Royal message finally gets through

Millions of viewers around the world will today stand at attention while watching the traditional Christmas message delivered by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

But they will not be aware of the drama that unfolded behind the scenes during production of this year’s message.

My royal sources at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, where the Queen has based herself during the current coronavirus pandemic, tell me that it is lucky the Christmas message is being aired today at all.

I am told that Her Majesty’s second son, the Duke of York Prince Andrew, made a somewhat clumsy attempt to hijack the message.

“The Queen usually sits down in front of the cameras in November to record her message and a date and time had been fixed since mid-year,” a senior royal source told me.

“The Duke, apparently impersonating a courtier, rang the BBC and told them there had been a change of plan and that Her Majesty wanted to do the recording a day earlier than scheduled.

“The BBC crew duly arrived at Windsor Castle and were led to a state reception room where Prince Andrew had dressed as his mother and was ready to record the message. (main picture)

“The message itself consisted almost entirely of ‘Her Majesty’ delivering a vigorous defence of the Prince against the allegations made against him about his involvement in underage sexual encounters arranged through the late US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.”

My sources told me that all seemed to be going to plan as far as the Duke was concerned until he stumbled over a couple of words, forcing numerous retakes.

It was then that the BBC crew started to be a tad suspicious, especially when ‘Her Majesty’ reacted to her fluffed lines by loudly yelling “For fuck’s sake!” and “Fuck me sideways!” or just plain “Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck!”.

“It wasn’t so much the blue streak itself – the Duke and the BBC crew knew full well that Her Majesty usually lets rip with identical expletives when she mucks up a pre-recorded message,” one source told me.

“But the BBC crew could not believe the sheer volume at which the words were delivered. The Queen is usually far more subdued when swearing her head off in such circumstances.

“The other tell-tale sign that raised the crew’s suspicions was the cursory mention ‘Her Majesty’  gave to the late Duke of Edinburgh, her consort for so many decades who passed in April.

“Apparently all that ‘Her Majesty’ said in the recording was that ‘Oh yeah, and my hubby Phil popped off in April’.

“But what convinced the BBC crew that they were not dealing with Her Majesty was the fact that during the entire shoot Prince Andrew was ‘sweating like a pig’, as they put it.”

I understand that in the end contact was made with Her Majesty’s senior staff who put an end to the Duke’s ruse and Her Majesty proceeded with the recording of her own genuine message the next day as planned.

My royal sources are not sure how the Duke was going to convince his mother that she would not be recording her message at all, but some have suggested he was planning to use COVID-19 pandemic restrictions as an excuse for the BBC not turning up and then trying to distract her from watching any TV on Christmas Day.

“He was planning to smash the screens of every single TV at Windsor Castle if necessary,” one source said.