OLD MAID

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‘Can everybody please stop getting engaged so that I can die alone in peace’

I’ve been dying to put this as my Facebook status for weeks but realise that I will look bitter and haggy (I’m still definitely the latter). I am also really happy for you guys (honestly) - its just a little overwhelming when I see a ring every time I open my laptop.

The 'first wave’ of engagements is on an absolute roll and for my year group, this year has definitely been the year to put a ring on it. To celebrate this with my nearest and dearest who are soon to be wed, I thought I would tell you about the day I found out that I was officially a spinster in the eyes of Her Majesty the Queen.

My Dad’s a bit of a toff you see. So much of a toff that once a year he must perform his duty as a member of 'The Royal Company of Archers’ - Scotland’s official protectors of the Queen. 

Every Summer he shoe-horns himself into an outfit that combines a moss coloured suit, a beret and a bow and arrow and prepares to sweat like a pig in a cellar at some ridiculous ceremony. He looks a bit like this:

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I sometimes think that my father and the Queen have rather a lot in common. They both confuse the concepts of sexism and tradition for a start. You see I am denied my birthright to ponce around with a bow and arrow because I am a girl. Dad thinks this is right as it 'has always been that way’ and 'he would not dream of interrupting my coffee mornings.’ When I am supposed to have these coffee mornings I am not sure, somewhere in between having a full time job and IT NOT BEING THE 50s.

It is also worth pointing out that his skills with a bow and arrow would be somewhat superfluous, should, for example a terrorist attack on the Queen occur, or if someone had thrown an aborted foetus at the Pope on his Royal visit to Edinburgh.

This is a gentleman’s club that comes with perks however. I was for a few short blessed years, allowed to accompany my parents to the Queen’s royal garden party, a welcome chance to (badly) Harry hunt and laugh at my father turning puce on a boiling hot day. That was until I found myself unmarried at 25.

Yes - in the eyes of the Queen if you’re over 25 and unmarried you are officially gathering dust. As an 'unaccompanied older lady’ the Lord Chamberlain casually removes your name from the annual invitations and you once again have no reason to ever wear a formal hat.

I’ve pondered what this means for the rest of her family and am gravely concerned for Beatrice and Eugenie. There is now a very real prospect that they’re using their boyfriends as beards so that their Granny invites them to parties.