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Chatty at the Coronation of the Miserable Monarch


Our Man in Westminster, Sir Charles ‘Chatty’ Chatterton MP, was one of the few parliamentarians to receive an invitation to the Coronation of King Charles III. He has sent TCW Defending Freedom his reflections on the momentous day.

AFTER a tedious month trying to placate sobbing civil servants who claim to have been abused or insulted by my boss, the harmless dolt Barclay, it was satisfying to attend the Coronation of our new monarch.

I have to say it was no surprise to be invited. The Chattertons have been a feature of every Coronation since that of the previous Charles in 1661, at which my forebear, Ulysses, was appointed Master of the King’s Periwigs, a hereditary title that I occasionally use to impress visitors from the United States. The second Charles was of course known as The Merry Monarch, but I fear that this Charles, on account of his doom-mongering about the weather, is destined to be known as The Miserable Monarch, or perhaps in the light of some of his recent pronouncements, The Meddling Monarch.

During my distinguished career I have been offered many roles in the Royal Household but my sacred pledge to serve the people of Tittleham has overridden all pleadings from the Palace. Nevertheless, despite my misgivings and for the honour of the family, not to mention the dictates of tradition, I felt it my duty to be present at the Abbey.

You will be pleased to hear that an invitation was also received by my dear wife Lady Veronica. In her youth she was a member of Prince Philip’s inner circle and often accompanied him on his jaunts. Indeed it was she who introduced him to carriage racing and lemon drizzle cake. She has confided to me that the Prince was very impressed with her dexterity with the whip and that many of her citrous confections found their way to the new King when he was a bullied boarder at Gordonstoun. I believe her invitation was a belated ‘Thank you’ to her from Charles for giving him a modicum of pleasure in those dark, dismal days.

Sadly, Lady Veronica was unable to accompany me to the ceremony. Last week, while attending to a malpresented lamb, she was butted in her posterior by a pregnant ewe. Since the unfortunate incident she has been confined to her quarters with only a compendium of Georgette Heyer novels, her cross-stitch and a harmonica for company. However, I am pleased to say to Zlata, our Ukrainian refugee, was at the ceremony as part of the hastily assembled UKSIE (Ukrainian Singers in Exile) choir. They entertained the congregation as we assembled with a selection of songs about different varieties of wheat and problems with farm machinery. In the spirit of diversity and inclusivity imposed by sinister and shadowy figures in the new Establishment, we also had to tolerate a drumming combo from Bangladesh followed by a woeful attempt at Zadok the Priest by transgender xylophone players from Camden. 

It was somewhat galling to be seated in close proximity to a gaggle of people who are often referred to in the gutter press as ‘celebrities’. My old friend ‘Dusty’ Combermere, who perversely keeps an eye on these things, told me that the motley assortment of nouveaux riches included a singer of ‘popular’ music, a footballer, a dancer, a comic, and someone who designs female attire. Surely there are more deserving individuals. I suppose I should be grateful that the Ukraine was represented by the attractive Madame Zelenska rather than the snivelling little crook that is her husband.

The ceremony was mostly impressive but inevitably spoiled by the wittering of the weasel Welby and his vainglorious attempt to ask all and sundry to swear allegiance to the King. I am by no means an expert on God-botherers but rarely have I observed a sky-pilot so unsuited to his profession as this cleric. He officiated the ceremony with the conviction and gravitas of a speaking clock. One hesitates to think what other vocation to which he might have been better suited: perhaps as one of those chappies who give me parking tickets, or secretary of a village bowls club.

When the procession to Buckingham Palace began, I left the Abbey for my club to find some much-needed liquid refreshment and resume important constituency work with my secretary Catherine. As I walked through the soggy detritus left by the crowd, I could not resist the feeling that I had just witnessed a long-standing play at the end of its run that had begun to perform to dwindling audiences. The band played well, the costumes were impressive and the lines well rehearsed, but the players were aware that the plot was hackneyed, the songs were overfamiliar and the artifice had faded. It brought to mind Kipling’s Recessional written at the time of the pomp and ceremony of Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget – lest we forget!

I am pleased to say that the day ended well. I had prepared for the need of a booster or two by ordering a bottle of Glen McYousaf 12 Year Old Single Malt. That greatly helped my deliberations with my secretary leading to the composition of a series of strident letters to relevant Ministers objecting to property developments in the beautiful villages that adorn my estate. 

I fear that the reign of the new monarch will not be a happy one, but rest assured that whatever new nonsense emanates from Windsor or Westminster, I shall continue to strive to do whatsoever I can to further the health and happiness of the good people of Tittleham.

Your servant

Sir Charles Chatterton, Master of the King’s Periwigs, MP

Tittleham Hall
Middle Tittleham 

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John Ellwood
John Ellwood
John is the father of four beautiful girls. He is, thankfully, not knowingly related to Tobias Ellwood. ‘My Dear Friends . . . ’ a compilation of many of John’s contributions to TCW Defending Freedom is available in paperback and on Kindle.

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