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Yul never know

John Ward reads up on the Royals
John Ward reads up on the Royals

I don’t want to spoil anything by ‘letting the cat out the bag’ (ye olde, pre-metric English type saying) but there could well be a Royal type wedding this year although it’s been kept very quiet but what I can tell you is its between two people both considered young and well known so when you do hear, just please act surprised and which brings me around to the following observation.

I thought it was me going crackers (now, now…) as was I imagining all these recent programmes on the flat wide screen wonder about the present Royal family, past monarchs even as the programming schedules are swamped with them and interfere with all those delightful adverts on the commercial channels.

I am wondering what the cause was to suddenly swamp us with tittle-tattle about the Royal family – the ones who live in the big house with railings at the end of the Mall in London and not to confused with the Royale family who lived on a settee, crowded it’s true, in front of a telly that used to be on the telly – ironic I suppose.

It seems recently that just about every week there is some ‘talking head’ or presenter to give them their job title, telling us about various aspects of our Royal family or in perhaps a lot of cases it’s their opinion or guesswork as to what they think happened or not, to pad the programme out in real terms as you could hardly ask any members of said royal family to verify any of it as perhaps under such circumstances, the term ‘no comment’ would be understandable although Prince Phillip and Princess Anne among others have been more forthright at times and good for them.

Even past monarchs are not safe from wild guesses and speculation when the probable truth might have been boring and being boring is not telly or book fodder so it has to be hyped up with some degree of added whatever that sounds plausible.

So I thought I would look up some minor facts and figures as I was looking around a book shop recently and to see the various, many of, books written about so and so member or members of the Royal family both present and past, it’s astounding to see so many books with some going into hundreds of pages and this sort of malarkey seems to be set to outdo even the books about the infamous ‘Jack the Ripper’ murderer of years ago.

There are literally hundreds of ‘J the R’ books by assorted authors and bearing in mind nobody was ever caught for the wicked crimes this supposed person committed, so they are on safe ground and it’s a fair bet we might be due for yet another ‘Jack the Ripper finally revealed’ book as just about very year a new one comes out.

So I would think the ‘Jack the Ripper’ writing section of society must be presently worried what with all the supposed interest in the Royal family, past monarchs, real or dreamt up, living in fear of their ‘Jack the R’ book not being the topical (?) subject and a warm reserved seat on breakfast telly to discuss it or plugging it as is usually the case nowadays.

On another parallel my mum, of the people for the people, had a slightly different slant on the Royal family as was once the topic between her and her friend Molly over a cup of tea as I was lucky [ ] underwhelmed [ ] unfortunate [ ] (please tick only one box) to hear on a dull, overcast day with light to moderate winds with risk of rain (outside) later, in our lounge.

Molly pointed out or rather asked what would we be without the Royal family and mum said it would mess all the postage stamps up and money up as whose head or picture would there be plus putting the flag, T-shirt printers and carrier bag makers out of business at assorted jubilee celebrations.

It was during this cultural exchange that Molly said that perhaps the best monarch we never had was Yul Brynner who was the King of Siam at one point and was not very good with children but Deborah Kerr helped him out.

Mum said, once her eyebrows had gone back to their normal setting, that he only did the Kinging job when he was in the film ‘The King and I’ (with Deborah Kerr) as he was also in ‘The Magnificent Seven’ dressed as a cowboy so you couldn’t ask him to be King for us as well, also as far as she knew he didn’t do much skiing as being a Royal you had to ski otherwise all those holidays would drag on a bit.

Molly said say what you like about Siam, their streets were well looked after as Yul never wore any shoes if you see the film and if he wanted a quick lager on the side, he probably took his empty can or cans home rather than leaving them in the street like nowadays but being a Royal there was perhaps a servant who collected the empties up anyway.

I often wonder when I see these assorted books, programmes and such like on our Royal dynasty as we know it in our county, that is now basically responsible for this industry that has apparently sprung up in either writing or making programmes about them, that my mum never showed any interest in scribbling a book as well on the subject.

It does tickle me slightly that if she had heard, seeing it from her intellect that there was a television series called ‘Game of Thrones’ she may well have commented why would anybody want to make a quiz programme about toilets.

Her reaction to a Royal wedding would remain unchanged though: she would say that while it was all going on, ‘they’ in the background would be putting taxes up on the quiet plus anything else that twitches would also be going up in price as the merriment also acted as a sort of smoke-screen and once the merriment had died down the awful truth would slowly dawn on us.

Interestingly this small but concise book I picked up mentions Richard 111 who was also written about by Will Spokeshave of Stratford-on-Avon, well known for its range of cosmetics and smellies of course, because as mum pointed out to Molly that if he did say ‘A horse - a horse - my kingdom for a horse” what bookie would give him decent odds on that running in the 3-30 at Aintree.

Although Richard 111 did have an inkling about the future as his line of ‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ turned out about right as we had power cuts in 1973 because of the assorted strikes. But back to basics, would Mr Brynner have made a good king? - perhaps Yul never really know now.


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