His Royal Highness The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, Baron Killyleagh, Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty the Queen, Airmiles Andy is a national treasure.
What I mean by this is that he should be locked in a chest, taken out into the nation's back garden and sunk into the ground for safe keeping, like a family heirloom. If ever we need him for anything, like cosying up to a fascist dictator, or selling arms to regimes with questionable ethics, we could send out the nation's dog to dig him up like a buried bone.
Since he stopped being the Special Whatever He Was, he is actually costing us more to keep him in the manner to which he was always accustomed, than when he was in what might loosely be termed 'full employment.'
Although, you would have to squint pretty hard to view what he did as work. Jetting off at our expense to glad-hand the rich and shameless, have lunch and be the subject of the formation forelock tugging that accompanies him wherever he goes, is not what most of us would call a hard day's graft.
When the Duke gave up his role as Britain's trade envoy, he had his people announce that he would henceforth be concentrating on matters closer to home. Well, he had a quick shufti and decided that his homes were managing to remain spotless without his personal intervention and that what he really needed to spend his time on was spending our money.
Since leaving his role at UK Trade and Investment, in July this year, he has spent 28 days abroad.
That's one whole month out of four in foreign climes. And what climes. He can't have had his man unpack his winter woollies yet as he's been living it up - I mean hard at it - in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. He's covered more miles than Santa. In the same period last year, when he was still with UKTI, he spent eight days less and travelled 10,000 fewer miles.
His apologists make great capital out of explaining that in his role he receives no pay. But he is remunerated up to his ear lobes in travel costs.
Last year he ploughed though £358,763 of your money in flitting hither and thither.
This year, out of the job, he will actually end up costing us more. This is partly due to the fact that he finds it hard to reconcile himself to travelling with the hoi polloi. Having to slum it with the people in first class is so non-U. It's certainly very non-Him. When you are so spoiled that you are blissfully unaware that there is even the option of turning right on entering a plane, first class begins to look a bit, well, plain.
Like the the king of the swingers, the jungle VIP, he's reached the top and had to stop and that's what's a botherin' him.
He could always waltz past the riff raff in row A and sit on the pilot's knee. That would be exclusive but would not match the travelling comfort that befits a man who would be called on to be King - under circumstances as likely as winning the lottery (which, in a sense, he already has).
Perhaps his valet could shove him through the cockpit window and splay him over the plane's nose like a spatchcocked hen. At least that way, wherever the plane was going, he'd always get there first. But that would be an undignified entry to any country and he might lose one of his medals.
The solution was to hire an entire plane for his personal use. Much better. He would be flying with altogether more agreeable company - himself. And if he didn't like the look of the Captain, he could always ask him to leave. Mid-flight, if necessary. The fact that this extravagance cost more than £40,000 just to get to Saudi Arabia and back is of no concern to His Royal Highness, of course. This is because we lumpen proles pick up all of his travel costs in full, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.
And on behalf of the freshly impoverished many, may I say: Sir, please stop working on our behalf for nothing. We can't afford it.
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