How to answer your child's annoyingly difficult questions about the Queen

IN this time of national grief, some face the additional burden of handling questions from confused infants. Here’s how to answer them.

If Paddington Bear is taking the Queen to Heaven, does that mean he’s dead too?

No, Paddington is just leading her to the pearly gates and then he’ll come back to London to be with King Charles. I know there was never even the smallest inkling in the films that Paddington was so close to the Royal Family, but go with it. Everyone else is.

Will there be more Queens?

No, that’s it, now. It’s the boys’ turn until the 22nd century at least, or until Britain makes the unthinkable decision that the monarchy is an archaic institution that has no part in the functioning of a modern democracy, which will never happen.

Why are all those people queuing up to see the Queen’s coffin?

Because they liked the Queen. Because they want to be part of history. And because the British tend to lose their minds a bit and do strange shit regarding the Royal family about six to eight times per century. If anything we are overdue.

Am I wrong for wanting to watch CBBC rather than Nicholas Witchell?

No, that’s absolutely fair enough. We’ve all had enough of him and would prefer to watch a few hours of Bluey instead. Prince George is probably doing so right now.

If I work hard and do my best will I become Queen one day?

No. Due to the accident of your birth, there is no way you can end up with the immense wealth and privilege of the Queen, no matter how hard you work or how talented you are. Odd system when you come to think about it, which is why we’re encouraged not to.

Why was there no similar outpouring of grief when my Grandma died?

Because although Grandma was very nice, she wasn’t on all the money and stamps and therefore not that many people knew who she was. People didn’t feel they owned Grandma, which is lucky really because she would have hated all this bloody fuss.

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Seven money saving hacks and how they'll backfire badly

AS the cost of living crisis bites, we’re all looking for money saving tips. These will guarantee you’ll end up spending more than you would have in the first place. 

Go to charity shops

Second hand clothes will cheaper than new, you think, rifling through the racks at the local RSPCA shop. But weirdly this isn’t true, as even the stuff from Primark is cheaper in actual Primark. After spending £40 on a few items that begin to smell disgusting and fall apart after you’ve worn them for ten minutes, you go to H&M, where the clothes are expensive, but at least clean.

Only buy reduced food

Limiting your supermarket shopping to stuff that’s got a yellow sticker is a great way to save pennies, except a lot of it is shit that you don’t actually like. That vegan coleslaw will sit in the fridge for a few days while you build up the mental strength to eat it, and when you do finally open it, it’s way past its sell-by date. It goes straight in the bin and you get a ruinously expensive Deliveroo instead.

Get into candles

As well as saving money on electricity, candles provide a romantic atmosphere, and often a nice smell. However, after seeing how much a Yankee sodding Candle costs, you opt for cheap tea lights, which you need a lot of to cast any light. After leaving them unattended with the dog for two minutes, the carpet gets badly singed, which will cost a lot more to replace than your energy bills would have.

Share your streamers

Save a bit of cash by sharing your Netflix and Disney+ passwords with family: everyone chips in and, hey presto, you’ll have five different ways to waste your evenings for the price of one. Until your brother doesn’t actually transfer you his cut and your sister-in-law gets ill and you feel bad harassing her for the money. In the end you’re just resentfully funding everyone’s Better Call Saul habit out of your own pocket.

Take a packed lunch

If you don’t forget to make it, leave it on the bus, or pack it so badly that all you’re left with is a rucksack full of hummus and mushed salad, you won’t want to eat it because packed lunches are never appetising. Instead you’ll give into the siren call of a Boots meal deal or a Pret toastie, meaning you’ll end up paying twice over as well as feeling guilty. It’s lose-lose.