We commented some six weeks ago that Queen Elizabeth could not be looking forward to this year's Christmas message to the nation. The year started sadly with the deaths of the Queen's mother and sister. It recovered with an unexpected, but wholly deserved, brilliant climax to the Jubilee celebrations, but then fell apart in the autumn. Once again, the unintended legacy left by Princess Diana proved to be the catalyst of so much of the trouble. The business of the butlers was bad enough in itself but the revelations it brought of life in some Royal palaces was disturbing. Even worse was the realisation that dysfunctional seems the most appropriate word to describe the Royal family. The palaces scattered around Hyde Park and St James' Park are apparently at war with one another and Prince Charles only rarely speaks to his mother.