EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Will the King make a gift of Balmoral?
Has King Charles a master plan to placate the Republican Greens holding the balance of power with Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland? Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie has said that royal ‘shooting and hunting estates can be put to better use serving the local communities and creating more jobs’.
Might Charles gift Balmoral to the Scottish nation for that purpose? It was reported in 2008 that he made just such an offer during a private dinner at Birkhall with then first minister Alex Salmond. His motive was said to be to save the £3million annual running costs and retain adjacent Birkhall as his official Scottish residence. Watch this space.
Has King Charles a master plan to placate the Republican Greens holding the balance of power with Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland?
What happened to the King’s squirting pen in Hillsborough Castle? Courtiers whisper that the writing implement travelled with him on his flight to Northern Ireland where, routinely, it is removed from his jacket by his valet and placed in a special box lined with quilted paper. It’s prone to leak at altitude so as the plane lands the pen is removed, cleaned, topped up and placed back in the jacket. Charles never fills his own pen as he dislikes ink on his fingers. Can fountain pens suffer jet lag?
Carol Vorderman, pictured, should start pondering what to wear when summoned to Buckingham Palace to receive her damehood. Currently appearing on TV’s Celebrity Gogglebox with Gyles Brandreth, she succeeds Sheila Hancock, Joanna Lumley and Maureen Lipman who all became Dame Commanders after sharing a sofa with the gabby polymath.
‘The exciting thing for Carol,’ gushes Gyles, ‘is that since I have been doing Gogglebox with the other ladies, they have all become Dames. My wife said the Queen watched it and thought, ‘These poor women, having to watch Naked Attraction with Gyles – they deserve it’.’
Carol Vorderman, pictured, should start pondering what to wear when summoned to Buckingham Palace to receive her damehood
Indignation at ITN over Dan Walker’s praise for BBC rival Huw Edwards has been exacerbated by Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy. He tweets: ‘The BBC’s technical video and audio coverage is utterly brilliant.’ Staff at ITN, which produces Krishnan’s bulletins, accuse him of disloyalty with one saying: ‘As he didn’t succeed Jon Snow [as the only chief presenter], maybe this is a job application.’
Historian Andrew Roberts says King Charles will already be considering the selection of his mother’s official biographer. ‘He will have a strong sense of who would be the person to do this,’ Roberts says.
‘I’m not in any way saying that I wouldn’t take on the job but there are at least six historians much more likely to get the role.’ To paraphrase Mrs Doyle, the daft housekeeper in Father Ted: ‘You will, Andrew, you will.’
And what about HM’s eventual Boswell having access to her diaries? According to Michael Palin they may be less than comprehensive. Recalling a meeting at Windsor Castle where he was shown George V’s diary by the Queen, he asked her: ‘Do you keep a diary? She said, ‘I do, but after about two minutes I go… huh!’ [playfully demonstrating how she falls asleep with boredom].’