Monday, 13 January 2020

Sticking my head above the parapet

I have refrained from commenting about the crisis in the royal family. It seems to me that it is as much of a quagmire as the Labour Party leadership contest. Whatever you say, you will offend someone. When I made a mildly supportive comment about Jess Phillips on Twitter, I got trolled, largely by the hard right, but also the hard left.

It also strikes me that there are so-called 'royal commentators' round every corner, copying their views from each other or promoting their own website, Instagram account or book.

But with the Sandringham Summit today, I could not hold back any longer. Fortunately, two leading constitutional experts from the UCL's Constitution Unit have written a blog post stating that they think the so-called 'halfway house' solution cannot work: It just isn't an option

What is more they are writing a much needed comparative analysis of European monarchies. Remember there are three in the Nordic countries: Denmark, Sweden, Norway. All the Benelux countries have one, although Luxembourg is a grand duchy. However, Luxembourg has the only two monarchs who can claim to be political scientists.

The current King of Spain does have an international relations from Georgetown. I had an audience with him when he was crown prince and he seemed very well informed and he asked me good questions. My Spanish handyman is very impressed by the photo of me with him.

Just one more thought. HRH the Prince of Wales intends to slim down the Royal Family if/when he becomes king. This is probably a good idea, but I do feel a bit sorry for the minor members of the royal family who are dismissed as 'hangers on'.

Obvs. I read the Court Circular every day and I am surprised by the number of mind numbing engagements the Queen's cousin, HRH the Duke of Gloucester, has to undertake. One day in the middle of a busy day he 'visited shops in Bridgnorth'. Was this to get a bargain at Poundland or a microwave meal for the evening?

The irony is that he never wanted to be a member of the royal family. He was training to be an architect when his older brother, William, was killed piloting a plane and the Queen told him he had to join the firm. No one ever told me what career I had to follow.

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