View from here - Prince plus cavalcade is the norm

31st July 2009 at 01:00
Teaching royalty has its perils - but at least budget requests are approved quickly, says Dick Summerton

His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince of Kibosh, arrived this morning for his first day at school. Aged two and a bit, he seems a perfectly normal boy - quite an achievement, considering his parentage.

He arrived in a cavalcade of five cars with outriders, from which emerged three maids, two nurses, 10 security men, a personal assistant, and the Queen. This is not unusual. When Prince Nastuk went upriver on his GCSE biology field trip, he was escorted by a warship.

After eight years as headmaster of the British International School of Dubur, I am used to such things. Our school is in Dubur, the capital city of Kibosh, one of those small countries you have trouble finding on a map.

The director and I stood in the blazing sun waiting for the royal cars. Her Majesty was late and the collars of our shirts became two-toned as the sweat ran down our necks. I bowed, copying the Tony Blair character in The Queen, while the director prostrated himself on a tatty red mat the bursar had laid out expressly for the purpose.

When we all got to the kindergarten, HRH headed for a trough of green goo and began pawing the daughter of the British High Commissioner - a promising start. After slopping the stuff around a bit, both children wiped their hands on a convenient nurse (who giggled rather than clout them, fearing repatriation to the Philippines).

Then off they went to stick paper lozenges on an unseasonal snowman. No tears; Queen very happy; my ticket home is postponed. Later the Palace called to tell us to build a three-room nappy-changing facility within four weeks. Expenditure approved in 20 minutes by head office.

Surveyed the campus this morning after meeting the royals. We have built a new primary, a pool and an athletics track this year; His Majesty wants the school to be the Eton of the East. I'm glad to say the main pitch is in a decent state at last and we can start rugby this September. Soon the gilded youth of Kibosh will be scrumming down and the dulcet strains of Bread of Heaven will soar over the rainforest.

A fight broke out at lunchtime between two palace drivers, one of whom had apparently been knobbing the other's wife. Security men refused to intervene, fearing repatriation. Their approach to security is limited to checking car number plates and establishing the driver's potential status.

US Embassy officials have offered us tank traps and bombproof grills as an extension of the Homeland Security programme because we have two US pupils. This will not work, however, since terrorists need only to approach in a decent car, bearing government number plates, to be waved on.

The minister of defence dropped in to complain that we were teaching his son the same history he studied when Kibosh was British. The head of history is a closet National Front member. I have instructed him to remove all the old maps with pink bits that he found in a cupboard last year.

"Dick Summerton" teaches at a school in "Kibosh", a small Far Eastern country (its name has been changed).

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