After maintaining a dignified silence for 74 years the gentle Sussex resort of Bognor Regis has openly talked about the snub delivered by King George V on his deathbed, who, in answer to a servant who conveyed the best wishes of the people of the seaside town, uttered ‘Bugger Bognor’ and passed into the next life.
“This is a quite town which goes about it’s business in a mild mannered fashion.” said Bognor’s mayor, Ken Middleton, speaking from the town’s immaculately manicured lower pleasure gardens, “But for the past three quarters of a century, the good people of this town have suffered the indignity of this slight and we need closure. We appreciate that the King was dying but you would expect he could have kept a civil tongue for just a few more minutes.”
Over the years, the town council has agonised with finding a suitable response to the unfortunate Royal proclamation. A polite suggestion to drop ’Regis’ from the town’s name was met with general indifference; whilst a boycott of the 1982 broadcast of the Royal Variety performance failed to have any impact on the viewing figures.
In 2002, after much heart searching, the town attempted to bury the hatchet by sending a message of goodwill to the Queen Mother. It is not known if the old lady heard the message before her demise, but the Queen, already upset at the death of her mother, was said to be livid that Bognor Regis was implicated yet again in a Royal death.
Although he had previously said that nothing short of a public apology from the Queen would make amends, Mr Middleton conceded that he would probably settle for less. ‘An invitation to a Buckingham Palace Garden Party would be nice, or a visit from a minor Royal, a corgi perhaps?’