mean a medically induced one. But that little fact was kept secret for several decades.
His main physician, Lord Dawson of Penn, kept a daily diary where he wrote a few fun little tidbits that weren’t made public until 1986.
According to the notes, the King’s last words weren’t asking about the state of the empire, as the official message went. Rather, he said “God damn you” to his nurse as she injected him with a sedative.
Lord Dawson also wrote he ended the King’s life for two reasons:
- “I therefore decided to determine the end and injected (myself) morphia gr.3/4 and shortly afterwards cocaine gr.1 into the distended jugular vein … In about 1/4 an hour — breathing quieter — appearance more placid — physical struggle gone.”
- He wanted to preserve the King’s dignity by ending his life before midnight.
Why? So his death could be reported in The Times newspaper instead of “less appropriate … evening journals.”
And as The Times had a midnight cut-off for anything to print the next morning, the King also saw himself cut off from life, too. God damn.
#3. Currencies around the world will change
Countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and several other former smaller commonwealth countries around the world still have the Queen featured prominently on their money.
Perhaps now it’s a good chance for them to get rid of any residual reminder of ruling-by-birthright.
If so, I’d suggest a kiwi bird punting a rugby ball for New Zealand, a memorial of the unsuccessful Great Emu War for Australia, and a polar bear eating pancakes covered in delicious maple syrup for Canada.
#4. The Queen was worth $87 billion in 2017
While it’s not an officially released number, Brand Finance estimated the entire British Monarchy was worth £67.5 billion in 2017, or $87 billion USD.
Of that, the tangible (touchable) assets were worth £25.5 billion, or $32.87 billion USD. Her lovely royal jewels, containing 23,578 stones, are thought to be worth up to £5 billion alone.
Fun fact: Most of the famous stones and jewels inside them — including the Cullinan I and the Koh-i-Noor diamond — were essentially stolen from South Africa and India. Yay!
#5. Don’t worry, they won’t pay inheritance tax
For non-royal scum of the earth in Britain, dying comes with a 40% inheritance tax on anything over £325,000. For people born into extreme pomp, privilege, and pleasure, dying comes with a 10-day national mourning period and 0% tax.
Phew, that was a close one.
#6. 32,000 swans now belong to King Charles III
And all the whales and dolphins and sturgeon (wtf?) in the entire United Kingdom as they’re the property of the crown.
Swans became the property of the crown in the 12th century, with another law coming in the 13th century deeming whales, porpoises, and sturgeon as “fishes royal”. Apparently, the monarch can claim any captured or washed-up royal fish at any point in time.
Thankfully, they won’t take a 40% tax out of each of the animals.
#7. The Monarch costs U.K. taxpayers hundreds of millions every year
According to the same report from 2017, U.K. taxpayers are out -£292.6 million (-$377.1 million USD) every year from the royals, while they bring in an estimated £1,766.4 million ($2,276.9 million USD) from extra tourism and other figures made up to justify their existence.
The most recent official expense — called the “sovereign grant” — came in at £86.3 million ($99.39 million USD) this year.
This doesn’t include the royal family’s massive security bill, royal visits within the UK, and a huge lack of income from the people-owned Ducky of Lancaster and Duchy of Cornwall, where tens of millions in revenue goes directly to the royals instead.
But hey, who wants to save hundreds of millions of pounds by maintaining a completely ridiculous leftover tradition of ultimate birthright for an infinitesimal percentage of the country when you can just fool half the country into voting for the worst economic decision in decades by saying “Eww, immigrants”?
Surely, that’s not the UK I know.
Long live the King.
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