Susan Morrison: So freezy lies the head that wears the crown
House renovations can be just beastly, so I do sympathise with our own dear Queen. As I mentioned before, we are in the midst of doing up the bathroom, which is somewhat more modest than Liz's plan to give Buck House the Changing Rooms treatment.
Well, in for a penny in for a pound, I always say, although I think I’d suggest she gets another builder to give her a quote for the work. £369 million? Jeezo, you could build your own tram for that. Nearly.
Why would anyone want to live in a palace, anyway? Mum and I have been binge watching The Crown on Netflix and Buckingham Palace plays a central role in the plot, or at least it’s body double does.
It does not come across as a comfortable and well-appointed family home, easy to keep clean and economical to heat. In fact it must be like living in a cross between an aircraft hanger and a decrepit bed and breakfast in a fading holiday resort on the Clyde coast. Cosy it is not.
How can you have intimate little evenings when the the nearest armchair needs a sherpa to guide you in and sat nav to find the sofa? No wonder the royals and that posh lot have such braying voices. They have to speak across acres of icy gloom.
The Queen always struck me a serious student of the cardigan, and having watched The Crown, I think I know why. You’d need Marks & Spencer’s finest just to survive in a drawing room so vast it has it’s own weather system. Tip : haar should never be seen indoors.
No wonder they have a pair of flunkey’s standing by every door. You get lost on the way to your bed and its quite likely they’d find you frozen in a corner come the morning.
Mind you, all that space would have the advantage of staying clear of Phillip, who strikes me as a bit of a dinner party hand grenade and the sort of bloke who corners you to deliver lengthy lectures about Where The World Is Going Wrong and why the 100 watt lightbulb is vastly superior to any of this new fangled environmentally-friendly nonsense.
Liz and Phil should just downsize. When you need a mobility scooter to get to the front door, its time to think about a bungalow in Aberdour.
Cauld to the bars
It could explain the popularity of the Royal Yacht Britannia for the HRH’s, I guess. More compact and bijou. And easier to heat.
One of my abiding memories of my only trip to see John Brown shipyard’s mini-liner was the main drawing room, which bizarrely sported a nifty two-bar electric fire.
I have often wondered what visiting heads of state made of that one, or did Bill Clinton just zero in and stand roasting his bahookie, the way the men in my family did when the fire was on?
Keep your hands to yourself, Donald
Speaking of presidents – sorry, but I think this might be a recurring theme for a bit – I am a tad alarmed by the incoming one, who has been recorded describing his eccentric manner of introducing himself to a lady. You may recall that he claimed that his particular technique was to apparently seize parts of their anatomy, and then he could ‘do what he liked’.
A word to the wise, my orange friend, one step out of line in that direction and the Household Cavalry will morph from charming Ruritanian B-movie dress extras into heavily armed serving officers with front line experience. Careful.
Forget Buck House, it’s Holyrood or bust for me
Buck House does have a fabulous location, seriously handy for the shops, although for my money, it’s Holyroodhouse any day.
High Street on your doorstep, good parking and Dynamic Earth for the grandkids, and what an advantage for the royal opening of anything parliamentary.
None of that swanning about with carriages and chaps in shiny armour trundling about on horse back through London’s rush-hour traffic. Why, here in Edinburgh it’s just a matter of getting out of your slippers, sticking on a warm coat and a quick dash across the road to announce it’s open, lads and lassies, crack on with the legislation, then down to the cafe for a coffee and carrot cake (which is excellent, by the way).
Admittedly she’ll have to get through the security first. Bet that tiara triggers the alarms, and no-one escapes the scrutiny of security at the parliament.
The staff have always taken a remarkably Robert Burns attitude to whoever comes through those doors. A man (or woman) is a man (or woman) for all that, and they could both be up to mischief, so hold up there dinner lady from Ayr or Lord Swagger from Aroon-Aboot, you’d made the bleeper go off, so arms up and wait for the pat down.