Hitchens on English Eccentricities

Just to keep people on their toes, it has been decided that the English
(or British, or what you will) should have an absurdity at the very
apex of their well-worn arrangements. Accordingly, an elderly lady of
German descent is the head of the Church, the state, and the armed
forces (being, as far as I know, the only colonel of any English
regiment to be married to the colonel of another English regiment), and
just as she came by her job when her own father expired, so her son
will inherit these same responsibilities when she, too, is promoted to
a higher realm. Meanwhile, everyone agrees to say “the Royal Mint”
(where the money is actually coined) and “the national debt” (where the
money vanishes into infinity). Her Majesty the Queen has been recently
photographed wringing the neck of a wounded pheasant on one of her many
estates, and has a husband who has to walk several paces behind her
when she appears in public (and for all I know, though there are those
rather difficult children, in private). The great thing is that nobody
in England/Britain/Albion/ the U.K. appears to find any of this odd.
Why should they? It’s not as if the telephone numbers and area codes
for the nation’s different towns were the same length. Where on earth
would be the fun in standardizing something like that?