I am a rubbish guide when it comes to royalty. I know who the names of the Queen’s children and (most of) her grandchildren, even of (some of) her great-grandchildren. She now has four children, eight grandchildren and five greats – there from the productive William and Kate and two from Princess Anne’s daughter Zara and husband. The others are yet to sprout, although there is rumoured to be one on the way from Harry and Meghan. Maybe that is how she got him to the altar.
The other day I was waiting in line at Windsor Castle and saw a colleague going through her group with photos of all these youngsters, their names and details of their behaviour at important events when they appeared in public. She obviously read all the right magazines and absorbed the details of their behaviour – and the gossip about it. I have never bothered too much with all this stuff but most of her group seemed to be lapping it up, particularly stores about the relationship between future king George and his siblings and cousins.
The nearest I can get to this is to talk about the Queen and her dogs. Her Maj was given her first corgi as a young girl and has always loved the dogs. She has had quite a clan of them although, sadly, their numbers have declined as she grows older. The last purebred Corgi Willow died in April this year and she has stopped breeding them so as not to leave any behind after she dies. This may seem a bit morbid but you tend to think about your legacy as you approach the end and, being born in 1926, the Queen is ninety two now and may not have much longer – although Prince Philip is ninety seven and still upright while her mother lived to celebrate her century, dying in 2002 at 102.
The Queen has all the right ingredients for a long life – a good marriage, a busy family life, lots of interests and useful things to do, not to mention the best doctors money can buy and the long-life genes which Windsor women enjoy. A healthy interest in animals is also a good thing to have. The Queen’s love of horses is well known and she still rides occasionally. The dogs are good companions to her, even if their numbers are declining and she now only has a couple of Dorgis, crosses between Corgis and daschunds, called Vulcan and Candy.
I had a family group to take through Windsor recently and, to get away from the crowds, I strolled through the town and showed them the statue of The Windsor Lady in Bachelor’s Acre by a local artist Lydia Karpinska. You do not realise it is the Queen at first as she is dressed in ordinary clothes – ideal for walking the dogs, in fact.