We gave them independence for a reason

HEAR ye, hear ye! On the occasion of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, Her Majesty is branching out from her official responsibilities and "giving back" by sharing her wisdom with those who need it most - American celebrities.

We now join her at Sandringham Estate.

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Queen Elizabeth's iPhone rings. Its ring-tone is "God Save the Queen."

HMQ: (Answering brightly) Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of Her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith! Who's calling?

Caller: It's Joan Rivers, Your Highness! HMQ: (Stiffly) Your Majesty. Rivers: (Gushing) Well, that's flattering - I guess I am America's queen of comedy! HMQ: (Coolly) I meant that you should call me 'Your Majesty.' How may I help?

Rivers: I'm thinking of getting my ears done. I wondered if you could recommend anyone, but then I had a look at your son Charles and thought 'Nope! I'm barking up the wrong queen!' (Laughs raucously)

HMQ sighs, presses 'End.' Telephone rings again.

HMQ: (Firmly) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions Beyond the Seas! Who's calling?

Madonna: (In a plummy English accent) Madonna of Bay City, Michigan, New York City, London and the Universe! HMQ: I beg your pardon?

Madonna: We've met, my liege. (HMQ coughs.) It's Madonna Ciccone - singer, dancer, actor, director, writer, mother, lover, fashion idol, provocateur, parfumier, revolutionary, enigma.

HMQ: (Distant) Ah yes, I may have heard of you. You once fell off a horse. How may I assist? A basic riding lesson from one of my footmen?

Madonna: Pishposh! I'm just wondering if you have any other grandsons. One of yours is married and the other one's not my type.

HMQ: Quite.

HMQ presses End. Telephone rings again.

HMQ: Gracious Queen, Noble Queen! Who may I tell myself is calling? Caller: (Cackling) Do you have Prince Albert in the can?

HMQ: (Primly) Harry, your cousin Prince Albert is in Monaco, assiduously reigning over his principality.

HMQ sighs, presses End. HMQ: (Sotto voce) What a regrettable cock-up. I thought Dick Cavett, Charlie Rose or Oprah, ah, Humphries might call, but all I'm getting is jesters and jackanapes.

HMQ lifts her cocktail glass to her lips, downs it greedily, and waves it in the air for replenishment by Servant. Telephone rings.

HMQ: (Stifling burp) QEII, 60 years and going strong! Who's calling?

Caller: It's Snooki, Your Holiness! From Jersey Shore! HMQ: Oh? You mean Jersey, the Channel Island, the British Crown dependency off the coast of Normandy?

Snooki: I dunno - I guess! Haven't you watched my show? I'm a huge reality TV stah ovah heah.

HMQ: My condolences. How may I be of service? Would you like some counsel on how to get along with the French?

I shall tell you what I tell everybody: Simply hold your nose and plug along.

Snooki: I just wanna know how you get one of them palaces like the one you have in Buckinham or whatevah.

I'm havin' a baby and I want a vacation home in yoah neighbahood. I thought England would be a good foreign place to look, cuz ya speak American.

HMQ: (Frostily) I'm afraid not. Rather, Americans speak English - at the very least, a few of them try. Best wishes on your confinement.

HMQ presses End. HMQ: (To herself) Soldier on, Bess.

Telephone rings. HMQ: (Swigging her cocktail) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in it for the duration! Who's calling?

Prince William: Hi, Grandma, it's Wills - and I'm in it to win it! Ha! I've been trying to get through to you all night.

How's it going, talking to the Americans? Great idea of mine, don't you agree? Humanizes us royals. Did you hear from Cee Lo Green? Did anybody call from The Black Eyed Peas?

HMQ: I don't believe any of your little friends of any eye-colour or proclivity has called, William. I've had the absolute dregs on my line. These people make Henry VIII look sober and refined. Where are their Colin Firths, Helen Mirrens, and Judi Denches?

Are American celebrities all shameless vulgarians?

Prince: That's harsh, Grandma! Didn't Ryan Seacrest or Adam Sandler give you a ring? William Shatner's usually good for a laugh.

HMQ: He's Canadian, William - shame on you. The colonials trot him out whenever I'm there. If I have to listen to another anecdote about the Trouble with Tribbles episode I shall vacate whatever ballroom I'm in at a brisk, unfriendly trot. You know, at this juncture I'd even be prepared to speak to the beefy fellow who played that gangster, Tony Soprano.

Prince: James Gandolfini? What would you speak to him about, Grandma?

HMQ: (Imitating a New Jersey accent terribly) Whatevuh he felt like. Are you outta your freakin' mind?

Prince: (Giggling) Oh, Grandma. Cheerio, then! HMQ: Goodbye, Wills, duty calls.

Telephone rings. HMQ: (Wearily) Helm of the Realm! How may I assist?

Prince Phillip: It's your husband, Sausage. Time to call it a night. I've got Downton Abbey on telly.

HMQ: (Waving her glass in the air for another cocktail) Hail, Brittania!

Exeunt. kate@katezimmerman.ca

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