Originally written for publication in The Boar, Warwick University’s student newspaper.
Well, it’s that time of year again. Various celebrities (and a few decent people) get on their knees in front of the Queen to be embarrassed with a title that derives respect from our awful colonial past. Fancy a few extra letters after your name? Worried that ‘BA’ alone might not secure you a lifetime of riches and respect?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Follow these few easy steps and you’ll be prostituting yourself to an elitist, unelected establishment in no time at all:
Be a ‘tireless’ campaigner for something
This doesn’t mean devoting your life to something that wouldn’t make you a millionaire. God forbid! Do a couple of benefit gigs. Record a message of support from your second study and tell the public to dig deep. Do adverts for a supermarket that supports saving the pandas but try not to mention that they also benefit from enslaving the Chinese. Tweet about it. That’ll do the trick.
Show your face everywhere
So you once fronted one of the most influential British rock bands in living memory? Now it’s time to make everyone absolutely sick of you. Norovirus style. To secure the knighthood, you’ll need to sing the one song people can vaguely remember enjoying at every public event for the next two decades. And no – Gary Barlow – in case you’re reading this (I bet you are) this isn’t a joke about you. You’re never, ever getting a knighthood so please, please, fuck off.
Be in the right place at the right time
Win a medal in London. Be a banker before the financial crash. Make a breakthrough in physics whilst people are still smitten with Brian Cox. Timing really is crucial. Honours are very much topical and a lifetime of hard work will just not cut it. Some knowledge of the cultural zeitgeist essential here. If your honour can capture the public mood, you’ll offer the monarchy at least another ten years of undeserved popularity. Her Maj will be knocking at your door in no time at all.
Slag off the monarchy at every opportunity
This shows courage if nothing else and the fact they have no right of reply makes them easy targets. It seemed to work for Cherie Blair so might be worth a try. I await my invitation to the palace.
This is no means a fool-proof guide. If in ten years time, you’ve followed it religiously and still had no luck perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if you’ve made the requisite number of appearances on The Jonathan Ross Show. If you and Jonathan are best mates – then perhaps that’s the problem.
Maybe it’s time to stop chasing the impossible dream of being so closely associated with a once mighty empire. And maybe, just maybe, you should stop reading this cynical tripe and get on with some actual work. Who knows? Someday, you might just be honoured for it.