The British Royal family are a great source of interest, both within the UK and abroad, with their wacky displays of precision waving, their practiced ease in unveiling plaques and their bizarre dysfunctional home lives.
But what of the cost? Running a Royal Family will set you back twenty million pounds a year just in hay alone, but on top of that you've got legal fees, medical costs, general maintenance, bungs to the press and Prince Andrew's weekly kebab allowance. So, with all that in mind, it's no wonder that any ideas aimed at reducing expenditure are given serious consideration.
One proposal currently on the table is 'Pop-Up Royals'. These would be flattened versions of our current Royals that would be cheaper to store, could be sent easily via courier or through the mail, and could be deployed quickly and with the minimum of fuss whenever there was a need for some important person to open a community centre, shake an old person's hand or be photographed ambling through a freshly painted industrial unit, pointing at things.
These Pop-Up Royals would be created by flattening our current batch of Royals and then pasting them onto a retractable banner, and the company presently tendering for the contract is keen to point out how painless the process will be.
"It won't hurt us one bit," laughed spokesman Luke Chorley. "Only joking! Honestly though, our precious Royals will hardly feel a thing. It stings a little when they go under the giant roller, but the discomfort soon passes. I'll be straight with you, the process does involve a bit of 'crumpling' but most of the Royal family are pretty creased already. In fact, I can think of a couple where it might be an improvement, eh, eh?
"Ahhh, just pulling your leg. Seriously, aside from the occasional unavoidable rip, they'll be fine. We know how important the Royal family is and we know how quickly the nation would grind to a halt if they weren't around to do all the many, many great things that they do, whatever they are. I think one of them flies a helicopter, yes?
"In fact, I'd go as far as to say that we'd have them pressed, mounted and back to living off the flat of the land in no time, ha, ha, ha, ha! D.you see? 'Flat' of the land? They'll be living of the 'flat' of the land. Ahh, don't mind me, I'm just the joker in the pack. Did you know I do stand-up?"