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After Diana, it took a PM to save the Queen

 
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Amy
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:38 am    Post subject: After Diana, it took a PM to save the Queen Reply with quote

Barry Everingham: After Diana, it took a PM to save the Queen
Not a foot wrong in 80 years? Not so
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

April 21, 2006
PRINCESS Diana, while alive, may have caused the Queen a few headaches and heartaches, but in dying her former daughter-in-law almost cost Britain the monarchy and it was only the fast footwork of Tony Blair and Prince Charles that averted a historical catastrophe.
From the moment the telephones started ringing at Balmoral Castle in the early morning of September 1, 1997, until Diana's funeral exactly one week later, Britain's ruling family was thrown into turmoil. The Queen wanted Diana's body disposed of privately and with a minimum of fuss: "we can do something bigger later" was her attitude; Charles wanted the full treatment and so, incidentally, did Camilla, whom he consulted as soon as he got the news. He called his mother on her telephone - she was asleep two rooms away from his in the castle - and broke the news to her. He then spent the next few hours steeling himself for the awful task of breaking the news to their sons, William and Harry.

While Charles was doing this, his mother was occupied with thoughts of her own. In the tradition of burying her head in the sand and ignoring things that go wrong, she thought up and issued a set of heartless instructions: no mention of Diana at the church service the royal family would be attending in a few hours, no newspapers until further notice and certainly no radio or television. In fact, Diana had ceased to exist as far at the Queen was concerned and she thought a few picnics and games on the Scottish moors were what the boys needed. On the way back to the castle from church, Harry was heard to ask his father: "Is Mummy really dead?"

Charles decided he would fly to Paris with Diana's sisters to bring her body home. The first of many blazing rows with his mother took place: get a commercial flight, she demanded, you can't use an aircraft of the royal flight. Blair fixed that one and personally ordered a plane be readied for Charles and his party.

In fact, Blair was already hearing warning bells: no word from the palace and time was marching on. He called the media to his home in Trimdon, County Durham, and waxed lyrical about Diana, her life, her works and her love of her children. He mourned with the nation while its leading family played their games.

Charles brought his former wife's remains back to England and there was still no word about any funeral arrangements. Blair was gobsmacked when he returned to London and saw the expressions of grief everywhere: flowers covering the pavements and spilling on to the roads outside Buckingham and Kensington palaces, thousands of citizens milling about, crying. And this was not happening only in London; it seemed the world was in grief and shock.

Blair called a meeting of his advisers. The Queen's prediction that "this could get out of hand" was only too true. And being the politician he is, Blair sniffed trouble in the air. Already the media had started talking about republicanism, and as an avowed monarchist, he didn't want any of that. By Monday the police force was demanding to know what was happening: people were pouring into London at an unprecedented rate and no one knew what to tell them.

The Prime Minister decided not to wait any longer. His office called the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury to discuss the protocol for handling a state funeral for an ex-member of the royal family who also happened to be the mother of a future king. That's a tricky one, said Lambeth Palace, we'll get back to you.

The police were ordered to set up huge TV screens across London; after all there was going to be - come hell, high water or the Queen - a huge send-off for Britain's favourite daughter.

By Tuesday there was still no word from Balmoral. Blair by now was at the end of his tether. He called Charles and demanded to know what was going on. A distraught Prince of Wales, unable to see his paramour, had that morning for the first time in his life confronted his mother and the two of them had a blazing row. From that moment on they didn't speak and communications were conducted through their respective private secretaries. He reported to Blair that the Queen was determined to still have something private. Charles, who had defied his mother and watched TV and spoken to outsiders, sensed the mood and wanted the full royal ceremony for his ex-wife's farewell.

He had spoken to Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, and her sisters, one of whom was married to the Queen's private secretary, and sought their views. In their grief over Diana's death, they were all for having anything that the royal family wasn't involved in. Diana's mother was numb with grief and wouldn't talk to anyone except her grandsons, but she had been denied access to them for the time being by the palace. So, no joy there.

Blair moved into top gear. He called the Queen and flew to Balmoral. The monarch would not allow Charles to be present at the meeting. Elizabeth was confronted with a few facts of life from her principal adviser: there would be a state funeral, she would address the nation ("we'll help with the speech if you want"), the British flag would fly at half mast from Buckingham Palace immediately, and the Queen and her family would return to London that very day. The people demand it, he said. And, as an afterthought, he added that as his word was final, her office could, if she wished, announce the arrangements. Blair wanted everything set in concrete.

Face was saved temporarily, but Diana in death did what others had been trying to achieve for decades. She changed the face of the monarchy forever. The principal players seem more human and caring. But underneath, the rumblings of republicanism are boiling away in England and Australia.

Barry Everingham, a Melbourne-based writer, has been a commentator and writer on the British royal family for 30 years.
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secrets
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the queen and all her family are truly dreadful people.
i was a royalist but now i would,nt give them the time of day.
they destroyed diana in life and they were hoping to do the same in death.
horrible,cruel family.
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sama
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, well....i had not heard this before. not as fully, anyway.

for once, good for anthony blair, esq!

i was a fervent royalist, but with the way that they treated diana, and the airbrushing of her out of existence...viz ....the diana drainage ditch....no more!

it is alleged that the queen mother will be having a statue erected in her memory. isnt it odd that sculptors would be able to make a really good image of her, and NOT of beloved diana?

i have no time for the queen, philip, or the rest of this bloodsucking, motley crew.
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secrets
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sama wrote:
well, well....i had not heard this before. not as fully, anyway.

for once, good for anthony blair, esq!

i was a fervent royalist, but with the way that they treated diana, and the airbrushing of her out of existence...viz ....the diana drainage ditch....no more!

it is alleged that the queen mother will be having a statue erected in her memory. isnt it odd that sculptors would be able to make a really good image of her, and NOT of beloved diana?

i have no time for the queen, philip, or the rest of this bloodsucking, motley crew.


hear hear Sad they have to be most greedy,privileged ,dysfuntional family in the world.
a statue of diana should have been placed outside kensington palace,instead of the disgusting ditch.
if they can make one of the queen mother i trust they will put a gin bottle in her hand. Smile
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sama
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

quite right!

i absolutely fail to understand how it is that diana's beauty could not be captured in bronze or some other medium, but had to be celebrated in something that i wouldnt wash my dog in! and yet the queen mother is, apparently, going to be celebrated in stone!

the queen has been sculpted many times....how is it that diana could not have been? the ditch is an absolute affront to everything that we remember about diana. there could have been a memorial garden, or a team of diana's angels doing home nursing, there could have been so many things, but we got the ditch....

really, the windsors are beyond belief!
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