June 26th, 2010

Peace Offering

Nikisha next door had her birthday party yesterday evening. She's 10. It was a loud affair- complete with barbecue and jolly uncles. Before it properly kicked off she came to the door with a peace offering in the shape of a very large wodge of sponge cake, decorated with strawberries and melon balls and butter cream roses.

Royal News

Wimbledon the other day was largely given over to a love-in with the Queen. Notable people- some of them intrinsically much more notable than she is - for example Roger Federer and Venus Williams- were lined up to touch the gloved hand and receive the gracious words. I could hardly bear to watch. I know this is a minority position, but I find the spectacle of one human being bowing and scaping to another human being profoundly dispiriting. I am a democrat to my bones.

Meanwhile, Prince Charles' interference in the affair of the rebuild on the Chelsea Barracks site is being aired in the High Court. At one level this is a story about very rich people inconveniencing one another and really none of my business. On the other it's about Charles expoiting the cringe reflex that almost everyone- including Qatari sheiks- feels in the presence of British royalty- to impose his Betjemanesque taste in architecture on the world at large. It's an unfair exploitation of his position- and goes outside the terms of our gentleman's agreement of a constitution in which the royals are accorded symbolic status- and as much fawning as they can eat (which in Charles' case is an awful lot)- in return for their absolute neutrality. Charles regularly oversteps the mark- and needs to be told to stop.