January 28, 2004

The aviacidal Windsors

A friend called me to make me aware of the following article from yesterday's Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Luckily, it was in the online edition as well.

I think it's hilariously funny so I'm putting it up here straight away, including a translation, and will comment on it later.
Elizabeth II. , 77, britische Königin, hat eigenhändig mit ihrem Spazierstock einen Fasan erschlagen. Ein Hund brachte der ein Kopftuch tragenden Queen den angeschossenen Fasan. „Sie nahm dem Hund den Vogel aus dem Maul und schlug dann vier oder fünf Mal mit dem Stock zu“, berichtete ein Augenzeuge dem Sunday Mirror. Das Tier sei erst nach einigen Minuten gestorben, und die Königin habe mit Freunden über den Vorfall gelacht, hieß es weiter. sagte: „Töten aus Spaß ist nicht zu akzeptieren, auch dann nicht, wenn die Königin daran teilnimmt.“ Die jüngste Tat zeige „die furchtbare Sucht der königlichen Familie, Vögel umzubringen“, sagte er weiter. Nach den Angaben wurde die Queen bereits in der Vergangenheit dabei fotografiert, wie sie Fasanen den Hals umdrehte.

Elizabeth II. , 77, British Queen, has clubbed personally a pheasant to death with her walking stick. A gundog fetched the shot bird and took it to the headscarf-clad Queen. "She took the bird out of the gundog's mouth and hit it four or five times with the stick", an eyewitness told the Sunday Mirror. It took the animal several minutes to die and it was reported that the Queen had laughed with friends about the incident. Andrew Tyler from the animal welfare group Animal Aid stated: Killing for fun is not acceptable, not even if the Queen partakes in it." This most recent deed shows "the horrible addiction of the Royal family to killing birds", he said further. It was reported that in the past pictures were taken by the Queen where she had been wringing pheasants' necks.
Oh my oh my! And even "personally". Doesn't she have servants for that?

Edited to add:
I found a slightly more intelligent version of the events in the Washington Times
When confronted by an injured pheasant, the Queen of England bravely leapt into action, brandished her walking stick, and valiantly smote the fowl beast.

When a gundog dropped the bird in front of her during a shooting party at Sandringham over the weekend, Queen Elizabeth reportedly hit it multiple times with her walking stick until it was dead.

Buckingham palace released a statement Sunday saying the queen was merely putting a dying animal out of its misery.

While pheasant shooting is an old royal tradition, many animal rights groups disagree with the practice. The queen's encounter added new fuel to the fire, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

"I think it may be a bit of a stretch to claim that this is a mercy killing. The pheasant should not have been shot in the first place," a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said.

However, the queen was apparently well within legal parameters with her methods. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation said the accepted and humane way of killing a bird was wringing its neck or with a sharp blow to the head with a stick.
We are relieved!

It will never cease to amaze me that the doings of the Royals, however obscure and irrelevant, will find their way into the world media and that lower middle-class hacks should go out of their way to embarrass themselves. WHAT, I ask you, do they expect the queen to wear in the country if not a headscarf? An Ascot hat? A tiara?

Have they ever BEEN to the country?

And do they expect the Windsors to give up what their ancestors have done for millennia now, namely murdering wildfowl, because a bunch of suburban hacks require it?

Even if I weren't on the side of the Queen already, whom I consider an unpretentious, dignified old woman who valiantly tries to make the best of the awful job faith has dealt her, the simple fact that my scummy friends from PETA are badmouthing her would be enough for me to be the Queen's partisan.

Besides, nobody knows more about horses than she!