Readers (a Mrs Trellis of North Windsor) may be surprised to know how much resentment exists between the house of Windsor and the Grimaldi family. In some quarters there is a strongly held belief that Rainier held out so long in order to bugger up the wedding of the year.
Surprisingly, no such animosity has been expressed against the Pope, with whom the British monarch has had an even more contentious relationship over the centuries. In fact, Liz was quite taken with him when he called on her. This did not prevent her from having fun at his expense by doing one of her silly voices throughout, and speaking in such a way that neither he nor the interpreters had any idea what was being said. I do not know whose idea it was to serve as a main course “Chops Thomas More”, but the incident passed by without any comment.
Our lot has always scorned the Monaco monarchy. “Principality of Monte Carlo”, said Phil, scathingly, “might as well be the Principality of Hemel Bleeding Hempstead”. “Or the dukedom of Edinburgh”, I said, under my breath.
What really got their goats was when Rainier married Grace. Uncharacteristically, the Windsors were determined to outdo them, and for a few months in the late 1950s, efforts were made to get Margaret married off to Marlon Brando. Brando was a frequent visitor to the royal households, and later modelled the voice and mannerisms of his character ‘Don Corleone’ on Louis Mountbatten; an uncanny resemblance. He also tried to get the butter delivered to him by an ex-butler from Balmoral in “Last Tango in Paris”, but Bertolucci would have none of it. Although this fell through, a number of matches were proposed in the following years, but I think that the rumour about Charles and Lulu is purely gossip.