There was something so poignant about the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, created to mark what would have been her 60th birthday.
To this day, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when the devastating news broke that she had been involved in a horrific accident in Paris and was seriously injured. Of course she never recovered and the nation proved inconsolable. Most of my friends remember that fateful day too and were equally numbed.
The People’s Princess had captured our hearts and we followed her daily rituals and events avidly.
So, a sad and untimely end to a brilliant life and yet the unveiling was all the more mournful given that her two precious sons, Princes William and Harry, are seemingly no longer close. Following the crass kiss and tell interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey in which our Royal family was mocked and abused, it’s hardly surprising that William has given his young and wayward brother the cold shoulder.
How we all loved Harry once upon a time. Now, he and wife, Megan Markle, appear to be waging daily battles with the British Royals and have consequently lost the respect of the general public in the UK.
How the two brothers will ever be able to heal the huge rift in their relationship is anybody’s guess but one person who would be overwhelmed with sorrow at the state of affairs would be their mother. Princess Diana adored her two sons and showed them a warmth in public previously never witnessed in Royal circles.
Were she still alive today, such a catastrophic falling out would have horrified her. It is tragic that she died so young but we can at least feel a modicum of relief that she isn’t around to witness the grim emotional severing of the bond that once bound her sons.
Freedom in July?
We’ve heard it all before but Boris Johnson has announced that on 19, July Britons will finally be free of face masks and self-isolation. Really? Rather like the little boy who cried wolf, it’s quite impossible to believe anything the prime minister says any more as he always goes back on his word. It’s a cruel game and one can but hope that this time he sticks to his guns. To fail the public again will only bring him severe criticism and further dwindling support.
The majority of Britons have been vaccinated and this was always the reason given for how the country would bounce back quickly. And yet despite the mass vaccination programme, the UK has remained in a state of inertia with new variants popping up like bamboo all over the place. The vaccine is supposed to have been able to deal with these variants and yet the reality has been very different.
The rate of infection in Blighty has been huge, far higher than most other European countries, so one has to wonder what went so horribly wrong.
Many Britons are desperate for a holiday in the sunshine, and frankly deserve it. I hope the prime minister won’t disappoint them again by pulling the rug. You can use the same old trick a few times and then even the most benevolent and obedient of people begin to lose patience. The electorate is at the end of its tether. Let’s hope this time, he doesn’t tell any more porky-pies.
Eastern Europe Vaccines for all
After being marooned in Majorca for six months during the pandemic, my 24-year-old son finally got the green light to set off back to Eastern Europe for a brand-new hospitality managerial job. He had been frustrated not to have been able to receive the vaccine in Majorca and vowed to get the Russian-made vaccine on arrival in Rumania, even if he had to pay through the roof for it.
Imagine his relief and delight to be offered within one day of his arrival the choice of every vaccine free of charge on the national health system. He decided to go for the one-shot Johnson/Jansen and told me how happy he was to have made the move, given the slow vaccine roll out for young people on the island.
It’s a shame that more choice is not being offered in the same way here in Mallorca. Many people I’ve spoken with (particularly those with allergies and health concerns) would prefer not to have the AZ vaccine and yet have been told to take what they’re given.
A number have refused. In the Autumn there will apparently be more flexibility and the private sector is likely to get permission to roll out vaccines too, so for all those holding on for the vaccine of choice, there is hope. If it doesn’t happen, a cheap flight to Bucharest (21€ in my son’s case) will likely get you a menu of vaccines and all for free.
Demise of GAP
Years ago, I used to love popping into the American retail fashion store, GAP, on Regent Street. It was famous for cool and inexpensive adult casual wear and the best for baby and children’s cute clothing.
Much of my son’s chic baby wardrobe came from the company and I often bought items as gifts for friends. The prices weren’t cheap for nipper wear but the outfits were so innovative and stylish, and above all practical and washable.
Cut to 2021 and the entire chain in the UK and Ireland is disappearing. No one wants GAP anymore. It’s seen as dull and boring and lacking flair. I’m sad to see it go but I suppose every dog has it’s day.
Anna Nicholas’s second Mallorca based crime novel, Haunted Magpie, is available to buy online at Amazon or in good bookshops in Majorca & in the UK. Follow her at www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/team/anna-nicholas/