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  #121  
Old 07-06-2007, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Gordon Brown has abolished a rule that limits flag flying to 18 days. The Union Flag will now fly on all public buildings, all day, everyday.

I don't know if I quite like that. "Flag days" were always used to signify an important event or anniversary, and this has taken away the government's only public acknowledgment for most of them. The UK has never needed to always fly the flag in order to show who they are. Unlike other countries that do need it, it has a living, breathing symbol of its rights and freedoms in the Queen. Most government organizations have their own ensigns that work perfectly well.
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  #122  
Old 07-12-2007, 04:17 AM
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Gordon Brown breaks with tradition and gives away details of his programme ahead of the Queen's speech in order to allow a wider public discussion

Brown pre-empts Queen's Speech | Uk News | News | Telegraph
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  #123  
Old 07-12-2007, 03:50 PM
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I like it very much. Good on Mr B.
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  #124  
Old 07-12-2007, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Me too. Baroness Castle, Margaret Beckett, Baroness Boothroyd - they're all (were in Castle's case) Labour but they never failed to drop a curtsey or show respect to the Royal Family.
Baroness Castle must be Barbara Castle. I didn't know she was a baroness. Apparently she always did curtsey to the Queen, but I think it was typically a rather half-hearted one, right? I think she was one of the more balanced ministers, very good about being respectful and doing the honours, but certainly not in danger of being called sycophantic.

Geez, look at Harold Wilson and Edward Heath! The first from Labour, but just adored the Queen, and the latter from a working-class background, Conservative, and had no tolerance for the 'royal show' whatsoever! This is a very interesting topic.... with monarchists where you'd least expect them....
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  #125  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:15 PM
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Indeed, Barbara Castle went on to become Baroness. She was actually a devout Royalist and always did a vast curtsey and once called the Queen, "Mother of our Nation". She was a socialist but she was also a Royalist and was a firm believer in a slim-lined but very much in place Royal Family. It's funny you mention Edward Heath. In a TV documentary, the Queen referred to him as "expendable" and I think their relationship was rather rocky. Maybe he wanted to borrow her tiara and she said no.
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  #126  
Old 07-15-2007, 01:36 PM
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She did say it to his face, though! And I suppose that compared with the US Secretary of State, he sort of was expendable. It was interesting to see her contradict him, though - when he said he thought the Secretary of State should visit another head of state to do some negotiating, and she immediately came back with "But he can't do that!" The advantage of decades of experience.
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  #127  
Old 07-15-2007, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Indeed, Barbara Castle went on to become Baroness. She was actually a devout Royalist and always did a vast curtsey and once called the Queen, "Mother of our Nation". She was a socialist but she was also a Royalist and was a firm believer in a slim-lined but very much in place Royal Family.
Oh yes, just from what little I read about her comments about the Queen (in Pimlott's book) I can see she loved HM. All of her comments about the Queen are nice, in fact she outright says the Queen was down-to-earth and relaxed, on pp357-358, talking about Prince Charles's 'O' level exams after a banquet. But Pimlott later says that Castle "wore an old coat to the Palace, in protest" (after Wilson took office for the second time). This could just be the author being silly, though.
Quote:
It's funny you mention Edward Heath. In a TV documentary, the Queen referred to him as "expendable" and I think their relationship was rather rocky. Maybe he wanted to borrow her tiara and she said no.
This is hilarious. I think Edward Heath was a lot like his US counterpart, Nixon: Brilliant to the bone, but totally without a big personality. It seems to me that Heath's lack of charm failed him as much with the Queen as it did eventually in the eyes of the general British public.
Unfortunately, genius only gets one so far in politics. You gotta have a game-show-host personality to win the polls, it seems.
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  #128  
Old 07-16-2007, 05:44 AM
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Agreed - however there is precious little discernible "affection" for Mrs Blair!!!!
Except during the administration of JFK. Because Jackie was regarded as one of the most beautiful and photogenic women in the world, she was constantly referred to as "The First Lady" this and that, albiet noting that it wasn't official. However, the media 40 years ago showed a little more respect and regard to those they reported on.
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  #129  
Old 07-16-2007, 08:33 AM
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I have noticed in the reports surrounding the death of Lady Bird Johnson that the USA seems to treat their First Ladies with a certain respect that is similar to the way they treat their Presidents. It's very rare.
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  #130  
Old 07-17-2007, 09:53 AM
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It is pretty unusual now I think about it, but on the other hand, it's truly not every 'First Lady' who gets the iconic treatment. Nancy Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson, Jackie, Eleanor Roosevelt, and of course the unsinkable Hilary Rodham Clinton spring to mind as probably the biggest, but there are plenty of First Ladies that just fade to the dust. No one ever mentions, for example, the wife of Calvin Coolidge, in fact I can't even think of her name.
It will be interesting to see how history regards Laura Bush. From a modern perspective, she seems pretty unremarkable.

Most of you who read this thread probably saw this already, but since it is related....

Courtesy of the Buckingham Palace Media Centre.... a video, The Queen and her Prime Ministers!
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  #131  
Old 07-17-2007, 09:56 AM
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I'd disagree actually though I don't live in the USA! I think Laura Bush has been quite a grand First Lady. And she'll be remembered as the wife of the war President of course. She's been First Lady for quite a long time too so that helps I think. It's a similar thing with Prime Minister's wives in Britain, some get remembered and others don't. For example, we all remember Denis Thatcher but very few people remember the wife of James Callaghan. Who's name I can't remember!
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  #132  
Old 07-17-2007, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
I'd disagree actually though I don't live in the USA! I think Laura Bush has been quite a grand First Lady. And she'll be remembered as the wife of the war President of course. She's been First Lady for quite a long time too so that helps I think. It's a similar thing with Prime Minister's wives in Britain, some get remembered and others don't. For example, we all remember Denis Thatcher but very few people remember the wife of James Callaghan. Who's name I can't remember!
Well, I suppose Laura Bush has her merits. She is certainly a very dignified First Lady, which is refreshing in itself. She just quietly goes about her business and charitable engagements, yada yada. It's hard to think of her in league with Eleanor Roosevelt though, but I guess that's kind of an unfair comparison for anyone, even Jackie, forget about poor Laura!

About prime minister's wives, I should think historical notoreity will be kind of Cherie Blair. In the grand scheme of things, she must be more than a footnote, perhaps a whole chapter just on 'the Cherie factor', succeeded by the chapter on various people's impressions of her! Think what you will, it must make for some interesting bedtime reading!
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  #133  
Old 07-17-2007, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CasiraghiTrio View Post
About prime minister's wives, I should think historical notoreity will be kind of Cherie Blair. In the grand scheme of things, she must be more than a footnote, perhaps a whole chapter just on 'the Cherie factor', succeeded by the chapter on various people's impressions of her!
Notoriety - certainly. Positive notoriety - highly doubtful.
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  #134  
Old 11-03-2008, 12:36 PM
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The Queen's "fury" at having to wait for Margaret Thatcher

I'm posting this article simply to make this comment: If the Queen has to wait, then EVERYONE, including elderly, injured war veterans have to wait. My guess is that if there was "fury" over anything, it was over Baroness Thatcher's disregard for them. HM's a strong, healthy woman.

Daily Express | UK News :: Queen’s anger at being upstaged by Lady Thatcher
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  #135  
Old 11-03-2008, 01:38 PM
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Ah, the famous "a source close to..." report. I wonder how much truth there is to that.
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  #136  
Old 11-03-2008, 01:55 PM
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I cannot imagine for one moment that the Queen would be bothered one way or another if someone was late! Can anyone seriously believe that the drinks party would have been held up and everyone standing there in stony silence waiting for Margaret Thatcher to come puffing up the stairs?! The Daily Express and similarly minded newspapers have very little apart from pure news to write about these days concerning the royal family and so make up stories like this. Only believe those stories that are verified by the Palace!
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  #137  
Old 11-03-2008, 02:40 PM
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I don't necessarily believe the story, but I think it's an interesting example of an attempt to put the Queen in a bad light.

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Ah, the famous "a source close to..." report. I wonder how much truth there is to that.
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  #138  
Old 11-03-2008, 09:00 PM
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O This is just silly stuff!
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  #139  
Old 02-07-2009, 07:09 PM
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The Queen convinced Margaret Thatcher to resign, claims BBC drama - Telegraph
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  #140  
Old 02-12-2009, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Ah, the famous "a source close to..." report. I wonder how much truth there is to that.
I think you'd sometimes be surprised how close some of these "sources close to" can be. Remember that during the Diana years Richard Kay's "close sources" or "friends close to ..." were often Diana herself. Obviously I'm not suggesting the Queen phoned up a journalist herself but maybe one of her advisors or one of her friends, you never know. Though that might not be true in this case I bet it is sometimes.
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