​The lady vanishes, mystery of Buck House and other stories . . . Susan Morrison

When I was down in that there London a few weeks ago I couldn't help but notice that Buckingham Palace had a distinctly neglected air about it.
The mother of royal PR disasters? Photo by Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace/PA WireThe mother of royal PR disasters? Photo by Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace/PA Wire
The mother of royal PR disasters? Photo by Prince of Wales/Kensington Palace/PA Wire

​Those windows needed a bit of going over. Round the back looked a bit on the tatty side. Willing to bet that a quick run round with the cordless hands-free Shark was in order inside.

Now it looks as though there may have been a reason. Oh, I know all the news is coming out from palaces in Kensington and Norfolk, but Buck House is Head Office. Like any major corporation when things get tough, the HQ starts to look tatty.

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Seems to me like from the minute that piper magnificently played his farewell lament to the Queen, the Windsors have turned into fodder for a Jeremy Kyle Show.

There’s been temper tantrums over pens, tell-all expose books and now we have a Princess missing in action. Just about the only person not sweating buckets right now must be Andrew.

I’ve pretty much stayed out of the global ‘Where’s Katy’ guessing game. Mainly because I am quite a gullible soul, and possibly the only human in the country who thought yeah, well, big surgery, she probably wants to just sit on the sofa and be pampered.

It’s what I wanted to do, and she’s actually got staff to keep the tea and biscuits coming. I had to marry and give birth to my beverage and bikkie providers. And very good at it they are, too.

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Even a Royal non-watcher like me can tell something's afoot. For a family who are actually in the entertainment business, they seem to have forgotten Rule One of showbiz. No matter how rubbish you feel, you hit the stage or the balcony, wave and smile.

One thing you should not do is release a photo that looks so wonky even I looked at it twice.

They’d have been better getting one of the kids to do a quick crayon-for-the fridge effort. Or bring in the people who did the AI-generated images for the McWonka experience.

Sorry to keep going on about that, but it really is the event that keeps on giving and second, their fake photos were much more believable than the palace’s.

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History tells us that when the mother of the future king vanishes it's usually not a good thing. Margaret of Anjou sprinted across the border to Scotland in 1461, towing behind her the heir to the English throne and her sad, mad husband.

Margaret Beaufort went noticeably MIA when her son started getting rebellious and the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine had a habit of vanishing just when things were getting testy in the family.

They all came roaring back with their boys sitting in front of mummy-funded armies. Didn’t always work out, looking at you Anjou and Aquitaine, but the Beaufort lad went on to take the crown from a very dead Richard III and become Henry VII.

Now, I am not saying that Catherine has packed the heir, the spare and the princess into a Volvo estate and is now heading for the border, ready to raise an army around Melrose, but I’m pretty sure that’s how Bill Shakespeare would have written it.

And memo to Buck House. Get those windows washed. The world is watching.

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