Sixty long years after her first appearance on the world stage, Queen Elizabeth II has gathered fellow monarchs around her for a unique celebratory event – dubbed “Queen+60” by palace officials – to look at options for the future and sustainability of the monarchy. High on the agenda was how best to preserve the monarchy for the enjoyment of future generations, even though not much has really changed in the house of Windsor during the intervening decades, with Charles still waiting to be king and millions of people still drunkenly ignoring Her Majesty’s televised Christmas message. In her opening address at Queen+60, the elderly monarch stated that whilst one has been told that there are numerous definitions of sustainable development, one must choose the most suitable to the royal situation. She went on, “I have therefore decided that the sustainability of my family for future generations depends on making absolutely certain that my own next generation never gets onto the throne. I have worked hard for this over many years and I promise to continue to strive for that goal as long as I shall live”. At this point she unveiled a plaque with the words “The Future One Wants: how to save the Palace”, met with unanimous polite applause from the audience. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were absent, said to be at a luxury biscuit convention in Devonshire. Pundits were disappointed, noting that the long-serving sovereign had already made clear similar intentions at Queen+25 and Queen+50. For now it looks like busbies-as-normal at the Palace for the foreseeable future.
Outside of the main conference events, a great circus of side-events, debates and other celebrations has sprung up all around Elizabeth’s capital city. Visitors were expected in such numbers that the UK Border Agency issued warnings of expected long waits at major airports. As a result multitudes of visitors attempted to avoid immigration queues at Heathrow by opting for the more environmentally sound option of arriving by water-borne craft, leading to unprecedented congestion on the Thames. Accusations that the deployment of a warship on the river to act as a deterrent might have been unnecessarily heavy-handed have so far gone unanswered.
The event ended with a small concert and modest fireworks display, timed to coincide with the panic in the eurozone and slashing of public budgets across the realm.
On seeing the success of the event, Brazil has decided to invite the world to a broader discussion on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro later this month. However, the Queen’s Prime Minister David Cameron has made clear that he will not attend the Brazilians’ event, seemingly deciding that travelling all the way to South America for a minor issue like global sustainability was just too much for a busy politician.