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Wednesday, 15 June 2022


I told her that the Queen is the only

person in the country allowed to eat

a swan. She looks up at me quizzically

and asks why anyone would want

to eat a swan. The Queen can do

what she likes, I reply – she’s the Queen.

So does that mean the Queen actually eats

swans? she asks. I’ve no idea, I say – 

it’s just that she’s allowed to, if she wants.

So why can’t I eat a swan? she asks.

Would you want to eat a swan? I reply.

No, she says, but I want to be allowed to eat

a swan. I tell her that she is my queen, and for

the rest of my life I will fight for her right

to eat a swan. It’s not fair, in this day and age,

that just one privileged person, through a mere

accident of birth, is allowed to eat swans

whilst others are not. I will move mountains

to ensure that she, my queen, grows up in

a world where she can eat a swan, a world

where swan-flesh is democratised. There will

be no more barriers to this delicacy. Or maybe,

she says, the Queen shouldn’t be allowed to

eat swans. Maybe no one should be allowed

to eat swans. I think you’ve got a point, I say,

whilst sharpening my carving knife.