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July 31, 2006

Comments

Mandingo Jones

Mrs P. you are very good indeed in your observations, I was thinking of the same thing when I saw the first two photos you posted.

Now, if they would make Muggeridge
(and others)required reading in our failing "high" schools! Imagine the possibilities...there would be outrage of course.

mandingo jones

Or I should say, "failed" high schools...

Card's wife

Mrs. P, thought I would come over here because I don't think Andrew appreciates us filling his inbox. Fergie looks different. Face lift?

Mrs. Peperium

Like all of us, Fergie has aged. The havoc visited on her life by a penchant for toe-sucking Texas oilmen sons in most evident in her eyes and of the corner of her lips. Collagen only enhances this. Unfortunately for her, it looks as if she and Regis Philbin are using the same doctor:

http://s2.supload.com/image.php?get=49901_ferguson030.jpg

http://www.pr.com/upload/article_image_1120755086.jpg

She ought to have asked Christie for a referral:

http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/articles/304b.jpg

Mrs. Peperium

This is the old Fergie:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SarahFerguson.jpg

Jacobite

Mrs. P, please do an insightful, analytical post on the Silver wedding anniversary of Charles and Diana. The reason I'm asking for this favour is that most of the mainstream British press (and the US press, too) have ignored it completely (maybe because of the more important Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, or maybe because of wanting to kiss up to the Windsors).

Jacobite

From http://independent.co.uk
[Warning: I don't support The Independent's republicanism or all the elements of this play. However the play is spot-on re: Lambeth Palace and Charles. I've put the full article (after cleaning-up a lot of it) because the link might be dead in a couple of days]

A Right Royal Farce: Exclusive extract from the new play by Toby Young and Lloyd Evans
Published: 25 July 2006
ACT I, SCENE I

BBC announcer (voiceover): Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, has died peacefully in her sleep. She passed away at Buckingham Palace at 5.45 this morning. Prince Philip and other members of the Royal Family were at her bedside. Leading the tributes from around the world, the Prime Minister said she would be remembered as "the people's Queen". The President of the United States called her "a true ally of freedom". Commonwealth leaders have added their tributes...

(Fade down on this. Fade up on tolling bells, followed by the rattle of a gun carriage over cobblestones and the general stirrings of a large crowd. A David Dimbleby-type voiceover commentates on the funeral. His commentary is dignified but informal and occasionally ironic.)

BBC commentator (voiceover): And now the coffin arrives at the Western Gate of Westminster Abbey. The chief mourners walking behind, led by Charles... the Third, as he now is. And Her Royal Highness Camilla is... well, we're not quite sure. Princess Camilla? The Duchess of Cornwall?

(We hear the crowd clapping, then a lone, female voice booing. A few others join in.)

BBC commentator (voiceover): A few dissenting voices in the crowd... Is that... yes, booing, definitely booing, as Charles and Camilla enter the Abbey.

(Fade down on this. Fade up on the funeral march. After a few bars, that too fades. The spotlight on the Queen's portrait gradually darkens until the stage becomes pitch black.)

(Enter William, revealing a state room at Buckingham Palace with the portrait of the Queen on the back wall. To the left of the portrait is a drinks cabinet and to the right, a door leading to a lavatory. Another door, R, leads to an antechamber, while yet another door, L, leads off. Sofas and chairs are scattered around. As William opens the main door we hear a burst of subdued cocktail chatter. He's dressed in a beautiful black suit and carrying a large, leather-bound book. He sits on a sofa and opens it.)

William (reading): A light has gone out across the world. (He turns the page and continues to read out loud.) She was the queen of all our hearts.

(Enter Harry, R, also wearing a black suit. William is too absorbed in the book to notice him and, for a few seconds, Harry observes him with a compassionate look on his face.)

William (turning the page and reading): I once had the honour of presenting her with a bouquet of wild lilies...

Harry: That one of the condolence books? Let's have a butchers.

(William looks round, startled, then closes the book too quickly.)

William: It's nothing. An old photo album. (He tries to hide it under a cushion.) What?

Harry (marching over to the sofa): Oh Wills! It's one of Mummy's. (He picks up the book and starts flicking through it.)

William: Just... for old time's sake.

Harry: You mustn't do this to yourself. Remember what Doctor Pumpernickel said? You have to move on.

William: I know, I've tried, it's just grandma's funeral. It's brought it all back.

Harry: But Wills, we've got to be strong. For everyone's sake.

William: I know, I know. I am being strong. (Breaking up.) I'm... oh Harry.

(Grief overwhelms him. Harry puts down the condolence book and comforts him.)

Harry: OK, OK, let it out. That's it. That's good. You're doing fine. Let it all out. (William's grief subsides.) Better now?

William: Yeah. Think so. Yeah. Yes. (Collecting himself.) Thanks, Harry. I'll see you at the reception.

(William picks up the condolence book.)

Harry (taking the condolence book): Better let me hang on to that.

William (suspicious): What are you going to do with it?

Harry (handling it carefully): Don't worry. It's precious to me too, you know.

William: Yes, of course. I'm sorry. (Pulling himself together.) Right then.

(Exit William, leaving the door slightly ajar.)

Harry (calling): And go easy on the booze.

(As soon as he's gone, Harry tosses the condolence book over his shoulder then wolf whistles.)

Harry: Okay, darling, the coast is clear.

(Enter Anoushka, R, an attractive Australian in her early twenties, in tight-fitting black clothes.)

Harry: Come here.

(He grabs her and gives her a passionate kiss. Getting carried away, he tumbles her on to a sofa.)

Anoushka (pushing him off): Harry. It's your grandmother's funeral! What if someone comes in?

Harry: You're right. What was I thinking?

(Crosses to the open door. Shuts it.)

Anoushka: Harry, wait. You were going to introduce me to your family - especially William.

Harry: All in good time.

Anoushka: Harry... no! Now, get me a drink.

(Harry gives up and goes over to the drinks cabinet and pours a couple of glasses of wine. She composes herself and adjusts her appearance.)

Harry: Thanks for doing that outside the Abbey, by the way. You were brilliant.

Anoushka: Mm... I felt kind of sh***y about it actually.

Harry (handing her a glass of wine): No, no, it's a tradition. Like I said, it goes back to Edward IV. The heir to the throne gets booed at the funeral of the old monarch. It's a way for the people to demonstrate their affection for the sovereign they loved.

Anoushka: It was a bit embarrassing - shouting like that. I thought everyone was going to join in.

Harry (thoughtful): Didn't they? They should have.

Anoushka: One or two did.

Harry: Well, there you are.

Anoushka: Poor Camilla - she looked so shocked. Anyway, I've done my bit. Over to you.

Harry: Right.

(He puts down his glass and tries to kiss her again.)

Anoushka: Hey! Is that all I am to you?

Harry: No, no. Of course not. Not at all. I mean, actually, I've been thinking, I know it's only been a fortnight since we met...

Anoushka: Nine days, actually, but who's counting.

Harry: You've become really, really special to me.

Anoushka: Have I?

Harry: In fact... I don't know how to say this, but I think I'm falling in love with you, Antonia. (Pause.)

Anoushka: Anoushka.

Harry: Anoushka. (Pause.) How about the throne-room?

(Anoushka hesitates.)

Anoushka: Come on then. (Pause.) In love!

(She runs off, L.)

Harry: Whatever "in love" means.

(He follows her out, closing the door behind him.)

(Enter Camilla through the main door, in mourning. We hear a burst of party chatter.)

Camilla: Philip? It's empty.

(Enter Philip, in mourning. He has a pair of jam-jar specs hanging round his neck on a cord. He closes the door and the noise subsides.)

Philip (putting on glasses): Well done Camilla. Not an ambassador in sight. (Takes off glasses, sits and sighs with relief.) Terrible scrum out there.

Camilla (wandering over to the drinks cabinet): G and T?

Philip: Make it a large one. A state funeral is bad enough, but the reception afterwards... sheer torture. Making small talk with a bunch of African dictators. Thieves and murderers, the lot of 'em. (Gets up and mimes an introduction, speaking very loudly.) "Pleased to meet you, President Mboto. Have you eaten any members of the opposition recently?"

Camilla: Philip! They'll hear you.

Philip: So what if they do?

(He crosses the stage and flings open the main door. Over party chatter.) CANNIBALS.

Camilla: Philip!

(Charles enters, R, in pious conclave with a bearded Archbishop of Canterbury, who is carrying a small Bible.)

Charles: Such a wonderful sermon, Your Grace. Very moving. The whole family will draw great comfort from your inspiring words.

Philip (still standing in doorway, unaware of the entrance of Charles and the Archbishop): Get back to your mud huts, you bunch of spear-chuckers!

(The Archbishop reacts.)

Archbishop: Perhaps I'll... leave your family to grieve in private. It must be a difficult time for all of you.

Philip (shouting): Gate 16, now boarding. Heathrow to Bongo Bongo Land!

Charles (sotto voce): He's not himself today, I'm afraid.

(Camilla crosses with two drinks.)

Camilla: A beautiful ceremony, Your Grace. Thank you.

(She closes the main door, hands one of the drinks to Philip and steers him towards a chair.)

Charles (trying to cover for him): The Queen would have been so thrilled. (Thinks about this.) Well, not about dying, obviously... but she'd have appreciated the service... if she'd been there... which she was... in a way... although not able to appreciate it... if you see what I mean.

(Pause.)

Archbishop: Thank you, Sir. Do you think it was inclusive enough? When I'm addressing a multi-faith audience I do so worry about offending someone.

Charles: Didn't offend me in the slightest.

Archbishop: No, I never worry about offending Christians.

Philip: That the Archbishop? What's he saying?

Charles: Yes, quite. (Steering him aside, to avoid Philip hearing.) I've been meaning to ask you... about the Coronation. I'm going to be Defender of Faiths, after all, so let's pack in as many religions as possible - you know, Muslims and Buddhists, one big happy family. (Enjoying a vision.) The Dalai Lama and Cat Stevens singing "Jerusalem" from the same hymn sheet.

Archbishop: Marvellous!

Charles: And we need to fix a date.

Philip (cocking an ear): No hurry about that.

Charles (sotto): Some time next month?

Philip (rising and crossing the stage): What? With Lilibet still warm in her grave?

Charles: We'll discuss it another day.

Archbishop: Of course, Sir.

Philip: Mustn't rush into these things. There was booing today, did you notice?

Charles (sotto): Papa, shshshsh.

Camilla: Yes. I definitely heard some booing.

Charles (to Camilla): I'm so sorry darling. I was hoping you hadn't noticed.

Camilla: They weren't booing me.

Charles: But... you don't think... (laughing) Booing me? I mean, really. (He continues to laugh, then collects himself.) Such a shame. They don't realise how wonderful you are.

Camilla (to herself): They were not booing me.

Philip: That booing was a bad omen. Can't have a Coronation straight after a funeral. Got to be a decent interval.

(Charles sees the Archbishop out.)

Charles (sotto): I'm not waiting longer than four weeks. (More loudly.) Invite them all. Hindus, Sikhs, Moonies, pagans. Whirling dervishes.

Archbishop: Yes, Sir.

Charles: People who have no interest in Christianity.

Archbishop: Plenty of those in Lambeth Palace, Sir.

(The Archbishop exits.)

Philip: Good riddance! Worst Archbishop I've ever seen. "Yes sir, no sir, thank you very much, sir. Look at me. I've got a beard. Let's smoke dope and sing Hallelujah."

(The Archbishop has reappeared and overheard much of this. Philip spots him.)

Philip: Forgotten your tambourine?

Archbishop: My Bible.

(Philip throws the Bible at him. The Archbishop catches it.)

Archbishop: Thank you, Sir.

(The Archbishop goes out. Charles relaxes on a sofa and starts fishing for a compliment.)

Charles: Well, that's that. My first engagement as King - successfully negotiated?

Camilla: Absolutely darling. You were marvellous.

Charles: Thank you.

Philip: To the future king.

Charles: Thank you, Papa.

Philip: You're the present king.

(Charles reacts.)

Philip: I'm just facing the facts - as a sensible king should. The people won't accept Camilla as Queen.

Charles: Nonsense.

Philip: Best thing you can do is bugger off to Balmoral and talk to your tomatoes. Let them have a king they like.

Charles: William?

Philip: The people love him. That's a priceless asset.

Charles: But they don't know what he's like. William's not stable. He has visions. His mother comes to him in dreams and fills his head full of nonsense. He still hasn't got over her death, poor thing. William can't take on the responsibility. It'd tip him completely over the edge. He needs constant supervision as it is. (To Camilla) Darling, would you pop next door and see if he's OK?

Camilla: Do I have to? (She gets up reluctantly, and goes to the main door.) I thought Harry was looking after him?

Charles: Just go in and check.

Camilla: You go.

Charles: I can't face it. Those appalling old waxworks.

(They're both edging towards the doorway, too cowardly to go back into the reception. Camilla exits and runs straight back in.)

Camilla: That was a narrow escape. Tony Blair's making a speech.

(General groans of "Oh God". Harry enters, L, adjusting clothes.)

Harry: Ah, so this is where you're all hiding.

Charles (worried): Harry? I thought you were looking after William?

Harry: I was but... I got laid. Waylaid, I mean, by... someone I'd love you all to meet.

(He returns to doorway, L, and brings a shy Anoushka into the room.)

Harry: My new girlfriend. (Pause.) Antonia.

Anoushka (sotto): Anoushka. (She does a little curtsey.)

Philip: Girlfriend, eh?

Charles: What happened to Chelsy?

Harry: She's been relegated.

Charles (earnestly): How d'you do? (Offers drink.) Would you care for some Duchy Original organic sherry?

Philip: You a virgin?

Anoushka (firm but polite): That's none of your business, Your Royal Highness.

Philip: Got a mind of your own, eh? We'll soon sort that out. Now then. How about getting Grandpa a glass of champagne? You'll find a bottle in that cabinet over there.

(He indicates a low cabinet.)

Anoushka (with a little bob): Very good, Your Royal Highness.

Camilla: Philip! (Leading him away.) Have you taken your medication?

Philip: Yes, yes.

Anoushka (reaching for bottle): Got it!

(She gets up. Harry intercepts her and takes the bottle.)

Harry: Better not. Don't want to give him a heart attack.

Camilla (taking him by the arm): What you need is a woman closer to your own age. Someone in the prime of life.

Philip: Oh really? (Glancing at Charles.) Can't come up with the goods, eh?

Camilla: No, silly. (Taking out a little black book.) Have you ever met the Countess of Grimsby?

Philip: Sounds like a pub.

(They sit down on a sofa and chat, discussing possible dates for Philip.)

Charles: Harry, go and see if William's behaving himself.

Anoushka: I'll go.

(Exit Anoushka through the main door.)

Charles (to Harry): You bearing up OK? Try a bit of my new ethical sherry. Made by non-violent offenders in an open prison.

(Harry sniffs it warily.)

Harry: Thanks, Dad. (He drinks.)

Charles: They crush the grapes with their bare feet.

(Harry spews out the sherry.)

Charles: Don't you like it?

(They continue to talk, but now we eavesdrop on Camilla and Philip.)

Camilla (flicking through little black book): The Duchess of Hampshire. She's right up your street.

Philip: What? No, no, no. Out of the question. Mark of respect and all that. (He salutes the portrait of Elizabeth with his glass.)

Camilla: She's got a filthy sense of humour. Loves riding and shooting.

Philip: I'll never look at another woman again.

Camilla: And apparently she goes like the Flying Scotsman.

(Pause.)

Philip: A Duchess you say...

(Camilla and Philip laugh just as William comes in behind them, clutching a glass of champagne.)

Charles: Ah, William.

William: Hi Dad. Harry. Grandpa. (Noticing Camilla.) Your Royal Highness.

(He bows.)

Camilla (curtseying): Your Royal Highness.

Charles: Oh, for Heaven's sake. Why are you two always so bloody formal? You're not strangers any more. We're all one big happy family.

(William tenses at this.)

William (inclining his head): Camilla.

Camilla (inclining her head): William.

Charles: Oh do stop this nonsense. Sit down. Relax. Have a chat.

(They sit on the sofa. There's a gap between them, but they aren't quite at opposite ends.)

Charles (delighted): That's better - and you might even move up a little.

(They move - but away from each other.)

Charles: Er... right. Um, well - talk to anyone interesting in there, William?

William: The Archbishop.

Charles: Oh God. (Makes snoring noises.) Bit of a bore, isn't he?

William: Actually, he was quite interesting. He says you want the Coronation in four weeks.

Philip: WHAT?!?

Camilla (turning to Charles): Well, your father feels...

Charles: The country needs something to celebrate. Everyone's dreadfully upset about losing the Queen.

Philip: It's a Coronation, not a game of musical chairs.

William (raising a glass to Camilla): Well, congratulations on your big day.

(Camilla hastily picks up her glass and turns to Charles.)

Camilla: Yes, it's marvellous for Charles.

William: For you both.

(William drinks and the others drink too. William rises and heads towards the exit.)

Charles: It's what the people want.

William: As long as you're sure.

(Exit William through main doorway.)

Charles: Well, that wasn't too bad, was it?

Camilla: It was awful. Don't you see? He'll never accept me. I'll always be second best. How can I compete with a saint?

Charles: Darling, I know he thinks the world of me, but I'm hardly a saint.

Philip: She means Diana, you ass.

Camilla: You can be so bloody insensitive sometimes.

Philip (taking her arm): Come on. Let's go and ask Tony Blair what the going rate is for a peerage.

(They exit through the main doorway.)

Charles: Oh God. What on earth are we going to do?

Harry: You'll find a solution, Dad. You're so clever.

(Exit Harry.)

Charles (alone on stage): Let's hope so, Harry. You know, I sometimes think that if people knew what we were really like they might think we were slightly ridiculous.

(Charles looks round and realises he's been talking to himself. Blackout.)

Mrs. Peperium

Hysyerical. Thanks. I needed a laugh. Is that a complete spoof of William or is there some truth to it? There's quite a bit of truth involved with the other ones.

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