February is only half through and already we have had enough drama to last us a lifetime. One subject that has occupied the tabloids and air waves for far too long, has finally reached its expensive conclusion – Prince Andrew has settled his sordid case out of court. This has brought out all the Republicans who claim this means the end of the Monarchy. I firmly beg to differ. Of course it will do a good deal of damage, but all families have their bad apples and the Queen’s is no exception. The Queen will still carry on in her extraordinarily dutiful way, Charles will do the same and I am sure William and George will follow, brought up to it as they have been. It is one of the few things that gives this country an air of stability and continuity in this very changing world. However the hereditary system has its drawbacks. Those that do not inherit, often seem to go off the rails. Princess Margaret found no outlet for her talents and led a life of self destruction. It looks as if Andrew is going the same way. He has been spoiled, is obviously weak and easily led. He fell into bad company early on, made a poor choice for a wife, and the consequences have been dire for all concerned. His best chance at some sort of redemption is to follow the late John Profumo, who after falling from grace in a major scandal, devoted the rest of his life working for a charity in the poorest part of London. Andrew should remain low profile for the rest of his life and try to find something good to do with it. The Royal Family also has lessons to learn. The extended members of the family have done great harm to its reputation. It now needs to be paired down to the direct heirs. They can take some comfort from the example already shown by Charles, William and Kate.
I have to say I’m horrified at the vicious comments that have been levelled by Republicans, not just at Andrew but Harry and Meghan as well, as proof of their cause of abolishing the Monarchy. No doubt I will return to the subject of press attacks another time, but last night, unable to sleep, I listened in the small hours to the LBC presenter, Darren Adam, with his passionate Republican views. Stemming from the Andrew debacle, he railed on about the Queen being unelected and that now we should be free to elect our leader. I think he should be careful what he wishes for. He complains we are not a democracy, but we already have our democratically elected prime minister, Boris Johnson, and look where that unfortunate election has led us. If we elected a President, we would quite likely get someone like Trump, or even worse, Nigel Farage! We have a Parliamentary system and elect our members of Parliament. Leave the Monarchy above such things. That is its strength. Without the Monarchy, hundreds of year of history, along with all the magnificent pageantry would be gone, and we would be left with a drab, grey land, and a very dubious leader. (He should remind himself of the brief years of Oliver Cromwell) If the Monarchy was replaced with an elected President, it could be a disaster. The public are easily swayed, hence recent dreadful decisions, Brexit and a Tory government. He also complains the Royal Family is like a soap opera. But wasn’t Trump’s family? And what does he think is going on in Downing Street right now, with our fearless leader’s wives, mistresses and children that’s he lost count of! At least the subject keeps reporters like him busy. I am glad to say, Darren Adam and all Republicans, are going to suffer a long patriotic summer with all the Jubilee celebrations, which I for one look forward to – along with the majority of the country..
Words and actions have consequences, as both Andrew and Boris Johnson will have learned this month. No doubt the dramas will continue and I will have plenty to talk about in the March blog. Meanwhile we have to survive the February weather. This month is known as February Fill Dyke, which basically means that the constant rain fills all the gullies, turning the fields and lanes into rivers of mud. Roll on Spring.