“It’s the Queen's Sapphire Jubilee,” he said, speaking words that could get him hung for treason. He was her official biographer and an old friend of mine.
I shook my head wistfully. It was hard to believe that my one true love has sat on the throne for 65 years, which, coincidentally enough, is the same amount of time she's been Queen.
I guess I should begin at the beginning.
Once upon a time, at the start of World War Two, when Elizabeth was still a princess in her teens, I was hired to clean out the royal stables. Back then, her two favorite things to do were riding her horse and teasing me. She knew my name, but refused to call me by it, and nothing made her happier than bossing me around.
“Stable-boy, polish my horse's saddle."
“As you wish,” I said.
“As you wish,” was all I ever said to her.
“Stable-boy, feed my horse.”
“Stable-boy, give him water.”
“Stable-boy, brush him down.”
“As you wish.”
And then one day she realized that when I told her, "As you wish," what I was really telling her was, "I love you."
That's when she discovered that she loved me too.
“Stable-boy, fetch me that pitcher…. please.”
But I was a mere stable-boy, and had no money or prospects, so I left the palace to seek my fortune across the pond, in America. When I left, she locked herself in her room.
“I'll never love again,” she told herself, but that wasn’t completely true. There was one thing she loved more than me. The kingdom she would one day rule.
And that love was true.
I thanked Goldman and left immediately for Great Britain. It was Morgenstern, the head caretaker of Buckingham Palace, who met me at the gate and snuck me in the back door of the palace.
"You must hurry," he told me.
I did, and, man, what a great time I had at the Jubilee.
You see, I've been persona non grata since the time the Queen and I snuck off to Tijuana. We didn't come back for four days. Boy, that lady can party. When we finally made it back to England, I had to leave her passed out in a shopping cart at the front gate of her castle. A trick I learned back when I was a freshman at Faber College.
The whole extravagant affair reminded me of when I was invited to the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it. I had jury duty that day.
Prince Charles was upset, but he's been upset with me ever since he found out I knew Lady Di before she was a lady.
Years later, after his divorce, he called to ask me to perform the marriage ceremony in his then up-coming nuptials to Camilla Bowes. I refused for religious reasons. I don't believe in inter-species marriages.
"Jim, you were right," he told me. "I never should have married Diana."
"I never said you shouldn't marry her," I clarified. "What I said was: 'Why buy the cow...?'"
So, although I didn't perform the ceremony, as a personal favor to the Prince of Wales I kept the Queen Mum out of everybody's way during his wedding. Her stories tend to be long and tedious. She's used to her subjects having to stand there and not fall asleep. Unfortunately for her, I'm not one of her subjects.
"Did I ever tell you," she rambled in that high-pitched squeal of hers, "how, during the Great War, after each bombing by the Germans, I would go for a walk outside the palace gates to reassure my subjects?"
"Yeah, but only fourteen times," I replied, stifling a yawn. "Tell me again."
And she did!
Royalty never gets the hint.
So I excused myself.
"I need to see a man about a horse," I told her.
"Why, I never!" she sputtered.
"And, after I leave, you never will."
I turned and bumped right into her husband, the Duke of Earl.
"Who are you?" I asked, not recognizing him at first.
"I'm her husband," he confessed.
"Then why aren't you the king?"
"Well, that's a long story," he said, taking a deep breath in preparation for the exhalation of many long, boring words.
"Then I don't want to hear about it," I said, and exited stage left.
But I digress...
Prince William was disappointed that I wouldn't be there to throw him one of my legendary bachelor parties. He had heard about the one I threw for his father in Las Vegas. His father ended up missing and the rest of us ended up stealing Mike Tyson's pet tiger that night. I took a few of Mike's pigeons, too. They make for some good eating. And, man, what a hangover we had the next day.
It was during that night in Vegas that we met the Runaway Bride, Jennifer Wilbanks. She was celebrating her own personal bachelorette party by throwing back tequila shots, falling down a lot, and laughing hysterically for no reason whatsoever. By the end of our night of debauchery her eyes were permanently bugged out. They never went back to normal.
"This is too much, even for me, dude," Charlie Sheen said disgustedly, and left.
But, once again, I digress...
Prince Charles made a final attempt to get me to go to his son's wedding.
"Don't forget," he reminded me, "someday I'll be King."
"Don't you mean Queen?"
“What? How dare you,” he lisped, angrily. “Get out!”
“As you wish.”
as published in Desert Exposure Magazine