Perhaps there’s no surprise that the only sportsbook offering odds on the Queen setting up permanent residency in Ireland in 2019 is PaddyPower.
And at odds of 150/1 and drifting, even the premier Irish bookies isn’t convinced.
But with no deal Brexit still an option plus the threat of civil unrest that could result, there are very real plans to evacuate the Queen in an emergency as reported in the Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday back in February.
These date from the Cold War and have been repurposed to cover the eventuality of Her Majesty being put at risk if there’s rioting on the streets as a result of food and medicine shortages.
Senior Royals stayed put in London during the Blitz in WWII, but the old plans for Operation Candid – drawn up in light of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 – would see the Royals escape on the Hebridean Princess to the Scottish sea lochs.
Whether the Queen would then sail to Ireland and set up a permanent residence and where remains unclear. Her destination would presumably be Hillsborough House, where she and other Royals stay when visiting Northern Ireland.
However, with Parliament currently in control of the Brexit process and inflicting a procession of defeats on Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a no deal Brexit seems as though it’s off the table – at least for now.
All eyes are currently on whether Johnson can secure a ‘do or die’ exit from the EU by 31 October, or whether he’ll be forced to seek another extension in order to negotiate a deal that can pass the House of Commons.
The Government’s Plan B – call a quick election and benefit from any ‘Boris Bounce’ – has also hit the buffers with Johnson failing to secure the necessary two-thirds of the vote necessary to do so.
There’s still plenty of money on a general election in 2019 with 71% of bets driving the price to 1/1000 but with the opposition currently in charge of when that election will take place, Johnson may have to sit and sweat.