I was loathe to begin this little essay because I know how you all tire of hearing the regular christmas nonsense of my complaints about the Windsors and their persistent urging of me to spend the holiday season with them. I am, as you know, blessed with a patient nature, but many years ago I swore that enough was enough, and my first year at home I sent them all a biography of Cromwell. Camilla got a copy and without bothering to read it, telephoned to ask if Mrs Cromwell was the duchess of Cromwell like her, and were they related? I quietly agreed, and said that she should get someone to draw up a family tree. I said that I knew of people who could trace their ancestry back to the Norman conquest. She was really excited and said that maybe Charles was related to someone famous like William the Conqueror. Yes, I said, shocked that she should be able to relate William the Conqueror to the Norman Conquest. But I needed not to fret, because she then told me that her cousin used to go out with someone called Norman Conquest, and perhaps he was related too. Can you imagine what it is like playing charades with these people? They spend most of the time finding one of the staff to work out whether their title is a book, a film or a play, which is quite amazing since none of them have ever finished a book, and the only play they have seen is the annual panto - Aladdin – at the
Anyway, it was Camilla who has been disrupting my week again. She saw on the news that Liz is now the oldest reigning monarch. “We must do something to celebrate it, darling,” she oozed. I expect her motive is to set a precedent so that if she manages to outlive Liz and become queen herself (yes, I know, but you trying telling her), then she will be assured of a party. Her daftest idea (and I know you won’t believe it) (and there was some pretty healthy competition in that particular category) was to re-enact Liz’s birth by having her come down a slide and some curtains smeared in loganberry jam. “Do you know the meaning of the word ‘undignified’ you daft bastard?” I asked the future consort of the head of state. “It was exactly that sort of stupid antic that finished off other contenders for the title of eldest monarch. See if anyone can tell you the story of Edward the second and the little party game of ‘what will fit up your bum’.”
Calls alternated between various members of the family wanting me to go to
Simple Sophie Wessex seems to think that she is the only woman on the planet to have given birth. She still can’t think of a name for him. I read that he will be given the title “Viscount Severn”. I told her to call him “Blake”. I might get away with it - I thought “Magnificent” was too obvious even for her, neither would it be particularly appropriate given his genetic make-up. I told her that she would be less tired if she put both the new baby and Edward to bed at the same time, and read them both the same bedtime story. It wasn’t entirely true, last January she had to be taken to bed with exhaustion when one of her birthday cards had a poem with more than one verse.