Royals pretend to be soldiers, Putin pretends to be a wolf

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Welcome to Declassified, a weekly humor column.

In disappointing information, Ursula von der Leyen didn’t start her State of the European Union handle with a heartfelt eulogy to her pet pony, Dolly, which was killed by a wolf earlier this month. Instead she went with Ukraine as her opening gambit. Well, every to their very own.

The dying of Dolly the horse was a tragic occasion that left many unanswered questions: Was it a recreation of a Brothers Grimm fairytale gone incorrect? Was the wolf making a political assertion in opposition to von der Leyen’s geopolitical Commission? And — most definitely — was the perpetrator really Vladimir Putin in a wolf costume?

While there was no discourse about Dolly within the State of the European Union handle, von der Leyen did point out the late Queen Elizabeth II, whom she known as a “legend” — a time period that has, alas, turn into devalued by overuse lately. It’s gone from getting used to describe somebody who slayed a dragon to getting used to describe somebody who at all times will get a spherical in on the bar.

Speaking of the queen, there was fairly the fuss about which members of the royal family get to put on navy uniform throughout the quite a few funeral ceremonies. It’s a massive no for Prince Harry, regardless of him having been within the military for a decade, together with two excursions of Afghanistan. That’s as a result of Harry selected to depart official royal life in 2020.

Prince Andrew, who like Harry can be a non-working member of the royals due to, er, you recognize, that, will be allowed to put on navy uniform to the queen’s funeral “as a particular mark of respect,” in accordance to Buckingham Palace — respect for whom was not specified (the victims of his pal Jeffrey Espstein?) For the opposite ceremonies, Andrew can have to put on dungarees and a Justin Bieber T-shirt, or possibly a go well with. Andrew did, nonetheless, serve within the navy for greater than 20 years and noticed obligation within the Falklands War, and (this may occasionally come as a shock to youthful readers) was as soon as handled as considerably of a hero.

Princess Anne, who has by no means been within the armed forces, will put on navy uniform in any respect the memorial occasions. So will Prince Edward, who was within the Royal Marines for eight seconds earlier than deciding it was an excessive amount of like exhausting work and leaving earlier than finishing the coaching (Declassified ought to level out within the curiosity of equity that it has accomplished essentially the most rigorous navy coaching there’s — tenting at Glastonbury).

At Prince Philip’s funeral, Edward was decked out in full military uniform together with a formidable haul of medals. Rumors that he made them himself utilizing cash and sticky tape have been unconfirmed on the time of going to press.


“Lonely Frenchman’s request for 2 glasses of vin blanc cruelly denied.”

Can you do higher? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

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Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot information editor.

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