Thursday, November 29, 2012

From the thrilling days of anti-bluebell bolshevism

If for no other reason, I am thankful Facebook exists because I may not otherwise have been made aware (by my friend Chris) of this wonderful quote from the diaries of the late Queen Mother (recently published, edited by William Shawcross), apparently from 1924, when she would have been in her early 20s:

“I am extremely anti-Labour. They are so far apart from fairies and owls and bluebells & Americans & all the things I like. If they agree with me, I know they are pretending – in fact I believe everything is a pretence to them.”

This seems a tad extreme: given her extensive list of likes and dislikes -- many of them quite sensible --  I'm sure that there would have been at least some common ground to be found with Labour, even with its radical anti-bluebell faction:

“I like so many things”, the Duchess of York enthused in an early letter to [D'Arcy] Osborne, “fairy stories, fat butlers, porters, the smell of tangerines, suave Orientals, a good tune, lovely colours, French accents, puppies, bath salts, & a million more”. She disliked fewer things, but heartily. “Tactlessness annoys me – also rudeness . . . crass stupidity, & people who are pleased with themselves. Also spiders, caterpillars, slugs, frogs, toads, loud voices & nasty coughs”. 

I mean, who doesn't like puppies, suave Orientals and French accents?

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