After a fashion, in any event.
We’ve been seeing people marking Her Majesty’s Official Birthday up and down the country and across the Commonwealth, from parades, to speeches, to garden parties held even in typically rainy weather. However one local resident of Bristol has decided to mark the occasion in his own fashion, and has thus dedicated the past six months to crafting a new duck house made in the shape of Buckingham Palace. Here one would probably expect to find a charming duck-related pun, but alas we are not sure that there are any that can truly fit the bill.
Sorry, that one was rather flat-footed. We’ll stop now.
Colin Prewett, 76 and resident of Overston, Gloucestershire, had received some inspiration for his royalty-themed duck house after the expenses scandal of Conservative MP Sir Peter John Viggers who rather infamously was found to have fraudulently claimed £1645 in public expenses in order to have a floating duck island installed within his garden. The resultant scandal in 2010 forced the MP to step down from his position, and was part of a long-running series of irresponsible expense claims that were endemic to Parliament at the time, leading to a great public outcry. Upon starting construction of his own duck house, Mr Prewett was in recovery after undergoing triple-bypass surgery, and as such believed it was better to keep himself busy during the time. In all the floating duck island took him six months to complete, which worked on for various increments during the week — sometimes for as long as eight hours straight on the weekends.
The Buckingham Palace replica is seven-foot long and three foot tall, and constructed nearly entirely of plywood. It is kept floating by a number of milk bottles, enough in total to hold sixty gallons of milk, and is kept from taking unscheduled voyages across the pond through concrete-block anchors.
Mr Prewett had hoped to have the construction read for The Queen’s birthday celebrations, and was pleased to have been able to complete it on schedule. The duck house was properly installed in Overston’s local duck pond with the help of a JCB, where it received a warm reception from the local villagers. It has been dubbed Duckingham Palace, and it seems that Mr Prewett may not be stopping at that.
“Someone has joked that I should consider building a duck house in the shape of the White House to go next to it,” Mr Prewett has commented. “I have to say I’m considering it.”