Why the royals didn’t wear uniforms at Phil’s funeral

The BBC overdid its coverage of Prince Philip’s death so massively that it received a record 110,000 complaints. Enough many shows went off the air that I started to wonder if there’d been a coup.

For the funeral, they decided to be more moderate. I’d report on what was left on the air but I wasn’t watching. Sorry. I can’t do daytime TV, even in the name of research.

I also don’t do royal-watching, but I’ll make a brief exception. The word came down ahead of time that William and Harry wouldn’t walk next to each other in the procession. You know what it’s like when the kids are both in the back seat. It starts out well enough, but then they’re arguing about who reached across the imaginary line between them, escalates to who poked who, and the next thing you know they’re throwing ice cream at each other.

The brothers–watch the procession as many times as you like if you don’t believe me–were not allowed to carry ice cream.

Not only that, no one in the family was allowed to wear uniforms, which is interesting, because the royal family does seem to enjoy playing dress up, and they all have honorary military titles to match their clothes. Except Harry, who had to give up his honorary titles when he left the family business, although he has a less impressive one left over from when he actually served in the armed forces. Andrew, who (mysteriously) is still in the family business, was insisting on his right to wear an admiral’s uniform. And stand in the prow of a ship. That was to be towed along a street flooded to a depth of–

Ellen, stop. Somebody’s going to think you’re serious. But he did want to wear an admiral’s uniform. I’d love to know who leaked that glorious bit of gossip.

Irrelevant photo: Osteospermum–probably.


Fake journalist makes real news

An online gamer called Kacey Montagu infiltrated the White House press corps, claiming to work for a nonexistent news outlet, White House News, or WHN. Or alternatively for the Daily Mail, which does exist but which she didn’t work for. 

But it’s not just WHN that doesn’t exist. Neither does Kacey Montagu.

What she–and let’s call himherthem a she, since herhistheir persona is female–did was relay questions to the press secretary via other reporters. That isn’t unusual in these pandemic days. The usual 49 seats in the briefing room have been whittled down to 14, so any number of real reporters can’t be in the room, and the ones who are regularly relay questions from colleagues.

Montagu became visible in December, setting up a couple of Twitter accounts, and her tweets were useful enough (even if they do sound pretty bland) that she gathered a serious political following. 

She was finally unmasked by Mediaite, a website that focuses on politics and the media, and it was her success that did her in. She asked a question about Biden’s relationship with Obama that another reporter followed up on. It wasn’t your most incisive question, but there’s no predicting what’ll grab people’s interest. Or what’ll lead to your downfall. 

What Mediaite found was that Kacey Montagu was, as they put it, “a gag persona for a former Secretary of State made of Legos.” 

That needs translating, doesn’t it? 

Montagu was active on ROBLOX, an online global gaming platform where users call themselves Legos. Which in case you’re not laughing is a joke. 

I didn’t laugh either. Even after I found out it was a joke. The best I could manage was to frown and shake my head. 

Somewhere on the platform is a role-playing group called nUSA–a mock U.S. government. 

I know. People do this to entertain themselves. I’ll never understand our species.

Montagu was the secretary of state at one point but resigned because ”the President went to war with some U.K. and I thought it was a pretty bad idea!”

From this we can deduce that she’s principled if not grammatically gifted.

So who is this person? She’s been careful enough not to leave a electronic trail that leads to the person behind the persona, so no one’s sure. She told one set of people that she was an 18-year-old law student from the United Kingdom who was born in the U.S. and moved to Britain at six. That six is an age, not a time of day. She told another that she was studying political science and wasn’t motivated by politics but was socially liberal and conservative on economic issues.

People who know her online are skeptical about most of that. What they’re sure of is that she bragged online about passing herself off as a reporter.

She did say “I love journalism, and I think the Press Corps is doing a pretty bad job at the moment, so I decided I would ensure some transparency and ask some questions me and some friends wanted the answer to.” 

Because what’s more transparent than passing yourself off as someone else and claiming to work for a media outlet that doesn’t exist, and what’s more incisive than asking about Biden’s friendship with Obama? Talk about your burning issues.


Cake and gnome stories

Britain’s caterpillar cake wars have begun.

Britain’s what?

Well, store A, which we’ll call Marks & Spencer, since that’s what everyone else calls it, sells a cake called Colin the Caterpillar. It’s chocolate and cartoonishly caterpillarish. And since M & S is known for high-end food, it got huffy when it found that store B, which we’ll call Aldi and which is known for discount food, started selling a cheaper cake called Cuthbert the Caterpillar, which is also chocolate and cartoonishly caterpillarish and looks similarish. 

So everybody’s going to court, where the lawyers will wear wigs and look cartoonishly British-lawyerish, although, disappointingly, they will not emerge from a chrysalis to show off their wings and fly.

You needed to know about this.


In the meantime, Britain is suffering through a shortage of garden gnomes. Also of garden furniture, but it’s the gnome shortage that really hurts. The problem is due to a tragic combination of Brexit, Covid, and a hangover from the Suez Canal blockage. 

I don’t know what’s going to happen to this country, but it’s getting serious over here.

Send gnomes.

62 thoughts on “Why the royals didn’t wear uniforms at Phil’s funeral

  1. I didn’t watch it either. I also wasn’t interested. But hub told me he saw it in the news, along with a naked-breasted woman at the procession who shortly interrupted the solemnity of it all. Oddly enough, we couldn’t find it anywhere online later on. I wonder why.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WHN – I was tempted to say “I don’t understand”, but I have said, many times, that we live in the upside down universe. “Online” is not real life, and our “news” is word salad generated by software, so a pointed question posed by a human with made up credentials sounds like we are on balance.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I did wonder about the uniform thingey. Thanks for explaining that. Apparently most shops have a knock-off catterpillar cake but M&S chose Aldi to take to court over it. It will be interesting to see if they win.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it’s the full-on imitation of calling it Cuthbert the Caterpillar. For what it’s worth, I looked up the origins of the two name s to see if I could make some sort of class sense of this, since I recognize Cuthbert as Anglo-Saxon. But Colin’s Celtic in origin, so if this says anything about class or history it goes right over my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cuthbert is almost a patron saint up here as he’s a Northumbrian. Schools, roads, squares, churches et al named after him. Aldi is very popular too so maybe they are pandering to the countries poorer relations. We don’t have many M&S’s or Colins, so presume they’re pandering to the toffs doon sooth. ;)

        Liked by 1 person

        • That was more or less my guess, minus the semi-patron saint and the regional element, since we’ve got plenty of Aldi’s down here as well. But I try not to wade into all the thousand things that signal class and region in Britain, because although they fascinate (not to mention horrify) me, I’m sure to get them wrong. Guaranteed.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Prince Andrew need to go and sit in the corner and stop saying things in public, or going out in public, or being allowed to do anything.

    Harry on the other hand, as we were talking of uniforms, at his wedding chose to wear his actual dress uniform with is genuine rank earned when he was in the army. This makes him my favourite of a group of people I don’t have much interest in.

    I also heard that Andrew wanted to insist that he wore his admirals uniform even though he has had his right to wear it suspended while they decide how to pretend he is not as bad as Epstein, and there was something about Princess Anne’s uniform being higher ranked and Andrew had a tantrum because he didn’t want to look inferior to her… which is stupid, because he is inferior to her.

    I don’t think that was my most coherent moment…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. If only the biggest news story or even the biggest legal matter we had to pay attention to was a battle over whether caterpillar cakes are copyrighted. It is, however, a welcome break to read something so light-hearted these days.

    Garden gnomes used to be made by prisoners. At least back when I was a kid that was the case. Little me used to wonder whether making gnomes was more rehabilitative, as opposed to any other type of production,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. I had no idea. What a layer of sadness that would paint onto a garden decoration. In the US, it was car license plates–although I admit I didn’t think much about who made them when I saw them. Maybe because they weren’t supposed to be fun, they were just uninterestingly there.

      Lately I find myself looking more intently through the news for the absurd to lighten the mood a bit. I could–and probably should–be writing about the latest corruption scandal but the garden gnomes were calling to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. lol…great post. I love it! Prince Andrew=gross….blah, yuk, ick…all of those …to be clear–he makes me want to vomit as he stomps his wee foot and rubs his eyes. ugh.
    So, on to more important things….perhaps you could find a way to get Cuthbert and Colin cakes–and encase them in some sort of lovely case and have them pass as gnomes….would that work Ellen? hmm….the hats–they’d need hats. Just saying….
    Happy Day to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Substituting caterpillars–especially edible ones–for gnomes won’t be easy, but in these difficult time we have to be flexible. Creative. Lunatic. Yes. It can be done. I’ll work on the hats. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow ! I did not know that Aldi had stores across the pond ! They are considered a good thrifty place to shop in my area. But I won’t eat Gummy Worms, so I’m not sure I’d want a Caterpillar cake.
    I did watch the procession and saw no flashers – though the ecclesiastical robes at the end dazzled me. I understood the no uniforms, but everyone seemed to have a chestful of medals/service ribbons, which puzzled me. Sort of like a former Miss America wearing her sash to the PTA meeting.

    Pict’s comment about garden gnomes being made by prisoners was sorts creepy – well, nit the comment, but the fact of that. Maybe now with Brexit the banshees are infiltrating and carrying off gnomes – or (gnomes being more Teutonic) it may be leprechauns objecting to the invasion.


    Liked by 2 people

    • I suspect the gnomes all got EU passports–you can do that if your ancestors within I don’t remember how many generations–came from Ireland. They may be related to leprechauns. Anyway, they could’ve all emigrated and banshees will have to fill the gap.

      Great image about Miss America’s sash at the PTA meeting. It does have that quality to it–only it’s more like if I borrow the former Miss America’s sash, because I somehow suspect I wouldn’t wear it with the sort of conviction it demands.


  8. I just looked at the photos and thought it was odd that the royal Cavalry unit didn’t have horses and the artillery unit had horses but no artillery. I was waiting for a Navy to arrive on a truck. As for the photos of the Queen’s adult children, I would bet money that Anne could beat all three of her brothers.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s shocking! — I’ll so write about! ;)
        I’ve been reading a few articles just now and it’s reall funny how they all just quote ‘Ian Byrne, the assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster’. Gotta love great journalism!

        Liked by 1 person

        • So for all we know, this crisis involves one truckload of gnomes, who are parked on a layby because the driver packed a particularly good lunch, has a full thermos of tea, and the gnomes opened the back of the truck so they can lounge on the missing garden furniture and enjoy the sun.

          I hadn’t caught that they were all quoting one garden center guy. I relied on a single source since–okay, I’ll confess–this didn’t strike me as a highly controversial topic.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, you never gnome what really makes big news. I did enjoy Bernie’s Mittens this year …
            Let’s just hope they don’t run out of tea. It would be mayhem.
            PS. I did write a little something on the outcome for British society ;)

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’ll keep my eye out for that. As for tea, that was one of the fears during the world wars: If the country ran short on tea, morale would collapse. To the best of my knowledge, gnomes didn’t make the list of essential items.

              The impact of Bernie’s mittens was–um, unexpected. For the first few days, I kept wondering if I’d missed something.

              Liked by 1 person

  9. The hoohaa about uniforms was absurd, especially as it was originally spun as being all about “poor” Harry being the only one not allowed to wear one, when it’s the story about Andrew which has the ring of truth. From the photos, they looked a lot more dignified in morning dress and I think that should be the choice of clothing for all future events. None of this faux uniform nonsense.

    I didn’t know that about gnomes, so thank you for the morning chuckle. Himself did provide me with regular updates on the caterpillar war, as it tickled him. I was somewhat surprised to discover that M&S had selected the decidedly ordinary name Colin for their caterpillar, leaving Cuthbert available for the hoi polloi ;)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. A shortage of garden gnomes? Maybe they’re all hanging out at the pub now that it’s open again. Seriously, we have plenty to spare here in Switzerland. Not sure they’ll get past the border though…

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s all those border problems that are causing the crisis. Not only do they need endless paperwork, the border guards need to ask themselves whether they need individual passports as well. Nothing’s ever simple, is it?

      I will check down at the pub, though. In times like these, a lot of people are going to be solving their problems that way.

      Liked by 1 person

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