Start page ENPC

Translation: Dronninga og Jeg


1 Uneasy Lies the Head

The Queen was in bed watching television with Harris. It was election night, 11.20 pm, Thursday 9 April 1992. Harris yawned, displaying his sharp teeth and liver-coloured tongue.

"Are you bored with the election, my darling?" asked the Queen, stroking Harris's back.

Harris barked at the television, where a display of computer graphics (little men in top hats) was jerking about on the screen. The Queen watched with amused incomprehension for a while, before realising that the red, blue and orange computer men represented the present composition of the House of Commons. A tall man with flailing arms stood in front of the display and gabbled about the accuracy of opinion polls and the likelihood of a hung parliament. The Queen reached for the remote control and turned the volume down. She recalled how, earlier in the day, a secretary had passed her a clipping from a Conservative newspaper, saying, "This may amuse you, Ma'am."

It certainly had amused her. A spirit medium employed by the paper had claimed to have been in touch with Stalin, Hitler and Ghengis Khan, who had all assured the medium that, given the opportunity, they would have been hot-footing it to the polling stations and voting Labour. She had shown the clipping to Philip at dinner, but he had n't seen the joke.

Harris grumbled in the back of his throat, jumped out of bed and waddled over to the television set. It was now 11.25 pm. Harris barked angrily at the screen as the result for Basildon was declared. The Queen lay back on her crisp linen pillows and wondered who would be kissing her hand tomorrow afternoon, nice John Major or perfectly agreeable Neil Kinnock. She had no particular preference. Both party leaders publicly supported the monarchy and neither was Mrs Thatcher, whose mad eyes and strangulated voice had quite unnerved the Queen at their regular Tuesday afternoon meetings. The Queen wondered if the day would ever dawn when a victorious Prime Minister did not support the monarchy.

T he computer men vanished from the screen to be replaced yet again by anxious politicians being interviewed and Harris lost interest and jumped back onto the bed. After turning full circle, he settled himself onto the downy softness of the bedcover and lay down. The Queen reached out and patted him goodnight. She removed her glasses, pressed the "off" button on the remote control, then lay in the darkness and waited for sleep. Family worries came crowding into her mind. The Queen whispered the prayer that Crawfie, her governess, had taught her, over sixty years ago:

If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

As she took her last conscious breath before sleep overtook her, the Queen wondered what would happen to her and her family if a Republican Government were to be elected: it was the Queen's nightmare.