According to this piece at Medium, the planning for Charles’s eventual death started as soon as he took office. If he carries the good genes, the planners should have 30 years to get ready.

The plan for Elizabeth’s death was called Operation London Bridge. The new plan is called Operation Menai Bridge, after the Menai Straits near Bangor.

Menai struck a note, then I remembered a Hix radio feature about the consistently terrible weather and constant shipwrecks in Menai Strait. Not an auspicious name.

The Medium article mentions another oddity:

Since the Princess of Wales will become Queen via marriage rather than by blood, she will also have the title of queen consort. However, as observed by Cosmopolitan, she is likely to be referred to simply as Queen Catherine. But that’s not all that’s going to change for Kate: according to some archaic regulation, she’ll also be the legal owner of every dolphin, whale, and sturgeon in British seas!

In other words, she becomes Princess of Whales.

And this strikes a similar note. One of those one-minute Ripley features I’ve been using at bedtime lately tells about some fishermen who cleverly evaded this peculiar law. A whale died near their best fishing area. If it touched the shore, it would become Royal property and thus locked in red tape. To prevent ruination of their best area, one of the fishermen cut a hole in the whale’s tailfin to serve as a handle, then the others rowed and towed the whale out to a point where the currents would pull it away from shore.

= = = = =

Whales + straits + Hix = still another story:

The 1962 Hix book tells about Pelorus Jack, a porpoise who decided on his own purpose.

Pelorus Jack guided ships through a tricky passage in the harbor of Wellington NZ from 1888 to 1912. When a ship approached the passage, he bobbed up and down several times to announce his presence, then led the ship through the strait. After the hard part, he dropped back and rubbed against the ship (“You’re okay now.”), then returned to the starting point to await the next ship.

In 1904 an idiot on one ship shot Pelorus Jack and injured him. He survived, but he never guided that ship again. The ship later crashed on the rocks in the strait and sank. Justice!


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