The Windsors Coronation Special
Since we’re not doing a full-blown Coronation with platoons of dukes in ermine and princes of the blood kneeling in fealty, why not just save the money — and cancel the Abbey?
Prince William and his monstrously sensible Auntie Anne have booked the function room instead at the Holiday Lodge Express in Slough.
It’s free for an hour at 3pm, before Mel and Keith’s engagement do. ‘That’s all the country can afford, Pa,’ pleads Wills to the King (Harry Enfield).
The Windsors Coronation Special (Ch4) was everything fans could hope for, replete with ridiculously mangled vowels — including a heated assertion that the Monacheerr is not Institushanally Rarh-sist.
Wills (Hugh Skinner) spent much of the hour struggling with the name of his activities programme for poor people, Out And About . . . or Ite Un Abite, in strangled Windsorese.
Survival tip of the weekend:
Crunching on a crab’s claw on her desert island in Ruby Wax: Cast Away (Ch5), the 70-year-old comedienne chided herself, ‘I better not do that, my orthodontist will have a fit.’
Spoken like a true woman of the wild.
Every royal was fair game, including those who have stepped back to pursue privacy in publicity-free California.
Harry and Meghan (Richard Goulding and Kathryn Drysdale) flew to Britain to deliver a plea for a brotherly truce — then delivered it again, so their hidden Netflix cameras could get the close-ups they needed. ‘It’s so important to get your narrative out there,’ Meghan explained, through a rictus smile.
We got to the root of that sibling rivalry. At Balmoral when they were boys, Harry whined, ‘he had a Star Wars duvet and I had Paddington, which is really babyish.’
In a wonderful sight gag, Camilla (Haydn Gwynne) smeared ink over half her blonde barnet by accident, transforming into Cruella de Vil.
She was searching for the late Queen’s corgis. . . and in the next scene was wearing a fur coat trimmed with some suspiciously waggy tails.
And when PM Rishi Sunak (Happy Valley’s Amit Shah) refused to cave in to Charles’s demands, the King snarled, ‘You are worse than Nicholas Witchell.’
If the show had a point, beyond giving us all an affectionate laugh at the ‘Coronarshun’, it was that ordinary Brits don’t want penny-pinching with the pomp and circumstance, nor a trimmed-down royal family with big gaps on the balcony. Give us a full-fat monarchy or don’t bother.
But the fact that none of them is safe from satire sends another message. The Windsors has been running since 2016 but the Queen herself was never portrayed.
Though former monarchs haunt the palace (this time William IV, played by Peter Davison), it’s unlikely Her Majesty will appear as a ghost — there’s a limit to how much irreverence even Ch4 will dare.
No such reticence protects Charles and Camilla. They get sent up something rotten. The King is famously a great fan of comedy and, if he ever sees the show, will probably laugh to see himself in a kilt on a golf course, flailing hopelessly.
But a warily humourless palace official might feel more Victorian, and be unamused.
I’m still laughing in all the wrong places at Malpractice (ITV1), the hospital drama starring Niamh Algar as Dr Lucinda Edwards, an A&E doctor whose career is threatened by vindictive NHS investigators.
After pushing a drug-dealing GP into the path of a speeding car, Dr Lu arrived at work — only to find that the dying man was her first patient. The surgeon hadn’t turned up, as usual, so our heroine had to saw this poor chap open from throat to breakfast, and squeeze his heart by hand till he came back to life.
Then she was off to an awards ceremony, where she gave a foul-mouthed acceptance speech — watched bitterly by those relentless medical sleuths.
One was drinking an alcohol-free mojito mocktail, the other a virgin pina colada. Everyone knows you can’t trust a teetotal detective.