Royal Watching

3 July 2011

I wonder now how the Dutchess is feeling after her first brush with people who not only are un-interested in her, but positively hostile to the institution that she has married into. Quebec was always going to be a challenge, but the posters and chanting may well have surprised her after all of the adulation.

30 June 2011

The lovely couple have now gone to Canada to test the water of popularity. A complete load of drivel this morning on the Today programme again on this topic. They devoted 7 minutes to this subject at a time of global crisis and domestic strikes.

Some commentators seem to live in some bizarre world where this kind of privilege and deference is preferred. In this case I refer to Amanda Foreman, US-based author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, and Richard Fitzwilliams, former editor of International Who’s Who and royal commentator in the UK. Listen at:

23 June 2011

Now we’ve got a new picture of the Queen and the Duke. All part of the run up to the Jubilee. The picture is fantastically composed by the German photographer, Thomas Struth. He talks about the picture on an interview on the BBC ( Worth a listen.

As for the picture, remind me not to be like that when I get old. As a symbol of the monarchy, we republicans are winning.

12 June 2011

It’s all ramping up nicely. What a splendid fellow is the Duke of Edinburgh (picture What a brick he has been to the Queen as she carries out her duties on behalf of the nation. She’s had a birthday as well. Many happy returns Maam, or however one is supposed to say it.

Ah yes, that very ordinary Dutchess, Kate, or whatever we are supposed to call her these days, is now advertising for a Dresser/Lady in Waiting. It’s just that the public engagements can sometimes mean two or three changes of outfit and it is just too much responsibility for the poor woman to manage. She needs someone to take on clothing responsibilities. Internal appointment, though. It was a big enough story for BBC Radio 5-Live to devote a mind-numbingly irrelevant 10 minutes to it on the Drive show in the week. The Firm has certainly reasserted itself as it heads towards the Jubilee next year. To that end, I have changed the heading here from the previous Royal Wedding to Royal Watching.

1 May 2011

I tried to avoid it. When Charles got married, I cycled up to Bridlington with no radio. Lovely sunny day; I enjoyed myself. This time, I drove to Hull, but I listened to the radio with my companion. I’m disappointed with the BBC and some of the ‘reporters’. Why did Jonathan Agnew and Eleanor Oldroyd stoop so low? Naughtie, again, being reduced to talking about dresses and Victoria Beckham’s hat. Jane Garvey, you are better than this!

This pictures sums up much of it.

Of course, I do not really understand. Why would anyone be interested in this couple, and particularly this family? Why would so many people go to Central London on that day? Why are there so many fatuous arguments given by those people for being there?: ‘I wanted my children to be part of history’ is the one that annoyed me the most. What kind of history is this? At a time of major global unrest, why do these people not send their children to Syria or Libya? There is plenty of history being made there!

Then there is the security expert on Radio 4 who discussed the security organisation for the event. Quite without irony he talked about all the phone ‘listening’ that had been going on to ensure that the event passed without incident. Who are the people who had their calls intercepted? Did the Home Secretary sanction this?

19 November 2010

The Royal Wedding has been announced. How macabre is it the Prince giving Ms Middleton his mother’s old ring? What kind of thinking is behind this? Clearly the House of Windsor is going to use this occasion to claim back some lost territory, but any connection with the late Diana would seem to me a little risky. However, if the ring symbolises a new ‘peoples princess’ then Ms Middleton has a lot to live up to. And whilst the House of Windsor may have ‘learned’ something, clearly Ms Middleton (and her advisors) have not. If I was her father, the advice would be ‘love counts for only so much. They are a bunch of aristocrats; we may be rich but we are vulgar by comparison. Keep searching….’

At least we may get the day off  (helping the country’s productivity).

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