Amazing fact: there’s no such place as Finchley.
There’s an East Finchley, a West Finchley, a North Finchley and a bit in the middle called Finchley Church End. There was a South Finchley once, but we don’t talk about that (dirty ‘Hampstead Garden Suburb’ splitters). But there’s no ‘Finchley’.
With all this time on my hands I’ve decided to create a country. It’ll include all the named areas of this wonderful segment of north London suburbia plus the parts of Mill Hill nobody wants and I, of course, will be king. Clearly if you’re going to make a country in 2021 you don’t bugger about with democracy and presidents and elections and all that – you install a family who will rule for centuries through the trusted mechanisms of serfdom, patronage and inexplicable, unearned loyalty.
I will of course be asking my subjects to make a contribution to my family’s upkeep. They’ll be more than happy to chip in a few pence of each Finchley pound they earn to pay for the pageantry that will hoover up tourists from the far-flung lands of Burnt Oak and Pinner. They’ll forgive me if I use some of it to buy many palaces I’ll live in for three days each year, and random objets d’art made of gold and ivory, because my incredible selflessness means I deserve a treat now and again.
Worry not, we’ll make ourselves useful. When Cornwall House GP surgery needs to unveil a new waiting room blood pressure machine for coffin dodgers to optimistically stick their arms in, I will be there in a flash with my bejewelled scissors or champagne on a rope. If I happen to have an appointment shotgunning seagulls in Windsor Open Space that day I’ll be sure to send a hyper-foreheaded cousin in my stead.
I suppose I’ll have to produce a baby, or buy one from south London or some similarly impoverished rathole, like Angelina Jolie. We’ll need my ancestors to run the Kingdom of Finchley forever, because in this day and age I’d rather trust the future of the country to the randomness of DNA and cross-eyed genetics than the dangerous and frankly mad system of letting the people choose their own head of state.
The people of Finchley, and every other country in the world, will stay utterly fascinated by my family thanks to a constant barrage of positive news stories no matter what we do. I could stand in the middle of Hendon Lane and shoot a peasant and I wouldn’t lose a single Daily Mail journalist. Woe betide any wench who marries one of our princes and doesn’t instantly turn into a simpering heir generator with an acceptable accent and skin tone. Anyone who attempts to badmouth us will meet the full force of the media with the unerring backing of the bovine proletariat. My son could paedo his way around all the schools in Colindale and still be remembered fondly for that time he stood smiling next to a helicopter within 200 miles of a war.
They didn’t ask to be born into this role, the imbecile masses will say, much like literally not one person has ever asked to be born in Yemen, Afghanistan or Lewisham. The royals bring money into the economy, they’ll claim, because the main reason people come to Finchley is for the fleeting chance they might catch a glimpse of a gilded carriage trundling past the Ballards Lane branch of Ladbrokes. They’ve been through so much personal heartbreak while Joe Public barely knows the meaning of poverty or pain. We should really be thanking them for swallowing all that caviar instead of just trousering millions of pounds of our money and retiring to a beach on Little St. James. I don’t have to explain it but I love them just as much as they don’t know or care that I exist.
Incredibly there’s bound to be the odd naysayer out there. Traitors will claim Finchley should be run solely by people elected to their roles for limited terms by ordinary people, like in Syria or Turkmenistan. To those buffoons I have the perfect riposte: look at the UK. Who do you want at the top of the tree: an irascible old lady whose one job seems to be to touch a sword on an old man’s shoulder from time to time, or ‘President Boris’? I rest my case, on your bent and calloused back ideally.
Worse, there are some who’ll claim they just don’t give a shit. Some will think the monarchy an absolute irrelevance at a time when the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth between them than all the women in Africa. Some will even spout the outlandish claim that news stories involving princes and princesses should be relegated to the dead donkey slot of the nightly bulletin, and even then only when a donkey hasn’t died.
To those treasonous fools I say: you plebs will have nothing to talk about without us. Compared to the Kingdom of Finchley, the world, its climate and the health of its inhabitants are calm and serene like a B-29 over Nagasaki. It’s crucial to national morale that Huw Edwards’ first ten words of every broadcast habitually include at least one of ‘royal’, ‘regal’ or ‘reign’ and that Nicholas Witchell closes his eyes each night dreaming of gorging on King Chris.
Coincidentally, Harry and Meghan Windsor are in the news yet a-fucking-gain, but that’s not what this is about.