Reading time: 3min.

by Jack Smith

Betcha bottom dollar ‘ahem’ pound

We all know the well-loved orphan who sings her way through life’s miseries and luckily gets to live in a mansion with the mega rich, Oliver Warbucks. Everyone’s sang along to the catchy and oh so cheery songs that make Annie so fantastic. We were all so happy that Annie got a happy ending, despite her bad beginning. But, it’s a fantasy, of course there was going to be a happy ending.

The reality is that there isn’t always a happy ending for young people growing up in care and there isn’t the same safety net that Annie has living with Mr Warbucks, when she becomes an adult. 23% of the adult prison population has been in care and almost 40% of prisoners under 21 were in care as children. Only 6% go onto University, compared with 38% of average young people. Whether it’s financial issues, accommodation or not having supportive people around them, children in care have the odds against them and it doesn’t get any better as they hurtle towards adulthood.

That’s what I was most afraid of, becoming an adult and having to completely survive on my own. Annie got a happy ending, why shouldn’t I? I wanted to live in a mansion and never have to worry about rent, Uni fees or learning how to cook. I wanted to make sure I’d be looked after. But, Mr Warbucks doesn’t exist. Mansions do, and who has an entire collection of mansion-sized houses, palaces and castles: Her Majesty the Queen of course.

Maybe I could have my own version of Annie’s happy ending, British style. Just swap Mr Warbucks for Mrs Windsor and replace Sandy the dog with a couple of Corgis and you’d think it was the same film.

Inspired by my ginger, singing hero; Annie, I sat down and wrote my letter to the Queen, asking her to adopt me. Thinking back I could have written a stronger argument for myself and maybe refrained from putting “Look it’s you, your majesty” with a giant arrow under the stamp. I definitely understand why she didn’t want to adopt me. Plus, to be fair they do already have one ginger in the family and I can understand why they wouldn’t want another one. The Royal Family already have to have a top notch PR team on board to help them handle the stories and headlines Prince Harry creates, they’d have a heart attack if they took me on as well. I’d make Prince Harry look like a troublesome toddler, compared to my rebellious streak!

I’d completely forgotten about the letter until one day, I had a posh envelope waiting for me at my kids home and saw the Buckingham Palace stamp. The quality of the paper meant I instantly knew this was a letter from someone important. My heart raced as I read through the letter, but it sank just a little knowing I wouldn’t be changing my name to Prince Jack Windsor anytime soon.

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