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Skidmore's Island: A Health To Their Majesties

Ian Skidmore brings a different take on the royal wedding.

The Big Idea had been hiding halfway down the second bottle of an indifferent Chilean Chardonnay and when they reached it the Head Honchos of Channel 4 pounced on it with many a glad cry.

“Let's Dig the Dirt on the Middletons,“ they chorused, and off they went clutching their buckets and spades. They struck pay dirt straight away. The young bride's great-grandfather was a coal miner! The groom's great-grandmother OWNED coal mines.

History was clearly not the a strong point with the Honchos or they would have been aware that it was a far, far greater thing to be an honest miner than to be numbered among the mine owners, some of the more justly reviled men in recent history. One even had his plea for forgiveness cut into his gravestone.

But to what joys of discovery this led. The Duchess of Cambridge's (the last Duke also married a commoner) near relations were a supermarket manager, more miners and a leisure centre cleaner. As it turned out, they were also very likeable, honourable and happy and not at all envious. The supermarket manager and cleaner had little schooling and had worked fiercely to get to the positions they had achieved. Unlike their new in-laws.

Royal families, until recently, had defied all efforts to educate themselves and they had lied, cheated and murdered for centuries to get where they are today. By his own efforts, one great-grandfather of the bride had amassed considerable wealth, which he left to ensure that his descendants, including the bride, could get the sort of education that only the most recent royals could boast; and in doing so produced the first Queen in history with a university degree.

It is only fair that examination should be held into the family into which she has married.. The Queen, for example, and the question of whether she is entitled to rule on religious grounds. She descends from Prince Albert, whom, it was said, was the product of an affair between his mother and a Jewish court chamberlain. Curiously, late in his life, Edward VII befriended the Jewish banker Ernest Cassell, whom he knighted in return for financial advice. The two men looked so alike it was said they were BOTH the sons of the Jewish courtier by different mothers. Ernest was known as Windsor Cassell and Edward as The Caresser. When he died, one of his mistresses threaded black ribbons through her daughter's underwear and a Jermyn St grocer sold black Bradenham Hams. Recalling, no doubt, his prowess at Bed and Board.

Our Queen's Georgian ancestors include a barking madman, three bigamists, two murderers and a traitor to the Crown.

Iain Moncreiffe of that Ilk, the Albany Herald, claimed in his book “Lord of the Dance“ that, amongst others of history's notables, he and the Queen descend from Vlad the Impaler, the historic Dracula, and Elizabeth Bathory who bathed in the blood of maidens. The late Queen Mother, claimed the American investigator Kitty Kelley, was the daughter of a Welsh housemaid. Wallis Simpson and her appalling traitorous husband teased her with the nickname “Cookie”, and James Lees Milne claimed to have heard the Queen tell her mother: “The difference between us is, I am Royal.”

I should add that it was from that much loved commoner that the Royal Family became human and survived. The new Duchess will repeat the magic.. I just wonder if we are doing the right thing marrying the loving and lovely Catherine into this disfunctional assemblage.


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