I don’t know how you get to quit the family, but it would have been fun if we had that option.
“Son, you better get out of bed or you’ll be late for school,” Mom would say.
“I’m not going to school.”
“You have to.
“No, I don’t. I quit.”
“No, the family.”
This is what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did last month, informing the Queen of England they will stop using their “Royal Highness” monikers and stop working for the family.
First of all, it takes more than a title to be in the royal family. I had a friend from Queens whom we used to call “His Royal Highness” and he didn’t have even a hint of a cockney accent.
And I don’t think it’s so easy to quit the family, either. Just ask Frankie (The Barber) Langelli, or what’s left of him. He was through with the Genovese family, but the Genovese family wasn’t through with him — if you get my meaning.
Still, using the HRH title and carrying out the royal “duties” can be pretty lucrative.
Here is a look at the family tree:
Queen Elizabeth, 93, is at the head of the family. She is married to Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who appears to have died somewhere around 1742.
Forget him, though (we already have). The line of succession goes through the Queen’s side of the family only. Philip’s (who?) family gets squat.
Next in line, of course, is the Prince of Wales, Charles, who looks like he was passed down through the Northern Dancer line. Then, there is his eldest son, William, Duke of Cambridge, a balding sort like his dad and then his son, Prince George of Cambridge, age seven.
The one to watch out for is the kid’s sister.
Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, age five, is fourth in line to the throne and is known as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. I say within a decade this little brat will have her brother’s head on a stake and will be riding a dragon around.
Who do you NOT see on the list so far? You got it, poor Harry. My friend in Queens has a better shot at the throne.
Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne. During his 10 years in the Armed Forces, Capt. Wales, as he became known, saw active service in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner. He left the Army in 2015 and now focuses on charitable work, including conservation in Africa and organizing the Invictus Games for injured members of the armed forces. He married U.S. actress Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, at Windsor Castle.
No one is saying as much, but “U.S. actress” raises a red flag. I imagine to the Queen it’s kind of akin to “Pole Dancer” — that is, not royal family fodder. Put another way, royalty is not expected to actually work for a living.
According to Forbes, the Royal Family is collectively worth about $88 billion. The Queen has about a half-billion a year to spend. I don’t see her out much. Taxpayers issue a “sovereign grant” to pay the annual expenses of family members. Last year, it was $104 million (of that, half went to hair loss prevention products and apparently a large sum went to Charles’s ugly pills).
The real dough is the private art, jewelry, and land held by the royal family, and private entities that provide income for royal family members like the Duchy of Lancaster, the Duchy of Cornwall, and the Duchy of Water and Vinegar.
Meghan Markle is probably the brains behind the revolt. I mean, she’ll never get the big chair at the royal family dinner. There will have to be a pox or scourge upon the House of Windsor before Harry leapfrogs the others and becomes king-in-waiting.
So anyhow, back to me. The reason why I am quitting the family is I’m unhappy with my Sovereign Grant. When I was five, I received 15 cents a week allowance, which eventually rose (after contentious debate in the state assembly and senate) to 25, 50 cents, and even a dollar a week. They gave Burger King workers more — go figure.
There is the matter of my title. If I do quit the family, will I have to forfeit it? I’m not sure what it is now, but I kind of like “The Duchess of Dochy.” I could be a viscount and then I could open “Rick’s Viscount Appliance Stores” and hire pole dancers at the grand opening.
By the way, the highest rankings are duke/duchess, earl/countess, viscount/viscountess, and baron/baroness. All other ranks of the peerage have the appellation Lord or Lady meaning everyone gets a title so it’s OK to say “Hey lady, can I get a Whopper and large fries?” or “Oh, my lord, your hair is falling out in clumps.”
Though I no longer consider myself a member of the House of Forcucci/Murphy, I will continue to collect my stipend and for the moment and use the title “Marquis” in case anyone wants to get tortured.