A Royal of a Story Linda Knight Seccaspina– Sherbrooke Daily Record Column
The late Prince Phillip was once quoted “that when a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either because it’s a new car, or a new wife”. My very proper British grandmother Mary Louise Deller Knight was never a fan of his, but one thing she definitely was– was a top fan of the British family. So was my Grandfather who listened religiously at noon each day to the BBC News. If anything came on about the Royal family Mary was quickly summoned from her lunch preparations to sit with him listening to details. After that great discussion was had over lunch about what was going on with the Royal family.
For years I wondered why we had such close knit conversations about the Royal Family and one day, when she felt I was old enough my Grandmother told me. The story stemmed back to my Grandfather’s side living back in London, England. His father was a music publisher and ran British music halls and his Grandfather Henry was a barrister. Henry had a sister that was what Grampy called “worse than Princess Margaret”.
Louisa was actually a lady in waiting for Queen Victoria and it seemed she was doing more than waiting on hand and foot. In my Grandmother’s terse diction Louisa was said to have “loose skirts”. For years I imagined Louisa wearing baggy skirts until one day while drinking a cuppa tea I figured it all out, and then proceeded to choke with laughter.
Sad to say Louisa was banished from court, but I wish to tell you just in case you are concerned at all– that she ended up marrying quite well. Louisa married a Duke of Essex and her descendants down the line owned the trucking company that hauled the milk for the Nestle Pudding Company. It goes to show you that the proof is always in the pudding as there definitely are no instant pudding stories in my ancestry.
After Harry and Meghan’s vs The Royal Family presentation on Oprah I wondered to myself what my grandparents would have thought about it. I know that my Grandmother would not have put up with it. If you were raised in a British family: it’s a stiff upper lip, even if they chop your head off. My Grandfather would have taken a quick trip to the basement, had a drop of sherry and been totally mortified. He would have looked at my grandmother and said, “Well Mary, they mucked that one up!”
I honestly don’t think they would have understood today’s modern royalty. They also would not have been amused to see their own granddaughter (me) frequently wearing tiaras to the grocery store or for council meetings. But, you know my dentist told me I needed a crown one day and I was like, “I know right?”
A phone call would have been immediate to their granddaughter who was also writing about the history of ‘taking sexy back’ with Brothel Bertie (King Edward the VII). My grandparents had a hard enough time with me liking the Beatles, let alone write about King Edward the VII who was secretly called “The Prince of Pleasure”. His royal highness routinely gave his mother Queen Victoria, a royal headache with his frequent trips to the Parisian brothels. They say he literally killed his father when dear old Dad found out what a “luster buster” Edward was.
Honestly, there’s nothing really more to say except I am grateful that my Grandparents were not alive to watch The Crown. They would not have been amused, and my Grandfather would be rolling out the Encyclopedias every ten minutes fact checking.
Anyways, the sign of a true Queen is that she holds respect for others, as well as her crown. I agree with Queen Elizabeth, some days you just have to throw on a crown and remind everyone who you are dealing with.
We send to Your Majesty our heartfelt wishes and pray that this year will bring happiness, good health and many blessings as the entire Commonwealth pays tribute to you for your constant service and duty to us all.
God Save the Queen!