March 16, 2015
[royalty] What happens when Queen Elizabeth II dies? … fascinating look at the first few days after the Queen dies … ‘For at least 12 days — between her passing, the funeral and beyond — Britain will grind to a halt. It’ll cost the British economy billions in lost earnings. The stock markets and banks will close for an indefinite period. And both the funeral and the subsequent coronation will become formal national holidays, each with an estimated economic hit to GDP of between £1.2 and £6 billion, to say nothing of organisational costs. But to focus on the financial disruption doesn’t begin to describe the sheer magnitude of it. It will be an event unlike anything Britain has ever seen before. There will be trivial disruptions — the BBC will cancel all comedy shows, for example — and jarring cultural changes. Prince Charles may change his name, for instance, and the words of the national anthem will be changed, too. The deaths of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother both brought on waves of public mourning and hysteria. But the Queen, due to her longevity and fundamental place atop British society, will be on a whole new level above that. The vast majority of British people have simply never known life without the Queen. It will be a strange, uncertain time…’
June 3, 2011
[royalty] The Queen Mother’s Little Note“I think that I will take 2 *small* bottles of Dubonnet and Gin with me this morning…”
April 29, 2011
[royals] Wills and Kate memorial plates

Wills and Kate - Thanks For The Free Day Off

April 28, 2011
[royals] Friday April 29, 2011: A time to clean the fridge‘It is a moment in history when a nation united by not being at work and a lack of normal television will stand up, chests inflated with pride, and say ‘I might as well have a go at the fridge. Does nan want a cup of tea while I’m up?’ Remember it well, that you might share with future generations the fond memory of its cleaning-based magic.’
February 4, 2011
[movies] Why The King’s Speech Is A Gross Falsification … Christopher Hitchens On Winston Churchill, Edward VII, and The King’s Speech … ‘[Edward VII] remained what is only lightly hinted in the film: a firm admirer of the Third Reich who took his honeymoon there with Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom he forfeited the throne, and was photographed both receiving and giving the Hitler salute. Of his few friends and cronies, the majority were Blackshirt activists such as the odious “Fruity” Metcalfe. (Royal biographer Philip Ziegler tried his best to clean up this squalid story a few years ago but eventually gave up.) During his sojourns on the European mainland after his abdication, Edward, then the Duke of Windsor, never ceased to maintain highly irresponsible contacts with Hitler and his puppets and seemed to be advertising his readiness to become a puppet or “regent” if the tide went the other way. This is why Churchill eventually had him removed from Europe and given the sinecure of a colonial governorship in the Bahamas, where he could be well-supervised.’
February 19, 2008
[diana] They’re all guilty? ‘Definitely.’ Fayed gets his day in court — Mohamed Al Fayed testifies at the Diana Inquest …

Shortly after Tony Blair and Robin Cook had been added to Fayed’s list of conspirators, Richard Horwell QC, a note of incredulity rising in his voice, said: “So that’s MI5, MI6, the CIA, the DGSE – the French intelligence service – Judge Stephan … the French ambulance service … Lord Condon, Lord Stevens … Mr Burgess, the Surrey coroner and Lady Sarah McCorquodale?” He could have added several more: two bodyguards; the French pathologists; a photographer called James Andanson, who was allegedly driving the white Fiat Uno that brushed against the Mercedes shortly before it crashed in the Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31 1997; Henri Paul, the chauffeur; a reception clerk at the Ritz hotel; Sir Michael Jay, the then British ambassador; Sir Robert Fellowes, the Queen’s private secretary, who was Diana’s brother-in-law; Lord Mishcon, her solicitor; and – of course – Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Time and again, Fayed answered: “Definitely.”

October 3, 2007
[diana] 30 lawyers, 11 jurors and one angry billionaire – Diana inquest begins — Guardian report from the delayed inquest into the death of Princess Diana and Dodi … ‘As he spoke, the coroner’s words appeared in transcript on a screen above the court, like a teleprinter giving the Saturday football scores. The foreign words appeared mangled phonetically: Bastille became Bas eel, Orly transmogrified into Orally airport, Giovanni Versace appeared as January Verse Chi and, best of all, the paparazzi turned into pap rats.’
April 8, 2005
[royalty] Royal Wedding Cam — Watch Charles and Camilla get hitched tomorrow.
January 16, 2005
[royalty] Harry’s Crew — The Observer profiles Prince Harry’s social circle … ‘At Cotswold Costumes, Harry had tried on an SS costume only to find it was too small.’ [via Memex 1.1]
November 19, 2004
[royalty] Prince Charles: ‘What is wrong with people nowadays? Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far above their capabilities? This is all to do with the learning culture in schools. It is a consequence of a child-centred education system which tells people they can become pop stars, high court judges or brilliant TV presenters or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting in the necessary work or having the natural ability. It is a result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically engineered to contradict the lessons of history.’
July 7, 2004
[royalty] Remembrance Di — Diamond Geezer visits the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and Kensington Palace and spots a fantastic placard and poem to the dead Princess … ‘Today you would have been 43, You were so lovely, Why did you have to die, Why, why, why, why?’
January 8, 2004
[royals] How Did Di And Dodi Die? — Simon Hoggart at the Princess Diana Inquest … ‘Media from around the world had crowded into and around the Queen Elizabeth centre in London; no real courtroom could hold us all, and the coroner had to set up in a conference room. So the event had the air of a plenary session before the Institute of Chartered Surveyors annual dinner. Even the royal coat of arms was back-projected on to the wall, so you expected the coroner to say, at intervals, “next slide, please”. It was a classic instance of the way the British adapt, if unwillingly, to new circumstances, while insisting that nothing at all has changed. There was even a court official to remind us to switch off our mobile phones, a post going back to Tudor times; the holder was rewarded with an annual hogshead of Bailey’s Irish Cream.’
July 25, 2003
[tv] The Princess and the Pea-Brain — Nancy Banks-Smith reviews Channel 4’s James Hewitt: Confessions of a Cad‘Charm is nature’s Teflon and Hewitt is very charming. It is quite easy to feel sorry for him and the pretty pickle he finds himself in. Emma Stewardson, a girlfriend he ran in tandem with Princess Diana, still looks after his old wolfhound, Tess. Hewitt keeps her picture in pride of place. Tess, that is, not Emma.’
June 26, 2003
[comics] Princess Di in X-Statix linkage:

  • Diana in the Mavel Universe — from Newsarama‘It was later confirmed for Newsarama that Diana would join, in some form or another, X-Statix.’
  • Princess Diana, Superhero — Peter Milligan Comments … ‘Diana comes out of it a lot better than the British establishment. Indeed, a couple of old palace eminence grise types arrange for this resurrected mutant zombie to be killed. “And this time, let’s do it properly,” one of them says.’ [via I Love Everything]
  • Guardian’s Pass Notes: Princess Diana, the Superhero ‘Next up from Marvel Comics: Camilla Parker Bowles as Catwoman; Prince Philip as the Joker; Derry Irvine as Judge Dredd.’
  • Diana in ‘Sick’ Comic — Daily Mail Article … ‘Marvel editor- in- chief Joe Quesada said: “Princess Diana is a mutant. Like every good superhero, she’s coming back from the dead. She’s going to join one of the X-Men teams. “If comics are anything, we’re subversive. This is really a wonderful story.” The monthly comic is already on sale in America and Britain and is expected to sell around 150,000 copies worldwide.’

June 2, 2002
[royalty] Putting his best foot forward in the shadow of the Queen — amusing, positive profile of Prince Philip‘He is said to view the Prince of Wales as “precious, extravagant and lacking in dedication and discipline”. He disapproved strongly of Charles sleeping with Camilla Parker Bowles after she married. And when Diana came on the scene, Philip felt Charles was toying with her, by continuing to see Camilla. “He told Charles to marry her or leave her alone,” one of Philip’s friends said. “He assumed Charles would drop her but the silly ass proposed and then went on later to claim his father bullied him into marrying Diana.” The rift between the heir to the throne and his father has never properly healed.’
April 14, 2002
[distraction] Queen Mum We Love You!! … great Flash animation in a South Park style. [via]
April 10, 2002
[dead] Farewell to a mother, a queen and a symbol of a bygone age — Jonathan Freeland on the Queen Mother’s Funeral … ‘The cars around Westminster Abbey were banished; only horses remained. The clatter of traffic was gone, replaced by the music of marching feet, pipes and drums. For one morning only, the 21st century was held at bay.’
April 2, 2002
[dead] Mourning Will Be Brief — Christopher Hitchens on the Queen Mother … ‘The flags that now dip are also standards that have fallen. Much of the emotion of the leavetaking will be genuine (in spite of the yellow-press effort to make it seem bogus by hysterical overstatement). It will be genuine because it is a tribute to longevity confused with a tribute to history. And it will also be genuine because it is a farewell to something that is irretrievably lost – the authority of monarchy in Britain. We are left alone with our day, and the time is short for the elderly Queen and for her arrogant consort and self-pitying son.’ [via Parallax View]
March 30, 2002
[dead] Googling for “Queen Mother” gets some interesting results at the moment … ‘Queen Mother – free the lady within.’

February 13, 2002
[royalty] Two excellent articles on Princess Margaret … [via Blogadoon]

  • Wilful, charming, grumpy and regally badly behaved‘…deference died, and if ever there was a princess who needed deference, it was Princess Margaret, implacable believer in the ancient and divine right of royalty to behave badly. In this, she might be blamed for a lack of intelligence and sensitivity; there can be little doubt either that she and her life led the move downmarket into the unforgiving public glare. But whatever else you might feel, there must be admiration for the gusto with which she threw herself into the plot. If life resembles nothing so much as a bad movie on Channel 5, Margaret is its queen. ‘
  • The final days at the personal court of Britain’s alternative Queen‘The problem was very much one of the institution of the Royal Family, permanently stuck, it seems, in a 1950s version of Britain. “The Queen Mother, and to some extent the Queen herself, have very little time for illness,” says another source. “When Princess Margaret used to take to her bed, her mother would come in and pull back the covers, saying, ‘What’s all this nonsense? Get up!’.”‘

January 11, 2002
[royalty] Will he, won’t he? … Does Prince William want to be King? ‘It’s a good question: why won’t we let him be a normal person? We certainly could: constitutionally, the throne could pass, after his father, to his younger brother, Harry, who seems much happier in the limelight. Yet William’s pre-emptive abdication would deliver a clear blow to the monarchy. If he accompanied his resignation with a damning public statement making it clear that raising another child in the uniquely cruel goldfish bowl of the British monarchy would be intolerable, he could bankrupt the entire “Royal Firm” for ever.’ [via Wherever You Are]
April 11, 2001
[politics] Alastair Campbell on the Royal Family‘Prince Edward would not normally be allowed house room in a column which likes to deal with serious subjects, and Majesty magazine would not normally be allowed across the Campbell threshold. But some statements are so mind-blowing they cannot be ignored. I quote from the said prince in the said magazine: “In this country we’re always looking down, always looking in, trying to belittle ourselves. All this constant thing about class, for instance, which is the worst thing in the world Marx ever invented.” Invented!! Can you believe he said that?’
April 9, 2001
[666] Is Prince Charles a 12 foot tall telepathic Lizard? No. He is the Anti-Christ. ‘And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.’ [thanks Phil]
April 6, 2001
[queen] Press row envelops Queen. ‘Officials insisted that reports of the Queen’s annoyance were overplayed. “She doesn’t do furious – she is supremely detached,” said one.’
March 5, 2001
[moz] The death of Diana predicted in Morrisey’s music‘Morrissey’s lyrics to THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT from THE QUEEN IS DEAD concern: two people on a date at night in the city driving in a car fantasizing about getting killed in a car crash gripped by fear in an underpass. Over a decade later we have Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed: two people on a date at night in the city driving in a car getting killed in a car crash in an underpass.’ [via Barbelith Underground]
February 1, 2001
[our reptile rulers] David Icke publishes conclusive proof that Prince Charles is a shape-changing lizard.
December 9, 2000
[history] Interesting page that looks at how the major TV channels (particularly the BBC) in the UK reacted to the news that Princess Diana was dead. ‘In the early hours, the BBC were quite happy to play this interview with eye witness Michael Soloman sourced from CNN. For some reason they cut the part at the end where he says “Baba Booey!”. As Private Eye reports, this is the catch phrase of American Shock Jock Howard Stern who encourages his listeners to phone CNN with bogus testimony of breaking news stories.’
November 19, 2000
[wtf?] British tabloids are reporting the Queen wrung the neck of a wounded pheasant with her bare hands‘”Under the headline “The Killer Queen”, the Sunday Mirror published photographs which it said showed the Queen putting the bird out of its misery at the end of Saturday’s first pheasant shoot of the winter at Sandringham, a royal estate in Norfolk. “She killed the helpless creature with her bare hands while watching Prince Philip and guests blasting birds from the sky,” the Mirror’s tabloid stablemate, the Sunday People, said in its report.’
October 25, 2000
[royalty] Princess Diana and the Vibrator… not porn — actually a very amusing review of Shadows of a Princess by PD Jephson‘Diana, Jephson breathlessly confides, returned from Paris in 1992 sporting a souvenir – ‘a large, pink, battery-powered vibrator’. By now she knew she’d never get her hands on an orb or sceptre: this plastic knob would have to do. It had ‘the aim’, Jephson notes with courtly tact, ‘of raising royal morale at critical moments’. But he denies that it was actually aimed at the critical royal part, and insists it was ‘never used for its designed purpose’. Eventually Dodi assumed the role of royal morale-booster, which made the cheeky pink chap redundant.’ [via Beesley]
June 12, 2000
[monarchy] Christopher Hitchens on the the British Royal Family in newsUnlimited. “An old English radical slogan has it that the problem is not the will of some to power, but the will of others to obey. I think that it’s literally true that many people can’t imagine life without the Windsors. And my quarrel is with that very mentality, much more than it is with any actual or potential monarch. One doesn’t wish to demolish people’s household gods, or rip away their comfort blankets, but couldn’t they be just as happy as Jacobites once were, cultivating nostalgia and illusion while leaving the rest of us to get on with it?” [via BlueLines]
May 20, 2000
[science] newsUnlimited looks at what Prince Charles really believes in after his Reith Lecture: “At the core of Christianity there still lies an integral view of the sanctity of the world, and a clear sense of the trusteeship and responsibility given to us for our natural surroundings,” he said. “But the west gradually lost this integrated vision of the world with Copernicus and Descartes and the coming of the scientific revolution.”
May 18, 2000
[tech] Vavatch Orbital has a dig at Prince Charles over his Reith Lecture: “I believe that if we are to achieve genuinely sustainable development we will first have to rediscover, or re-acknowledge a sense of the sacred in our dealings with the natural world, and with each other. If literally nothing is held sacred anymore – because it is considered synonymous with superstition or in some other way “irrational” – what is there to prevent us treating our entire world as some “great laboratory of life” with potentially disastrous long term consequences?” — Prince Charles [Update: Unsurprisingly, Stephen Hawkins has entered the debate: “[…] people in 50 years’ time will wonder what all the fuss about GM food was all about”]