I read with great interest, on last week’s paper about the Queen of the Netherlands, and she recently after opening a dung factory in her native land.
“Oh, how the royals have slipped,” I remarked to myself, as I consumed a plate of sausages.
Alas, I have been reduced to sausages only for breakfast of late, on account of the hens having given up laying without any warning.
But that is a story for another day, today we will stick with the Queen of the Netherlands.
From the good old days of launching seagoing vessels by smashing a bottle off the bow, to the cracking of a bottle on the side of a slurry tank, standards have certainly slipped.
There she was, the Queen, in all her regalia, trying to look regal, and she surrounded by you-know-what, the stuff the cows leave behind in your farmyard.
She was trying hard to look regal, but it was the hard place to shine.
Where has it all gone wrong for the kings and queens of the world?
I wondered over the remnants of my fry-up. They used to be such utter snobs.
Fair play to Queen Máxima, she looked a knockout, in the accompanying snapshot taken at the manure factory, but there was no avoiding the slurry tanker parked behind her ready for action.
A mighty tanker too.
A top of the range slurry tanker, with one of those gizmos designed to spit dung into the ground rather than launch it up into the sky.
Still, ’twas a long ways from the Gardens of Versailles.
I pitied the lady, for I felt she was out of place.
Even a fertiliser factory, or a coal merchant’s, would have been a step-up.
Anyhow, I was telling the very story to a neighbour of mine, in whispers at mass on Sunday morning, speaking of my surprise at the lowering of standards of the once high and mighty royal way of life.
He interrupted my flow on the manure factory by informing me that Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is a “super woman” who has “a boot constantly on the land”.
“She cannot stay away from farming,” my companion boasted.
“That woman” he whispered in ever more hushed tones, “comes from a long line of land owners.
“She would have made the grandest farmer if she hadn’t been whisked away by his Majesty, King Willem Alexander.”
“Ha!” I replied “How in the name of blazes do you know so much about her?”
The very same man barely knows how to tie his shoelaces, and there he was spouting out about royals.
But alas, with the collection now in full swing, as he murmured his reply, it was drowned out by the jiggling of change and rustling of notes.
But I had heard enough to change my view.
Far from it being a lowering of the snobby standards expected of a royal, Queen Máxima in opening a manure factory is giving a clear signal to the world that here is a woman, a Queen, not only leading the way for the Netherlands, but putting farming and manure spreading right where it should be, centre stage.