Lucy Vickery

Spectator competition winners: royal clerihews

Spectator competition winners: royal clerihews
Princess Margaret Rose/ Had umpteen beaus/ And was probably kissed a/ Lot more than her sister [Photo: Les Lee/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]
Text settings

In Competition No. 3193 you were invited to submit clerihews (two couplets, AABB, metrically clunky, humorous in tone) on members of the royal family, past or present.

This one was a crowd-pleaser and drew a whopping entry. An inevitable element of repetition didn’t detract from the overall excellence, so congratulations, all round.

I was sorry to hear that Noel Petty, a king among competitors, has died. His stellar contributions, spanning many decades, are summed up well by fellow competitor Frank McDonald in this winning entry from another clerihew competition:

Noel Petty

Had the grace of a gazelle on the Serengeti.

Again and again he dominated competitions

With brilliant submissions

Pausing only to tip my hat to unlucky runners-up M.F. Shardlow, Tim Raikes, George Willett, Paddy Mullin, Nigel Stuart, Frank Upton and Janey Wilks, it’s over to this week’s winners, who take £8 each.

Edward the Second,

When the Grim Reaper beckoned,

Said ‘My life was decidedly merrier

Before they hot-rodded my derrière.’

Sylvia Fairley
The Prince of Wales

Rarely fails

To walk past, say, a carnation

Without some agreeable conversation.

D.A. Prince
Marie-Christine Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz Princess Michael of Kent

Was discontent:

She said, ‘I hate their royal games —

They keep calling me names.’

Bill Greenwell
Princess Margaret Rose

Had umpteen beaus,

And was probably kissed a

Lot more than her sister.

Nicholas Hodgson
While Jeff and Ghislaine

share a classic La Reine,

Prince Andrew has got

an American Hot.

Nick MacKinnon
Countess Sophie, née Rhys-Jones,

Rarely whinges, never moans —

You don’t imagine her a moper

On Oprah.

David Silverman
Duchess Kate

is William’s mate.

While he loses hairs

she provides heirs.

Janine Beacham
Queen Elizabeth II

Is generally reckoned

To have seen her reputation ascend higher

Notwithstanding she gained a commonwealth and lost an Empire.

Adrian Fry
King Henry 8

Is remembered as a great

Lover of women’s faces and arms and legs and such.

Heads, not so much.

Max Gutmann
The slightest spark’ll

Ignite Meghan Markle —

So I fear

I’d better stop here.

I.D.M. Morley
Richard the Third,

As you may have heard,

Comes in for a bit of libel and/or slander

In Shakespeare’s Tudor propaganda.

Chris O’Carroll
George the Second


That no one could hold a candle

To Handel.

Paul C. Evans
Henry the Fifth

Replied to the gift

Of tennis balls in the spirit of that noble sport:

Game-set-match on the Agincourt.

Robert Schechter
Henry Tudor

(No. 8) pursued her.

Don’t ask who;

It was true of a few.

Rocco Rillrash
George the Third

Did so much that was absurd

That I was sad to discover

He wasn’t Porphyria’s Lover.

Ann Drysdale
Meghan and Harry

Have a burden to carry

Being so sensitive and woke

When you’re just an ordinary gal and bloke.

Moray McGowan
Prince Andrew’s

A man whose

Claim has put him in a very English stew:

Not sweating, while not dancing, with a girl he never knew.

Richard Spencer
Do you suppose

That Princess Margaret Rose

Came to believe that life would have been sweeter

Had she wed Peter?

Carolyn Beckingham

No. 3196: answering back

You are invited to supply a reply to the poet from Frances Cornford’s fat woman or Shakespeare’s dark lady. Please email entries of up to 16 lines to by midday on 21 April.