If I’m not mistaken, we’ve had a ruling monarch for the last 60-some years who is of the female persuasion. As a consequence the national anthem can slip effortlessly and with no loss of metrical harmony from God Save our Gracious King, to the queenly version and back again, depending on the gender of the current occupier of the throne. With me so far?

We’re also living through a period of unprecedented equalising – I will not say equality, because women have not achieved parity in a whole bunch of areas although the direction of change remains positive – in the relative position of women and their associated rights.

At the same time, there is in some quarters – such as the USA for example – a definite traction for using traditionally male nomenclature for certain professions. You hear ‘actor’ not ‘actress’, ‘waiter’ not ‘waitress’ a lot in the new world, for example. It seems strange that words like doctress for female doctor never caught on in the UK, whereas we wouldn’t use master when we meant mistress…but I digress.

It seems odd to me, therefore, that they don’t adapt the UK to the UQ, namely the United Queendom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Since UK folk have had a queen for more than half a century, would it not make sense to refer to the nation as a Queendom, in deference to Her Majesty’s gender?

You would have expected the most strident of feminists to have called for a renaming of the nation. Perhaps they have, in which case I’ve missed it. Alternatively, since we have actors of both sexes, can we not have Kings that way as well?

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