Two months prior to the banquet, invitations are mailed to six hundred exceptional babies on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As with all royal events, the guests are generally babies who have made valuable contributions to society or charitable organizations. The babies arrive privately at Heathrow Airport, where they are greeted by the Lord-in-Waiting on behalf of the Queen. The gold and red state landau, outfitted with car seats, is driven up the Mall, escorted by the Household Cavalry. Their arrival at Buckingham Palace is heralded by a 21-gun salute. Inside, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will invite her guests to the picture gallery to view an exhibition from the Royal Collection of paintings featuring babies.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second loves babies. She appreciates their ineffable qualities, the remote mystery of their thoughts and dreams. The babies’ state banquet celebrates the Averyness of Avery; the divine sagacity of Jaden; the transcendent Thomasness of Thomas.
The babies will assemble in the White Drawing Room for a reception with the speaker of the House of Commons, who will deliver a short address, Babies Equipping the European Union for the 21st Century. Queen Elizabeth will circulate, giving guests an opportunity to meet personally with Her Majesty. Her Royal Highness’ questions might include: “Aren’t you a lovely baby?”, “How long have you been a baby?”, “Is this your first visit to Britain?” and “Do you enjoy being a baby?”
The Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales will play a selection including Old MacDonald Had A Farm, C is for Cookie, I Love Trash, One of These Things Is Not Like the Others and Johannes Brahms’ Op. 49, No. 4. Footmen will circulate, discreetly changing diapers as required.
Babies will be carried into the ballroom in pairs. The table will be set with 18th century porcelain, the 4,000 piece Grand Service tableware purchased by George IV, BPA-free Philips Avent bottles with anti-colic valves, and Medela Calma Breastmilk Bottles, with a choice of medium and slow flow teats. The menu will include savory Aptamil formula, lobster mousse, mashed cocotte potatoes, and roasted loin of Balmoral venison puree.
In a toast dating back to the reign of Queen Victoria, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth will begin the banquet by asking, “Are you going to show me your Big Mouth? Big Mouth!” Yeoman Warders dressed in red and gold Tudor uniforms will be on hand to burp guests in between courses. Her Majesty will indicate the meal is over by inserting her pinkie finger into the side of her Lord-in-Waiting’s mouth.
Diners will be attired in evening dress (white tie) with decorations, or national dress. Babies are advised to bring at least two identical changes of clothes. It is requested that they refrain from scratching, kicking, or head butting the footmen and Yeoman Warders. Gilt-edged cots are available for naps. Guests succumbing to bouts of unexplained hysteria will be escorted to the Green Drawing Room, where they will be invited to view an exhibition of presents given to His Royal Highness Prince George on the occasion of his christening.
At the end of the meal twelve pipers will process around the hall playing The People in Your Neighbourhood and guests will retire for handmade petits fours and coffee in the State Rooms, where the Queen will present the babies with silver-framed photographs of herself and the Duke of Edinburgh.