Americans and the Monarchy

In nineteen-sixty an American exchange teacher spent a year at my school. On one occasion he stood in the doorway of the staff room and addressed the occupants.

          “Say, isn’t it about time you Brits got up to date and got yourselves a president.”

There was a polite pause and then a reply drifted through the cloud of smoke that usually occupied the centre of the room.

“We did it try it once, about three hundred years ago, and it only took us twelve years to realise that we had made a mistake.”

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