“The King is dead. Long live the King.” Hoskins hoisted his nearly empty pint, looking hopefully around for somebody to notice this and offer to refill it.
“The king ain’t dead, you bloody sod,” said Smith. “He’s bleeding abdicating. To marry that American tart. The divorcée.”
“I seen her picture in the papers,” added Woodcock. “She’s a looker, but I can’t say as I’d give up the Crown to marry her.”
“Thin as a sodding skeleton,” spat Smith. “Probably bruises the Royal Balls on her bleedin’ hipbones.”
“Well,” said Hoskins, still holding aloft his now empty glass. “We ought to drink to him anyway. The next King, I mean. Prince Albert. In a can.” He got awkwardly to his feet and scowled at the men hunched over the greasy table. “Now one of you chaps stand me to another pint so’s we can do it proper.”
For those who don’t know, in 1936 King Edward VIII abdicated the Throne of Great Britain to marry an American socialite. It threw England into a constitutional crisis on the eve of WWII. Public opinion about the matter varied considerably.