I find it rather sad that one of your columns recently contained gratuitous insults levelled at the Royal Family. We should all be joyful that anybody has reached the age of a hundred years and a doctor can hardly do more than smile indulgently if not strictly medicinal draughts have contributed to this happy event. We should also remember that tonic water was originally invented in the hope of staving off malaria in the far flung postings of the Empire, and what often goes with tonic water has been proved to have a very deterrent effect on the attentions of anopheline mosquitoes.
The Royal Family deserves as much Christian consideration as any other family. As with any other family, they had no choice over the condition to which they were born. Many would say that in setting an example in very difficult circumstances, they have a credit balance.
There are those of us (and we here are the guests of such a monarchy), who believe that a constitutional non-political Head of State is on balance preferable to any other. We can be certain that the Queen's views on the State of the Realm is to our benefit. Many Prime Ministers have paid tribute to the fact that the weekly visits to the Queen are the only times they relax and clear their mind away from the political pressures that surround them relentlessly.
Those who complain that they are an extravagance, clearly have poor memories. Amongst the many things that King George VI and his wife did for the nation during the war, was the voluntary gift of the Crown Lands to help the war effort. These were never returned. Were I an economist, I could surely show that the revenues from these lands covers the cost of the Royal Family many times over.
May I humbly join all of a like mind in wishing Her Majesty the Queen Mother a very Happy Birthday, with gratitude for all she has done for the country in her long life, sentiments we will surely reinforce in our Special Service in the Anglican Church.