In a beehive, worker bees watch the queen bee very closely for signs of failing health. Once the queen croaks, the worker bees quickly force-feed selected small bee larvae with an overload of royal jelly, a secretion that worker bees have stored in their glands. This feeding miraculously morphs an ordinary baby bee into a queen.
Bees have the system down for producing a worthy crowned head. This is not always true for humans who might be born to the purple, but sadly prove unworthy to sit a throne. In the case of English royalty, perhaps a blast of bee secretion would have spared George III from raving insanity; stopped Henry VIII from chopping off the heads of his wives; and made Elizabeth I think twice before executing some 60 of her subjects.
Just for fun, here are three questions about other British royals.
1) The following foibles, eccentricities, characteristics and lifestyle choices were habitually employed by a certain English monarch. Consider carefully and then name the monarch.
• A legendary speed eater, he or she could wolf down more than seven courses in 30 minutes.
• The morning boiled egg would be eaten from a solid gold eggcup with a solid gold spoon.
• The drink of choice was whiskey mixed with claret.
• To show off the excesses of the banquet table, chairs were set up in the balcony so the lowly public could file in and watch members of the privileged class eat.
• Some 24 chefs were summoned from Paris to cook for a party thrown by this monarch to celebrate this monarch.
• Windows were always kept open during dinner because the royal personage suffered from excessive sweating.
2) Match each of the wiles below with its willful sovereign:
(A) No burping at table
(B) No feeding dogs at table
(C) Breakfast cereal kept fresh in Tupperware
(D) Needed a daily instruction on how to operate microwave
(E) Does own grocery shopping
(a) Princess Diana
(b) Queen Elizabeth II
(c) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
(d) William the Conqueror
(e) King Henry VIII
3) The bones of this English king were discovered under a parking lot in Leicester in 2012. Examination of the skeletal remains revealed that he lusted for rich foods – peacocks, swan and egrets were favorites. He drank a bottle of wine a day, had irreversible tooth decay and suffered with bruxism – i.e. stress-related teeth-grinding. When he was killed in battle the blow was so severe that it drove his royal crown down into his royal head. He also had a taste for blood. He was no family man by any stretch of the imagination. Name the king.
1) Once Queen Victoria greedily gobbled up a dish at one of her banquets, the plates were instantly removed. Unfortunately for those last-served guests seated at the bottom of the table, they almost never got to eat a morsel of the seven-course meal.
2) A-d; B-e; C-b; D-a, E-c
3) Poor, hunchbacked Richard III was a king gone sour. He murdered Edward of Lancaster; killed Henry VI; drowned his brother Clarence in a vat of wine; poisoned his wife Anne; and knocked off his two nephews. If he’d started out as bee larvae, maybe a dose of sweet royal jelly would have improved his mood.