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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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HRH by Spursfan on 2 April 2006 10:58am
On Friday 31/3, my town, Stafford had a visit from the Queen and Prince Philip. I didn't go, as I am not what you would call pro-monarchy! However, the visit was to celebrate not only her 8oth birthday, but also the 800th anniversary of the granting by King John of Stafford's charter.

My husband works for the County Council, dealing mainly with security, so of course he had a busy few weeks leading up to the visit. The day before he had to liaise with Special Branch and had to be the last one out of County Buildings - all the doors had to be sealed after the rooms had been searched by sniffer dogs.

On the big day the weather was glorious - blue sky, sun and just nicely warm. She spent the whole day in Stafford, but was at the building (my husband works in) for lunch. His team received the Royal Standard a few days before, and one of them had to put it up as she entered the building. Another had to discreetly remove the visitors book just after she'd signed it. When she entered the building, my husband was on one side of the door and she said 'Good Morning' to him! I think he was really thrilled at this (though he's not a royalist, either)and, bless him, he had a really good but tiring day. I wish I could have £1 everytime he's told the tale!! ;-)

Anyway, jsut thought you might like to know what happened - oh and of course you may have seen that we had some suspected terrorists arrested at the local hospital, a day or two before the visit. The police decided they were in the clear, but Special Branch told ny husband that if they were found to be terrorists, or if there was still a doubt, the visit would have been cancelled.

All go in Stafford!!

Re: HRH by perfectbitch on 2 April 2006 12:28pm
How exciting for your husband Anne. I am not a royalist byany stretch of the imagination but there is no doubt that the royal "charisma" exists.

My Mum and her sister used to live close to Cardiff airport and discovered that Princess Diana was due to fly from there that afternoon. Mum and Aunt Kate stood ouotside the entrance in the hope of catching a glimpse of her (they were he only people there as this was not an official visit) and an escorted black car drove up to the entrance. Mum and Aunt waved furiously at the car and suddenly the window rolled down and Diana waved furiously back at them. It made their day. Linz
Re: HRH by Spursfan on 2 April 2006 2:17pm
Aaww I bet it did.

Only thing that, in a way, spoilt his day was that earlier on in the week he was asked to nominate 2 members of his team who had done the most work to be presented. Actually my husband and his next-in-line had, but he nominated 2 guys who had worked hard (he is head of the Supervisors team, they used to be called caretakers but the emphasis is now much more on security).

He then heard that the lady who had asked him to nominate had been over-ruled 'because they were workers and not office staff'!!

However, he managed to get the two guys, and other members of his team, to be in prominent positions (one even took the book after she had signed it).

Happily the Queen just walked by the people who HAD been in line to be introduced (mostly big wigs who nominated themselves - you know the game), so I feel justice was done!! Serve 'em right.

Re: HRH by Ahren on 2 April 2006 3:35pm
Wow! Groovy claims to fame, both of you!!!
Re: HRH by tucsonmike on 2 April 2006 3:40pm
Sounds like a unique day to remember.
Re: HRH by tucsonmike on 8 April 2006 7:38am
I remembered a silly story, so I thought I would post it here. One of my fathers friends and colleagues is at the University of Essex in Colchester. He was invited to Buckingham Palace for a tea with the queen. (Well, he and a bunch of other University deans). All Keith could say, was here I am, a boy from Fulham, what in the world am I doing here?

The best I could do was someone in our Tall Tales Contest tonight. He won it by pretending President Bush was on the phone with him calling about Toastmasters so he could learn to pronounce "nuclear" correctly. No, I can't match tea with the queen. That's what happens when some guy named Paul Revere rides through the Massachusetts countryside making trouble.;-)
Re: HRH by sighthound on 8 April 2006 10:31am
OK, this is something that I've always wanted to ask - why, in our democratic age, is there still so much awe surrounding the British monarchy?

I'll admit to a fondness for Charles for his devotion to sustainable agriculture, for calling bad architecture "bad architecture" in contradiction to trendy assessments by cultural mavens and for, finally, overcoming the restrictions of his heritage to marry the woman he loved. I was also surprised and impressed by Anne's performance in the Olympics, getting remounted after a really, really bad fall to keep her team's medal hopes alive. Prince Phillip does drive a mean four-in-hand but I've seen little else to recommend him. Margaret was totally messed up. Diana was a bit of photogenic fluff with an IQ that only equalled George Bush's and the Queen seems to be cut out of cardboard.

Have I thrown down enough gauntlets???

P.S. Ancestors of mine fought on both sides of the American Revolution.
Re: HRH by Spursfan on 8 April 2006 12:31pm
I agree with you Sighthound - it infuriates me that one is expected to curtesy or bow to the queen (and other members of the royal family).

The days of doffing your cap to those in a higher class are supposedly long gone, and yet here we are in 2006, still being, in some ways, belittled by a felow human being (after all), nice as she is (and it isn't personal).

I have felt this way for ages, but I was extremely pleased to see that Cherie Blair also refuses to curtesy to the queen.

Nothing wrong with being polite - as you should be to ALL fellow beings - noone is suggesting you say "wotcha yer maj"!! But, really!! In this day and age we should NOT be subserviant to ANYONE.

And I loathe Camilla!! He may have 'overcome the restrictions of his heritage' to marry her - but how shoddily did they treat Diana?!

Anne (not Princess)
Re: HRH by sighthound on 8 April 2006 1:33pm
"it infuriates me that one is expected to curtesy"

That that is still expected is absolutely outrageous. Kudos to Cherie Blair! It reminds me of being forced to kneel and kiss the Cardinal's ring when I was a Catholic schoolgirl which still rankels me to this day but I must admit that when I visited the new Catholic cathedral in L.A. (absolutely egregious architecture!!!) and I found that Cardinal's grave, I didn't resist the urge to dance a little jig upon it.
Re: HRH by Spursfan on 8 April 2006 3:07pm
I know - I simply would not curtesy to her - or anyone else for that matter! Oh - maybe Bono.....! I jest.

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