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Charlene: Europe's saving grace

Just when we thought we'd fallen out with Europe they sent us her. Clearly sensing that our stereotype of a European is a now fat-cat bondholder, they sent an angel to walk among us.

She's not even technically European but, in fairness, it wasn't her passport we were checking out. It would be fair to say there are few men in the country who didn't practically go blind from looking at pictures of her all last week. Dads all over the country suddenly developed a long-hidden interest in fashion, and particularly in asymmetrical, off the shoulder, long clingy numbers that show off magnificent South African swimmers' shoulders.

Many of us were barely aware of Charlene Wittstock before last week. But then she came and she brought the sun. The fact that she was with Prince Albert of Monaco helped matters. It gave her that air of attainability. She clearly likes balding, bespectacled, middle aged, Irish-looking guys, which made half the men in the country think they could be in with a shout. The fact that he pretty much owns a country probably helps. But, sure anyway, don't we all own banks and hotels in London and whatnot?

And the beauty of it all was that she just arrived. There was little fuss in advance. Sinn Fein or Richard Boyd Barrett or anyone didn't even have time to organise a protest. Because trust us, they would have thought of something. But no, we were busy looking forward to the queen and Obama, and even the Dalai Lama. And then Europe threw us this nice little unexpected amuse-bouche. We may not speak the same language as them, but we all speak the international language of a statuesque beauty.

But it will probably take more than Charlene to make us love Europe again. If you take it that, as a country who is disillusioned with our current partner, we are essentially speed-dating potential new partners over the next couple of months, you have to say that some of the others have a lot to offer. Rather than protesting at the queen we should perhaps be considering propositioning her. We're sorry we ran off with that fly-by-night European, Ma'am. It's all turned sour and now he's blackmailing us for money. Can't we come back in with you?

When we get Obama down to Moneygall maybe we should try to get him drunk and get him to agree to taking us on as the 51st state. We could have all the legal documents ready.

Or if all that fails we could just beg the Dalai Lama to take us into his community of peace, love and understanding. In fact the Wise One has some interesting perspectives on burning bondholders. Learn the rules well, he always says, so you can break them effectively.

Though, to come back to Charlene, if she was a bondholder we probably wouldn't burn her. Let's face it; she's smoking hot already.

Sunday Independent