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ROYAL REPORTERS REMEMBER…

September 16, 2022

“A very bright light has gone out,” said Giles Brandreth, lolling luxuriously at a champagne reception in the London club. “My sweetest memory is of the moment she reached out to a raw young groom who had become entangled with the wheels of the Irish state coach while proceeding down the Mall. She said something to him and he absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed…..”

“You know, I recall when the late Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Lang once turned to her and asked for a slice of cake after delivering one of his sermons, completely abandoning protocol,” said Hugo Vickers, “and she gave him the most mischievous look. It really was rather a delight and the dear Archbishop absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed….”

“Yes, the magic will go on,” said Ingrid Seward. “The brightest light may have gone out but the magic goes on. It must go on. I recall when she once turned to the High Commissioner for Tobago at a dinner during a state visit and asked him, with a completely straight face, if he had any tinned pineapples. He absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed…”

Dickie Arbiter, declining a top-up, said: “I have so many memories but perhaps the most special was the day at Royal Ascot when Lester Piggott got off the royal horse and really rather impishly asked her if she could pay him in cash. She said something quite caustic and he absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed….”

Andrew Morton, who got into the club via a side door, said: “I remember Diana, the Princess of Wales telling me confidentially of the time when she reached out during a private meeting with her mother-in-law when she was very young and in high spirits, hoping for a helping hand. She said something to her and she absolutely did not convulse with laughter. Absolutely did not…..”

“Harry and Meghan would be nothing without her,” said Angela Levin. “It’s not for me to say but it is true. My favourite memory is of the day when Harry and Meghan were on a Royal walkabout with her. Meghan said something typically nonsensical and air-headed to her and she absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed….”

Omid Scobie strongly disagreed with Angela. “Harry and Meghan are the future. My favourite memory is of the day Meghan told me Finding Freedom was the best book she had ever read. I absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed…”

“In all my years working for the BBC,” said Jenny Bond, “I never once heard a bad word about Aunty.” “No, me neither,” said Nicholas Witchell. At that everybody (and I mean everybody) absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed….

Suddenly, a violent series of loud bangs and crashes disturbed the peace in the plush reception room as someone appeared to be desperately trying to force their way in.

Martin Bashir screamed through one of the open windows: “My favourite memory is of the day I was made religious affairs correspondent by the BBC. I told her and she absolutely convulsed with laughter. Absolutely convulsed….”

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