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Paper Monitor

10:27 UK time, Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Whenever Paper Monitor feels insufficiently regal - if no servant is on hand to spoon this column's Bran Flakes from a Tupperware container, for instance - the remedy usually involves turning to the Court Circular.

The Court Circular, for the uninitiated, is the official record that lists the engagements carried out by the royal family.

Written by Buckingham Palace officials and dutifully printed in the Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Scotsman, it harks back to a simpler, more deferential age when royal coverage did not involve long lenses or intercepted phone calls.

Best of all, it is composed using highly formal language and the kind of punctilious regard for the correct forms of address that would satisfy even Mr Simon Heffer.

Take the most recent missive, for instance, which details a trip to the UK by the world's most powerful man.

"The President of the United States of America and Mrs Obama today commenced a State Visit in London to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh," it begins.

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called upon The President of the United States of America and Mrs Obama."

Paper Monitor is sure that President and Mrs Obama were thrilled and humbled that a newlywed couple had deigned to have "called upon" them in this manner.

Still it continues:

The President of the United States of America and Mrs Obama afterwards visited No. 10 Downing Street and Mrs Obama remained to Tea.

It's the capped-up initial letter in "Tea" that really gives this sentence its air of authority. Paper Monitor will now refer to all afternoon ingestions in this manner, especially when served from Tupperware.

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