Postpartum Hedgetrimmer is undoubtedly the leading Something or Other in the UK these days. For a long time now the Official Something or Other posts in the UK, in particular, have been limited and only for the lifetime of the appointee.
Each official something or other is selected by an extremely secretive government cabinet committee of senior civil servants, ex-cabinet ministers and the retired presenters of highly-rated reality TV programmes. The committee’s recommendations are vetted by a specially selected board of High Something or Others who themselves have gone through the same rigorous selection procedure in the past. Then after this process a list of no more than six names is personally handed to the Queen – as head of State – by the currently serving Prime Minister.
It is from this list alone that the Queen will personally select, when a vacancy becomes available, the next Something or Other from that list. Hedgetrimmer is, of course, the longest serving Something or Other in the current coterie. Even though the role these days is mainly ceremonial, all the current Something or Others now serving must attend various state functions. As well as be on call if the current Head of State or her immediate family require Something or Other.
This pandering to the whims and needs of the present incumbent of the throne is, as the name suggests, why the role of Royal Something or Other was invented. As with most of these functions, the precise nature of the original functionary is now lost in the increasing ceremonial current role. But in the past, being someone who the royal personage trusted to obtain something or other meant that the role was a very powerful court position. This was especially so when that something or other was something or other that was illicit, illegal or morally questionable.
It was said during the irreverent 18th century that the main purpose of the royal Something or Other was procuring floozies, harlots and jezebels to slake the carnal appetites of the current king or his immediate male descendants. It was said at the time that the royal Something or Others had their own fleet of sedan chairs available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All ready to transport hanky-panky ready floozies to the various royal palaces at a moment’s notice.
However, since then a great deal has changed. As far as anyone knows outside the usually secretive world of off-duty royalty, the procurement of ladies of easy affection and financially remunerative intimacy is no longer the prime purpose of the Something or Other. As Hedgetrimmer himself said in one rare interview, it now consists of mainly standing around near the throne or the royal personage at State functions. Usually, while wearing the kind of regalia that Elton John or Liberace would dismiss as too over the top and extravagant.
Still, there have been calls by those of a more republican and anti-royalty cast of mind to have such post as the Royal Something or Other phased out. However, such people are in a minority. The role, these days is mostly symbolic and ceremonial and of little functional use. Nevertheless, many feel something vital, some essential connection to the past and this island’s long history would be lost were such roles phased out, and – in this – the traditionalists could well be right.