Saturday, 12 March 2011


Keywords of the day leading here:

"better ways of carrying pint glasses"

"shrew with quarter"

"picture of defecated tapeworm"

This probably goes down in history as the day on which I have done the least since having children. I have walked about three hundred yards, slowly, with my friend's two shaggy dogs, and otherwise barely moved a muscle, been provided with constant food and drink and chat. The children - ecstatic that I have not been marching them ill-humouredly, on a tight deadline, across London in pursuit of Education - have sunk into a joyous haze of Nintendo and trampolining. They are having faintly pidgin, but delighted, conversations about Pokémon. The sun shone all day and the house has rung with the sound of four small boys cackling about various scatological topics. It has been brilliant.

As a result there is absolutely nothing that I can possibly tell you. I had an idea, but I have forgotten it with all the intensive lying around I have been doing, so you might as well have my conversation with Prince Philip. This was totally worth waiting for.

My conversation with Prince Philip this week:

(Prince Philip walks across a basement room where people are politely drinking small quantities of wine and not fighting over the inadequate quantity of pretzels. He is smaller than I expect, tawny coloured and dessicated as one of those bog-preserved bronze age corpses. He stops for a few seconds to talk to everyone. He is, mystifyingly, unsupervised, given that he has told several lengthy anecdotes about people blowing up condoms in the course of the evening, and declared immigration A Bad Thing (again). He stops, with an expression of beatific indifference, next to me)

PP: Did you ask a question tonight?

E: Uh, no.

(Prince Philip turns away with an expression of faint disdain)

I think he was definitely impressed. Please let me have your equally profound and epoch-defining encounters with members of the royal family in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to have a conversation with Prince Philip. Even more, I would like Prince Philip to have a conversation with Clint Eastwood's character in Gran Torino. I think they would be buddies for life.

Katy said...

Prince Philip is definitely my favourite royal. Mainly because he comes out with lines like this:

"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?"

This was directed towards a Scottish driving instructor.

Anonymous said...

My uncle conversed with him about Guy the Gorilla back in the day, they were in awe but otherwise had little in common.

Pat (in Belgium) said...

You saw David Attenborough? Is he really, really tall (or is that just what TV does)?

Prince Philip probably wouldn't even look at me. I'm from that barbaric breakaway country where no one can spell or speak "properly".

wv "goitic" seems appropriate when I think of Prince P.

Anonymous said...

kate middleton once passed me in a fairly upmarket london toilet before she was a PPP. she motioned at me like i might be queueing. i wasn't. i was just trying to steal the hand drying napkins/ikea pebbles without getting caught.
i'm a kleptomaniac for small, expensive-looking bathroom oddments. molton brown minatures are my achilles heel.

Miss Whistle said...

Ha ha!


Boo in London said...

Bugger Prince Philip (although he is a MAJOR British liability, and all the more brilliant for it) - what was Sir David Attenborough LIKE?!?! I could listen to that man's voice FOREVER, and rather secretly wish that he was my grandad...

Jane said...

I once demoed Doom running on my company's emulator software to the Queen. I think "mmmm hmm" was as far as the conversation went.

Ann said...

I've been to Buckingham Palace, (garden party, on my dad's ticket) indeed for an RSA event. Didn't see the queen, but Adam Schama, that "What the Victorians did for us" odd chap was wearing a suit that was cobalt blue on the left & scarlet on the right, or whatnot. Pilloc. Other than that, walking onto the veranda type thing with an army band playing the theme to 'Star Trek', it was a rather strange & wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Cake was awful though, and tea thoroughly stewed, boo.

Z said...

Prince Philip smiled at me once, but not in a pleased recognition sort of way exactly - you know, "I was laughing with you, not laughing at you" - he was smiling at me. It was about 25 years ago. The Duchess of Kent smiled at me in an altogether warmer fashion, in the late 1960s, when she came to open the new Fire Station in Lowestoft. She wore an awful lot of foundation. Princess Anne said "hello" at the Yacht Club in Lowestoft. She's really thin, but her suit was a fabulous cut and fabric. That's it. Doesn't seem much for a lifetime, but there we go.

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

What? Oh hell. Sorry.

Alison Cross said...

I have only had an encounter with Princess Alexandra many years ago when she came to open a Veterinary Centre in Glasgow.

I had to do the marquee booking (never, ever forget to order the FLOOR for such a marquee) and I have to say, she was absolutely lovely.

She too had that light tan that wealthy people always seem to have (year round skiing in Closters, probably does it).

Ever since I was old enough to fantasise about Donny Osmond, I have wanted to marry David Attenborough. Still would.


Kelly said...

I haven't actually ever encountered the 'rahls' but did feel rather pleased to have been given the 'rhum' in which Prince P had slept and bathed at my posh friends farm (read big posh estate with attached pheasant killing fun park and then snubbed 'tea with the Quoin' in favour of cathing up a with an old friend in Liverpool.Priorities.
Hoever, i did take the 'family' poodle to have sex the with queens poodles in my small stint and very much socially inflated time as an exchange student in Thailand. I was happy all that leg shagging and ejaculation on the glass topped coffee table was finally being put to good use.

Bryony said...

I met Princess Anne but cannot remember what was said. I do remember my attempt not to curtsey.... My mum gave birth to me whilst the church next to the hospital rang its bells in preparation for a minor royal wedding the next day.... You win!!

asta said...

I was actively ignored by Prince Andrew at a cocktail party shortly after his fling with Koo Stark.

At this awkward shindig,(nobody mention Koo) Andy had zeroed in on my far, far prettier colleague as we stood together attempting to decipher the chatter. An aide sidled over asking her if she would be interesting in dining with The Prince.

Her reply? " If he wants to have dinner with me he can ask me himself"

I couldn't convince her to unbend.

No diner. End of story.

BTW( Lovely Observer profile)

Nicky said...

My dad was introduced to Princess Margaret at a house-party full of loaded (money and drink) Hoorays in Mustique. She asked him "What do you do?" He replied "Helicopter pilot". "Oh dear," she responded, and wandered off to find someone more suitable to talk to.

Alienne said...

Like Ann I have been to a Buck House Garden Party - late husband and I went on his parents' tickets. We saw Her Madge across the garden - the Very Posh People were roped off from the hoi polloi - but did not get to speak to her or any of the others. The cakes were very small, and I was more interested in seeing the flamingos at the bottom of the garden. So much more upmarket than fairies, dahling.

this is Belgium said...

greetings from Brussels to Belgian Waffle

Anonymous said...

When the Queen & PP came to NZ in the 1960s, I went to see them at Lancaster Park (big rugby / cricket stadium in Christchurch). My dad led his class of schoolkids up to a vantage point in the stands, and my little sister & I lost him in the melee of unfamiliar children. So there we were (about 8 & 5 yrs old) waving our little NZ flags as the Royals drove past in an open topped car really very close. That was exciting at the time, but my memories of the day are mostly of being lost, scared, responsible for wee sister, and waiting for ages to be rescued.
Much later, when I saw HM drive past on another visit (1980s), my reflex was to wave and cheer, but by then the public mood was more mildly curious than rapturously welcoming. Or that could just be that I'm also older and less impressionable. I liked that feeling of childlike wonder though...
Heather (NZ)

cruella said...

I've shook hands with the king of Sweden and wifey on no less than two occasions. They are both small and kind of exquisite like dolls in scale 0.75. Unreal. Can't imagine saying anything to them.

The king is/was in a spot of bother following av book that revealed his manly men life style with (direct translation) "coffee girls". Many were outraged (why? the monarchy is a feudal institution, not much to be said for it), others cried "leave them poor people be", equally strange since they live of our tax money and should behave themselves at least.


Anna Belsham said...

I remember We got very excited when I was 11/12 because A Member of the Royal Family was coming to the school. Speculation was rife as to who it was (amusingly I remember we concluded it couldn't be Andrew and Fergie because they were on holiday. Again.)

Weeks later, excitement is at fever pitch, we all file into assembly and who is it? Jeanette bloody Charles, a Queen Elizabeth impersonator.