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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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steepholm steepholm
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The Royal Touch
So, tomorrow Elizabeth Windsor becomes the longest-reigning British monarch since King Lear. It seems strange to me that I've never dreamed about her, as far as I remember, despite dreaming about her eldest son on several occasions. I believe I've seen them each exactly once, both times in Romsey - for I prefer to let the royals come to me.

From the comfort of a chiropodist's shop window I saw Charles and Diana on their wedding day in 1981, driving from Romsey station to Broadlands for the first part of their honeymoon: they looked happy enough at the time, and were to remain so for at least another fortnight. But the Queen I encountered long before, in Romsey Abbey, where she was attending some service or other at which I happened to be present. I suppose I was about seven, and sitting at the end of a pew when she swept down the aisle with a small entourage. Her fur coat happened to brush my hand - or perhaps it would be more correct to say that I stuck my hand out to feel her coat. Either way, I was impressed by its luxuriant softness.

Now it occurs to me: did my youthful touch have some effect in ensuring that she would carry on breathing in and out for another 45 years? And in exchange, was I spared a bout of scrofula?

People have believed stranger things.

I certainly remember a splanky hug or two!

I'll be waiting, notebook in my doddery centenarian hand.