Royal Babylon: Our Jaundiced Monarchy

Needless to say, I wouldn't have posted a seventy minute documentary had I thought it not worth watching.

This is an investigative poem about the criminal record of the British Monarchy. Heathcote Williams has devised a form of polemical poetry that is unique, no-holds-barred personal and political. It is a great collection of facts that most people are unaware of.

Can we go on bowing and curtsying to people who are just like ourselves? We begin to wish that the Zoo should be abolished.

That the royal family should be given the run of some wider pasturage – a royal Whipsnade. Will the British Empire survive?

Will Buckingham Palace look as solid in 2034 as it does now? Words are dangerous things remember. A Republic might be brought into being by a poem.

The Criminal Record of the British Monarchy
An investigative poem
by Heathcote Williams

“The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.”

In 1840, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon the first self-declared anarchist, defined anarchy in ‘What Is Property’, as “the absence of a master, of a sovereign”.

In the year of the Queen’s Jubilee tourists peered as usual
Through the railings of Buckingham Palace,
But her fairy-tale was fading; the fairy queen’s wings were being clipped
By the Sex Pistols putting monarchy in their sights.

“God save the queen,” they sang, “it’s a fascist regime.”
And the song’s hook-line became a new anthem;
Disturbing to clutches of flag-wavers lining the streets
And horrifying to Middle England and the Daily Mail.

The Sex Pistols proclaimed, “She ain’t no human being,”
And their subversive posters for the record
Placed the band’s salacious name right across the Queen’s lips
And they masked her eyes with two spidery swastikas.

Full poem/transcript

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