The Queen plans down to the last detail her family’s Christmas lunch, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, said. On top of agreeing on the food and checking that the table is perfectly done, the monarch also organises the seating plan – and requires children to sit far from adults while they are having their Christmas lunch, the Duke said, according to one entry in the diary of Kenneth Rose.
The late journalist and royal biographer used to note down in his diaries the most insightful or interesting conversations he had on a day-to-day basis with royals, aides or politicians.
On December 7 2007, Mr Rose wrote the confession made by the Queen’s first cousin.
The diarist wrote: “Prince Eddie describes how the Queen plans the annual family Christmas lunch down to the last detail.
“The grown-ups are in one big room, the children in another.
“Towards the end of lunch, the doors are flung open and in rushes the horde.”
The insightful diaries are being published following the death of Mr Rose in 2014.
In it, there are several entries regarding the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Diana.
The wife of late King George VI is described in these diaries as a staunch Eurosceptic, ready to defend Margaret Thatcher’s battle against further integrating the UK in the European Economic Community (EEC) in the Commons and in Brussels.
An entry dated May 13 1989, read: “Lunch with the Queen Mother.
“She expresses strong admiration for Mrs Thatcher’s determination to concede no sovereignty to the EEC.”
The Queen Mother’s Euroscepticism had been recorded even in another entry, dated September 20 1983.
This time is former Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan who recalls with Mr Rose one conversation with the Queen Mother.
The diary read: “Jim Callaghan shares my delight in the personality of the Queen Mother.
“At a lunch given by the Queen for heads of Common Market countries, she observed to Jim in a loud voice: ‘I am glad we are in the Common Market.
“‘You see, they have so much to learn from us.’”
In one of the entries dedicated to the Queen, Mr Rose jotted down a remark made by Pamela Hicks, the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and bridesmaid first and then lady-in-waiting to the monarch.
Lady Hicks, who married interior designer David Nightingale Hicks and has remained close to the senior members of the Royal Family throughout her whole life, opened up on the Queen’s love for her dogs.
In the entry, dated June 3 1995, Mr Rose wrote: “I stay for the weekend with David and Pamela Hicks.
“Pammy says that she sometimes writes to the Queen to tell her things of supposed interest.
“‘The only time she has ever replied was when I sent my sympathy after one of her dogs had been killed by a Clarence House corgi.
“‘She then wrote six pages.’”
Fond of corgis since she was a small child, the Queen has owned more than 30 corgis since her coronation in 1953.
The Queen’s last remaining corgi, Willow, was put down in April 2018 after suffering from cancer.
This dog became even more famous than most of the other Queen’s corgis as it appeared alongside the monarch and actor Daniel Craig in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, when they performed the James Bond sketch.
Willow was on screen together with Monty and Holly, two other corgis, seen greeting 007 as he arrived at Buckingham Palace.
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