"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The United Queendom?

I often sit in the store, munching on my Walkers Cheese & Onion crisps, or gnawing on a bar of delicious imported, British-made Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate ("chocolate flavoured candy" to the loonies at the Canadian Fool Inspection Agency) while musing philosophically about various matters.

Some time ago, as I popped another mouth-watering Marks & Spencer Custard Cream biscuit (buy one get one free while stocks last at Blighty's) in my mouth, I wondered why the United Kingdom is not called the "United Queendom". After all, our head of state has been a queen, not a king, for the last 55 years.

We British have always been driven by tradition. We don't take lightly to change. And so it is with the name of our native country. The United Kingdom was so named in the year 1707 when the throne of Scotland was merged with the throne of England.

The thrones of England and Scotland had actually been held by a single monarch since 1603 when James I (James VI of Scotland) ascended the English throne following the death of Elizabeth I. Nonetheless, the two kingdoms were separate until the Act of Union in 1707.

So, there you have it. Kings and Queens don't usually last longer than about 60 years, but the "United Kingdom" has been in existence for over 300 years.

My little barb directed at the Canada Food Inspection Agency was based on the fact that Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate AND Canada were both invented in England. The chocolate came first! Nonetheless, the CFIA does not allow British made chocolate to be called "chocolate" in Canada!

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