EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: Why Princess Anne remains the designated royal for the Scots
Princess Anne might have spluttered over her breakfast porridge at reports that brother Andrew was to spend more time in Scotland as part of his now abandoned ‘rehabilitation’ programme. With another independence referendum looming, the Palace is keen to emphasise that Anne remains the designated royal for the Scots – a position she adopted in 1999 to coincide with devolution and the establishment of a Scottish parliament.
Andrew’s deployment would have undone all of Anne’s hard work instantly. Her second marriage was at Crathie Kirk, both children were educated at Gordonstoun and she is the only royal who knows the words to Flower Of Scotland. Should Scotland decide it wants an alternative head of state to the Queen, then Anne would be a natural choice.
Princess Anne, Princess Royal in the parade ring during Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 16, 2022 in Ascot, England
Prince Harry sent 96th birthday greetings to his grandmother, the Queen, via his Archewell platform. Suggesting no thawing of the permafrost in his relationship with William, he hasn’t so far dispatched a public happy 40th to his brother. Could he and Meghan still be smarting at Kate and William’s failure to attend daughter Lilibet’s first birthday party during the Jubilee weekend?
Recalling a tennis match with Sir Elton John, former British number one John Lloyd says: ‘Elton would see balls that were clearly out as in and vice versa. Once or twice I could accept, but eight or nine times? That’s just plain cheating.’ He added diplomatically: ‘Then I thought, ”A nice guy like Elton, he surely wouldn’t do that to me”. Therefore, I had to conclude it was a problem with his specs. Fame for Elton seemingly had a devastating effect on his eyesight.’
Former Newsnight host Emma Barnett, pictured, has acquired a new skill – washing her hair properly. ‘During lockdown, we didn’t have any hair and make-up on Newsnight and my mum said to me, ‘You do know we can see the back of your hair and it needs dealing with’,’ she tells the Happy Place podcast. ‘I’ve just learned to do it at the age of 37.’ Has she succeeded? Now presenting BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, who can tell!
Emma Barnett attends The WOW Foundation X Bloomberg dinner to celebrate WOW: Women Of The World Festival at The Magazine, Serpentine North, on March 10, 2022 in London, England
Ex-BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil notes: ‘I see the BBC News Channel and BBC World News are to merge. That was a key part of my ”manifesto” when I applied to be director-general in 1999 – just for fun, I knew there was no chance. Think of how much I could have saved the licence-payer in the past 23 years!’
Michael Parkinson, not renowned for Jeremy Kyle-type shock revelations, has had a disclaimer added by ABC TV to reruns of his Australian interviews, stating: ‘The following programme expresses attitudes that are not consistent with current standards and may offend some viewers.’ Is it because in his interview with ex-Aussie prime minister Bob Hawke, he says of trade union officials: ‘They’ve got about as much personality as a cigar store Indian.’ Living on the edge, Parky!