Paper Monitor: Your royal questions answered

  • 5 June 2013

Let not daylight in upon the majesty, as the constitutional historian Walter Bagehot once wrote.

In other words, don't start thinking about the monarchy too much or we might get a bit confused.

It's a line which was apparently quoted by Churchill as an argument against televising the Queen's coronation in 1953. The Daily Mail's coverage of yesterday's service at Westminster Abbey, marking 60 years since the event, allowed a little bit more daylight on Paper Monitor's knowledge of the British monarchy. Here's a couple of things we have learned:

1. If you're going to be a royal maid-of-honour, you can never have too many surnames. The Mail notes that all six of the Queen's maids were there - among them Lady Rosemary Spencer-Churchill, Lady Jane Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Lady Mary Baillie-Hamilton and Lady Jane Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby.

2. The prime minister is able to get his tongue around an Old Testament bible reading from the Book of Kings, including the line, "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and the Cherethites and the Pelethites".

3. The Duke of Edinburgh looks like a man of 92. Why this should be news, Paper Monitor isn't sure, but according to the Daily Mail doctor (who knew there existed such a thing?) he is "showing increasing signs of his age".

One question remains unanswered however:

Why was it necessary for lollipop lady Victoria Adam - one of 12 selected ordinary folks invited to the service - to wear her high-vis coat? Did she have to bring her "stop" sign too? Does it follow that if the Daily Mail doctor had been invited, he would have to bring his stethoscope and Gladstone bag?

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