This typically excellent cartoon by Andy Davey from The Sun is inspired by the news that Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, who turns 75 on Thursday, is abdicating in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander. In a pre-recorded address broadcast on TV, she said she wanted to put Holland's monarchy in the hands of "a new generation". Willem-Alexander will become king on April 30, becoming the first man to accede to the Dutch throne since 1890. Read more >>
The cartoon doesn't show the Dutch Queen, but Queen Elizabeth II and her son Prince Charles. The scene takes place at the royal breakfast table. Charles has placed newspapers headlining the Dutch abdication all over the room. He asks the Queen, "Have you seen the news, by any chance, mother?"
The cartoon draws a parallel between Holland's royal family and Britain's monarchy. There is much speculation that Charles (64), who has been heir apparent for 61 years, is impatient to become king. Queen Beatrix's abdication may have raised his hopes, and the cartoon shows the Prince dropping a rather unsubtle hint to his mother. However, The Guardian points out that, unlike in the UK, abdication is "in the tradition of the Dutch monarchy". Beatrix's mother, Queen Juliana, abdicated in 1980 and her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, handed over the crown in 1948. Charles, on the other hand, may have to wait a while longer ...
1. Ahem is used in writing to represent a sound that you make to get someone's attention in a polite and quiet way.
2. If a king or queen abdicates, he or she formally gives up power.
3. Dutch is an adjective used to refer to The Netherlands, its people or its language. • The Dutch speak very good English—and even better Dutch!
4. By any chance is an expression used when you are asking questions to find out whether something is true. • You don't happen to recall his name, by any chance?