Although meetings involving the entire royal household are occasionally called, the way this has been done at the eleventh hour is highly unusual
All news sources, including the BBC, reported this morning’s meeting of the Royal Household as an “emergency meeting”. Royal lackeys had been rushed overnight from Scotland, Norfolk and the Isle of Wight. What was the emergency?
Prince Philip is going to retire in seven months time.
Now I think the Prince is wonderful for his age. I have held lengthy conversations with him, and rather like him (read The Catholic Orangemen of Togo for details). And I hope he enjoys his retirement, indeed to the extent that I hope his family have the apparently terribly stresses of being royal and owning lots of palaces, removed from all of them completely.
But I cannot for the life of me see how this constituted an “emergency”. What this timing does of course is ensure a constant stream of monarchist claptrap and forelock-tugging on all broadcast media all of local election day, complete with repeated filmed message from our glorious strong and stable leader. Local election purdah means there is no interruption to this monstrous intrusion into the general election campaign.
Now we Scots are a bit sceptical about all this. It was not immediately obvious why the announcement of a royal not yet visible pregnancy had to be made just before the independence referendum vote. There appears to be something of a coincidence between major royal announcements and popular votes.
It is also fascinating that Sky News are putting such a Scottish spin on this. Earlier we had a risible old loyal Glasgow councillor spouting rubbish. We just had vox pops outside Holyrood House. Astonishingly for Scotland, Sky News have not managed to find a single republican. They have not felt the need to wander round Sandringham or Osborne House. Their effort is very Scottish. Is anything happening today in Scotland for which you might want to motivate the Orange Order? Oh yes…
The key point about this “emergency” of course is that the decision to make this announcement now was taken after the election was called. May called on the Queen yesterday and there will have been contact between No.10 and the Palace this last week to set that up.
It was not the only thing they were setting up.