Hilary Mantel and the art of missing the point

Around this time last year, Hilary Mantel infuriated a certain kind of tabloid newspaper and a certain kind of tabloid-pandering prime minister by saying some things about the Duchess of Cambridge. Her long, subtle speech was clearly a comment on the media coverage of our young queen-to-be – that the real person is imprisoned in…

Live from the Jubilee River Thing

Standing in the rain at Vauxhall, wearing the traditional British summer gear of waterproof trousers and a cagoule. Thousands of Queen masks in evidence. When Her Majesty comes past that will presumably feel very strange, as though she’s in her own version of Being John Malkovich. Also: will she have to wear a waterproof poncho?…

Queen Elizabeth II, our visible link to 60 years of history

My father turns 60 this year. He has spent his entire life under the rule of a single monarch. I find that a very strange fact. But what I find even stranger is that both he and I shall, one day, see the accession of a different one. Her Majesty the Queen has been an…

Prince Charles, the ticking time-bomb for the monarchy

It’s been a funny few days for the Royal family. Last week, it was declared that this inherently unequal organisation is to be made subject to an “equality act”. And today, The Guardian reports that Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, has been given a “secret veto” on 12 separate pieces of legislation. The…