Friday, 10 July 2015

In Anticipation of a Royal Flush

You'd be surprised by how many postcards we receive at the Privy Counsel. When it comes to the more vulgar kinds of material possessions, we don't have much to hang on the Christmas tree, as the Swedes so charmingly put it, but in terms of postcards, we possess a fortune. An actual fortune! Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend sent us one just recently, of the historical-slash-salacious kind; a picture of a rampantly attractive Dakota Sioux by the name of Kicks Iron. We do enjoy our historical heroes and heroines at the Counsel!

Kicks Iron, a Dakota Sioux.
Photograph by Frank B. Fiske, ca 1905.
Then of course there's all the postcards from random weirdoes readers that clog up our postbox to the point where the postman is giving us dirty looks arrive with charming regularity.

This postcard, from a correspondent at Castle Howard, says:

To: The Privy Counsel
The Queen will be visiting the estate next month, and the lady of the house has asked me to contact you for some advice. (The household etiquette books were recently lost in a freak plumbing accident.) 
How is one to lay out the bathroom for a royal visit?  
How is one to offer the facilities to Her Majesty?  
Can one find loo roll that is superior to two-ply?  
And is it considered indiscreet, following the visit, to install a small plaque to state "the Queen peed here" for future generations to admire? 
Your discretion regarding the matter is appreciated.  
From: Private Secretary to Lady [name illegible - these aristos frequently suffer from hereditary syphilis, making their nervous systems unreliable and their pen-wielding limbs prone to tremors]

First of all, let us assure all our readers of our utter and complete discretion.


When it comes to laying out the loos for a royal visit, our experience is that ordinary cleanliness goes a long way. Scrub the bathroom thoroughly using eco-friendly products (stay clear of  bleach - you don't want the Queen getting her outfit stained then sniffing disapprovingly throughout her visit). Make sure the towels are clean, but don't use fabric softeners (apart from softeners being environmentally hostile, exaggerated softness causes bits of fluff to stick to one's skin which is annoying as hell). Avoid vulgar ornaments.

Googling the words "Which toilet roll does the Queen use" yields a surprisingly rich vein of internet lunacy. The least crazy comment on this subject that we encountered was "I think Andrex holds the royal warrant which would suggest that is the brand of choice for the royal bum". Then again, once the Queen is seated on your throne - belt off, trousers down - she doesn't have much of a choice, does she? We suggest you go for the most ecological alternative you can find. (Read one of our rants about toilet roll and ecological destruction here. Here's another one.) Also, of course, make sure you hang the toilet paper the right way round!

Regarding the royal visit toilet plaque, there are two schools of thought. The first, classic, school goes, "this is an unbearably vulgar and horrid practice and must cease immediately". Was it Josephine Tey who pointed out that if one is to believe all the stories of Tudor houses visited by Queen Elizabeth I, she must have made sleeping in other people's beds quite the hobby? (Then again, Tudor courts did travel more or less constantly. Maybe we should ask Tudor Friend to write us a guest blog post about this?) There is not, as far as we know, an outspoken tradition of putting up plaques commemorating royal toilet visits (though there is a rather festive anecdote about Henry VIII and a toilet in York), and so we suspect that the advice regarding them exists as a kind of sub-genre to the "Queen Bess slept here"-type plaques.
The second, more modern, school goes "take every opportunity of making your toilet a joyous, festive place - fucking go for it, babe!" We're rather inclined towards the more modern school of thought.

This is today's festive video, because it is simply a splendid song. The title does not correlate in any way to our current mental state, long-term memory, or employment prospects.

Festive video - Bruce Springsteen, I'm goin' down

Related Reading
Our last delightful postcard: Sober As a Judge
Our first ever postcard: We Receive a Postcard
This post is not the first, nor is it, we fear, the last, time we have made a cunning pun on the poker term "royal flush". German Friend was the first to make use of this delightful witticism: Royal Flush
How to choose an eco-friendly toilet roll (WWF)
A Thought-Provoking Blog About Cholera in Haiti

1 comment:

  1. Please be aware that we don't publish spam comments. Don't waste your time - use the time you would have spent writing gibberish in this comments field to drink tea, adopt a dog from a shelter, or call your grandmother.
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