Ayesha Hazarika imagines what is going through The Queen’s mind as the prospect looms of the US President arriving on a state visit
Despite doing this Queen gig for 65 years, 2017 is already proving to be an annus horribilis. First there was that terrible sickness over Christmas, although reports of one’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Poor Charles.
Then there was all this fuss in the tabloids about Harry’s new girlfriend. Some American actress.
Speaking of which, I cannot believe that Trump chap is actually the President of the United States and (even worse) is coming to stay. I’m clearly not the only one. More than two million people have signed a petition against his visit and thousands have taken to the streets — at times like this one really loves the British public, they feel my pain.
Nothing brings out the best of British like a good political banner. My favourite from the women’s march was: ‘Without immigrants, Trump would have no wives.’ I still can’t believe I sneaked out and joined in.
Sophie got us these lovely pink knitted hats that looked like they had little ears — all the rage on the march. Nobody recognised us, especially in the onesies. The Queen and the Countess of Wessex among the people. Being a ‘Nasty Woman’ was such fun. Sophie and I may join the Women and Equality Party. I do like that Sandi Toksvig. I’m sure she’d be good with a horse.
I’m furious with the Prime Minister, however. Why has she invited Trump over so quickly? He hasn’t even unpacked in the White House yet. Theresa looks needy.
It’s okay for her. Once the state banquet is over, she can bugger off to Downing Street. If the relationship’s so special, why doesn’t she have a sleepover at No 10? Actually, I can see why that may not appeal . . .
To be fair, we have had to entertain our fair share of dodgy world leaders over the years. Hirohito, Mugabge, King Abdullah. And I still cringe at the awful Ceausescu visit back in 1978. There was the Bush trip in 2003 just after the Iraq invasion. The security cost an arm and a leg. Someone tried to throw an egg. We should have brought that John Prescott fellow along and saved some money.
We then had that terrible drama with President Xi Jinping. Charles did his own protest and boycotted the State Banquet – a smart move on his part as it was dull as dishwater. And don’t even get me started on the French! Mitterrand, Chirac and Sarkozy all complained about the food. How rude!
So I suppose we will have to have him as our house guest. Philip’s fizzing with excitement as you can imagine. Thinks he and ‘The Donald’ will get on like a house on fire. I can’t bear the thought of all the locker room bantz. Of course, someone will leak it to the press and there will be another mildly racist incident. Probably another march which muggins won’t be able to go on. Sigh.
But I must buck up, grit my teeth and get on with it. That is what I have always done and that is my duty now. As the PM says, we must all make the most of it. Now that we’re cutting ourselves off from Europe, we have to be nice to this man. The country so desperately needs that trade deal. And we should set an example: Great Britain will continue its proud tradition of welcoming people from all over the world whatever their culture or colour of their skin — black, white, brown, beige or orange.
So. We’ll put them in the West Wing. They’ll think it’s cute. And it’s far enough away from us. We must check how many of the entourage are staying. If Steve Bannon comes, I must make a note to tell the staff to use the cheaper pillowcases in case he decides to cut eyeholes in them and wear them as a hood — although I’m still more terrified of Kellyanne Conway. Must make sure the rifle room is locked, and the CCTV cameras are all working, just in case she fabricates an incident.
The President will have his own suite, although we’ll give Melania a separate room in case she needs a safe space — she can use Diana’s old one.
I’m dreading the presents. I’ll give him a nice pair of gloves I bought for Prince George for Christmas that were a bit on the small side. I don’t really want anything from them. The best gift Trump could give me would be not to grab anyone and end up at Spearmint Rhino after the banquet with Philip and Harry.
Before I go, I’ve just had rather a bold thought. In this new era of tearing up the rule book and taking back control, maybe we could consider doing something radical? How about we only invite and roll out the red carpet for people we really respect and whose values we share? People who don’t cost us a lot of money in policing the protests? I could certainly use some of that for the palace refurb. But enough of my crazy, political ideas. I went all Jeremy Corbyn for a moment — just a moment.
Right. Must dash. The One Show is about to start.
As told to Ayesha Hazarika