Okay, look. We’ve all had friends who’d text us in the middle of the night with a cryptic message that implies the world is about to fall apart, and we’re personally about to suffer the most. We’ve all had those messages that say only “Call me” with absolutely zero context (therefore leaving us to assume that everyone we know is dead and said messenger is the sole survivor). At some point, a person has asked to speak to us in private, ensuring that between the second the question was asked and the moment the real conversation begins, we’ve run through 59258258 worst case scenarios, all ending with the firm belief we are either about to die or get fired or a strange combination of both. And then after everything, it inevitably turns out the person wants to know if so-and-so likes them or that they saw the guy you both went to school with in 2007 or that they’re thinking of changing their hair, and what do we think about that.
(And we think they can go to hell, that’s what we think.)
Anyway, last night Buckingham Palace rang the alarm by calling an emergency in the middle of the night, sending everybody into a mild panic because anyone who’s seen The Crown knows announcing the death of a monarch is much more stealth. (So panic/panic is reserved for, say, Hyde Park Corner.) But still: they did the thing where they sent the message with a thousand exclamation marks, making you think that whatever was happening was terrible and likely going to affect us all for years to come.
And then it was announced the Prince Philip is retiring from royal duties because he is 96 and of course he’s retiring from royal duties, my Dad is 62 and he retired last year and he probably has about 2582525 more years of life ahead of him, are you kidding me.
First off, could you imagine getting that message, then forcing yourself up and out — from Scotland, even — to head over to the palace, where you hear the announcement that a very old person is not going to go on tours anymore. “OF COURSE HE ISN’T,” you would probably shout in your pyjamas in the royal foyer. “HE IS NEARLY 100 WHY WOULD YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO ANYTHING BUT WATCH TV.” I mean, holy shit: yesterday I didn’t feel good and I abandoned all professional tasks and watched X Men: Apocalypse. X Men: Apocalypse. Do you know how bad that movie is? It’s terrible! But I watched all of it because I felt sick and I’d be damned if you thought I was about to write an essay like some kind of sucker.
But no. No, this time, at nearly midnight EST, Buckingham Palace called an emergency and said that while Prince Philip is for sure stepping down, he might still show up to royal events from “time to time.” They did the “call me” text message. They did the “Can I talk to you for a second?” conversation opener. And if there’s anything to gleam from this moment in history, it’s that if any of you do this to me in any capacity at any time, I will royal duty anybody you’ve ever loved.
I don’t entirely know what that means, but that’s because I’m tired after being up so late thinking something terrible had happened. Goddamn it.