The annual tradition of the New Year’s honours, in which the Queen hands out knighthoods by hitting kneeling people with a sword, this year saw the revitalisation of another tradition: war with France.
As Her Royal highness handed out the last of the knighthoods several servants were seen to enter the main hall, bearing armour, longswords and halberds and Queen Elizabeth informed the assembled celebrities, academics and businesspeople that as newly appointed knights they would be charged with the responsibility of sacking France and plundering their old enemy.
The revelation was met with a mixture of surprise, fear and patriotism as Her Royal Highness the Queen unfurled a parchment map of Europe that would serve as her new vanguard’s battle plan.
Ronnie Corbett, who was being honoured for his part in the ‘four candles/fork handles’ sketch claimed that he was touched but trepidatious : “I did wonder why she seemed to be stressing the whole ‘defender of the realm’ bit, but I just took that to be the traditional oath. If I was suspicious, it’s when she asked me to swear to never rest until the hated French were dead by my hand. Now I’m on this longboat. But no, it’s a real honour.”
The honours ceremony was not without controversy, however , as Jonathan Ive- the lead designer at computing giant Apple- quickly broke from the ranks as he was being fitted for his set of plate armour. Yelling about how he did not wish to die in battle the highly respected industrial designer was beating a hasty retreat when he was cut down for mutiny by the head of the Queen’s guard; the mountainous, scarred knight known simply as ‘The Black Hillock’
After Ive was dispatched through the fatal morningstar wound to the chest and dragged away to be displayed on the palace walls, the rest of the new knights quickly redoubled their oaths of fealty to the Soverign, to the kingdom and to the absolute eradication of the hated French.
Middle aged goth actress Helena Bonham Carter was particularly vehement. Speaking to us as she ran a whetstone over her dirk in an antechamber to the throne room she claimed: I have always coveted the annual honours and it was for this very reason. Finally the drums of war beat, England will rise again and we will reclaim what is ours; namely everything in Europe. Being knighted used to mean something. My monarch is bringing those times back and I will die on this sword before I bring news of failure back to Albion’s shores”
The call is being put out for all living knights such as Michael Caine, David Nixon, Artistic Director of the Northern Ballet Theatre and author Dick King-Smith have been sent out by raven though it it thought to be a matter of weeks before the trebuchets and hundreds of longbows necessary are constructed and the invasion can begin in earnest