First of all, to all the MPs and electoral employees out there: I’m sorry. I really didn’t expect this to blow up, and I know I’ve burdened you all with thousands of dumb requests for the Queen’s portrait. Second, to all the monarchists or Elizabethans or Australians who just like free shit: you’re welcome!
Yes, it’s true. Australians are legally entitled to a free portrait of Queen Elizabeth, as I wrote earlier this week. That said, the program is funded by taxpayer money, and runs on the sweat and tears of electoral office workers and MPs. As Zach Littmann, constituent relations coordinator for a major Melbourne MP explained via email: “I’ve been inundated with smart ass emails by people claiming undying loyalty to the monarchy and asking for portraits. Literally this will be all I do this week.”
When I asked Zach how many portrait requests he usually gets he told me he’d never received one. “And now I’ve got over 100.”
Another thing I didn’t mean to do was put such a cost burden on our federal MPs. Because as Zach explained the program isn’t federally subsidised and instead relies on individual offices to foot bills. And Zach is worried that his office, as just one from around the nation, doesn’t have a budget that stretches for irreverent but costly trolling.
“The office is generally happy to facilitate people getting this stuff,” he said. “But we don’t want some sort of free for all where people are just getting it for lols. That’ll cost us a lot and we don’t have that sort of money to burn.”
So, presumably this is why I’ve now been blacklisted by most electoral offices in Australia. I’ve asked lots of people to speak with me, and most have declined. So guys, as penance, I’m asking my readers to think twice before requesting a portrait. Do you really want a portrait of Queen Elizabeth on your wall next to that goon stain left by your drunk friend? Yes, of course you do. But here are some portraits I believe would be even better than Her Majesty, and they won’t bother any MP or electoral office. You can still mount them above the fireplace, gaze at them longingly, and mutter to yourself: Yaaas queen.
- The actual undisputed queen of us all: Beyoncé.
- The person who pick-axed Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Some other photo of Queen Elizabeth.
- Like this one, of her manning a rifle.
- The Queen’s corgis, because if I could come back as anything in my next life it’d be one of these puppies.
- The guy who was fired by Queen Elizabeth herself for feeding whiskey to one of her corgis. I would come back as that corgi specifically.
- This photo of Prince George, who we all know will grow up to be fabulous.
- Michael Fagan, who broke into Buckingham Palace TWICE. He even went into the Queen’s bedroom and woke her up, because he wanted to have a chat with her about his personal problems. He was never actually charged with breaking and entering, either; he was charged with stealing the Queen’s wine, which he drank on her throne like the royal he is.
- The hero who gives us Allen’s lolly snakes.
- Julia Gillard, specifically when she was delivering her iconic misogyny speech.
- Courtney Act, the queen of gay Australia, specifically when she looked possessed in the Sissy That Walk video. I would suggest a portrait of that time I saw her drunkenly stumble into a pole after leaving a New York nightclub, but I don’t have photographic evidence of this.
- Henry, the cat I am sitting, of whom several people have requested portraits. I have to administer him turkey-flavoured Prozac every night and it’s all very cute.
- Me, for being the kind of person who sits cats professionally whilst starting a royal portrait revolution.
- All of the MPs and government employees who have taken this whole thing in jest, as did 99 percent of people who actually requested the portrait.
Once again, I am sorry. God save the Queen.
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