Sandringham, January evening, large library. The footmen are locked in the footman’s room, the maids are snoring in the upper room.
The head of a once-red-haired, now almost entirely bald heir rests on the lap of the Queen of a once-powerful Empire. An affectionate grandmother’s hand ruffles the beard of a 35-year-old grandson for lack of other hair. Wood crackles in the fireplace, and the night’s comfortable silence is broken only by the muffled sobs of a young man. The elderly lady recalls that she was once stern, and suddenly a metallic note is cut through in the surprisingly young ringing voice of the 93-year-old Queen:
“Prince Henry Charles albert David, I order you to get up immediately and stop wetting the hem of my dress!”
– Gra…. Gra … grandma … (the Prince stammers piteously from sobbing) they don’t call me Harry, or even Prince, or even Duke! These stupid illiterate people called me a Duck, and now the whole press calls me That! And I served in Afghanistan!
– Oh, really?
“Well, grandmother, I didn’t serve, I played cards with the guards. But where!!! Right 100 km from the war zone! And the toilet paper is single-layer! And they have boring video games, only mortal Kombat, Tanks and Sims! And there’s no ice cream…
“Don’t make a noise, my dear, it’s all in the past!” But look at yourself, how you grew up after the service, gave up your bad habits and became like a normal person, even a little like your grandfather, Oh, how beautiful he was in his youth!
“I know, I know, Gra. My grandfather is an ideal, and I’m no match for him, whether it’s William! Well, I’m all my father’s son, just as bad.
“Darling, your supposed father has nothing to do with it, you are all in your mother, God rest her soul. (“She will not be remembered for the night,” the Queen thought quickly, but her face remained completely impassive.)
– My moоооооm…
– So, come on shut up! Your mother was a good mother, but a famous f*** …benefactress. Change the subject. Speaking of good deeds. What kind of patronage did you and Megan decide to keep?
– Megan decided… So Meghan and I decided to leave them all and take uncle Andrew’s remaining foster care. How do you see it, Your Majesty?
At these words, the old Queen suddenly jumped up and began to walk nervously around the room, then took out snuff, sniffed it, sneezed three times, then swore under her breath in German. In the depths of the library, the loyal dorgs growled menacingly. Harry stared at the scene in disbelief, and even drool began to drip on the carpet in amazement.
“Gra, I thought you could barely walk!”
“Lift your jaw, Harry.” Ah, my heart, of course, is floundering because of your endless scandals, but my knee joints have recently been replaced with new developments. After a period of rehabilitation, I can ride a horse again, the only thing is that the load on my hip still persists, so I have to shuffle in public. In short, get to the point. You want Andrew’s patronage?
“You won’t get them.”
“Give the keys to Frogmore to your brother, who’s going to set up a country club there, and then go to Canada to see his missus.” Let the rumor spread, the people will get a little angry, and my servants will figure out what to do. Louise Wessex has already stoically agreed to pretend to be an extramarital pregnancy for the sake of saving the nation, by the way, give me your silicone dolls and false bellies, we will improvise.
– My God, why Louise, she’s only 16?!
– It’s okay, your Mymra was also 16 when she got pregnant from her first boyfriend, we’ll figure it out somehow. Don’t put Catherine in danger again, for God’s sake!
“Harry, stop drooling on my daughter-in-law and my Persian carpet!”! It is better to gather the remains of the will in a fist and fly to Megan, we have to pretend that we agree on all of her claims.
– but Gra…. I’m afraid of her… She’s so evil! I’m afraid to sleep in the same house with her…
“Oh, Harry, you should have thought before, when you put your wick where you didn’t need to. However, all of you men are the same, you think with the wrong head… How to leave the country on you?
Meanwhile, Harry falls to his knees and quickly crawls on them to the Queen, his hands clasped in prayer.
“Your Majesty, the Queen, my dear grandmother! “Don’t order my execution, lock me up somewhere or send me to Syria, but don’t send me to my wife!”
“Begging on your knees?””All right, I’ll call William tomorrow and ask what to do with you.” Now go to bed and don’t let your grandfather see you! He has become a little crazy with age, and even in a rage at your Megush, may confuse you with a wild goose, and will shoot a gun… In principle, this can solve the problem, but such a scandal is not for my years… No, it’s decided. Let William think. Good night, grandson.
Harry respectfully kisses the Queen’s hand and disappears into the night, leaving her staring thoughtfully at an unfinished chess game.