NOTE: This is affectionately written fiction. Any resemblance to royals, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This piece is copyright protected.
Need to catch up or know who is who? Check out the first installment of 'Milla's Diary.
2 January 2014
Threw in the towel on keeping this little diary tidy and up-to-date while here at Sandringham. The boys went off shooting with the press in pursuit and a host of protestors. Pip still upset that a few years back he was caught on film having a wee on his own (well, his wife's) property, so went off skittish and a bit dehydrated. Not good for the brain box, but there you have it. Dear One returned early in a snit. Pip took Edith's side in a quarrel with Dear One. Rather below the belt as Dear One has been more parent than sibling to Edith and he IS the eldest of course. As I've said before this is due to age--Pip was over 40 when Edith came along and Dear One was about 16. Yet, Pip gives his loyalty to Edith--like a burr under a saddle, that is.
Anyway, to jolly Dear One back to good humor we played our favorite Boxing Day drinking and 'hide the pickle' game. We tot up the number of personal friends who've rung up to say "Did you watch Her Majesty's Christmas Message." A drink, then a poke, repeat. Such fun! Just like soldiers have! Only this year we were a bit tired so we added them up and divided by ten. Seemed quite enough to both of us, it being so beastly cold and damp in this Museum. A bit creepy, too, as we have the room Prince Eddy died in. Not our usual room. Dear One has generally had a the same room since he left the nursery (well, let's be honest, he never REALLY left the nursery. Nanny means as much or more to him than you-know-who). Read a bit about Eddy out of curiosity. Lovely how, while dying, he shouted out for another woman with his parents and finance present. They put it down to fever-induced delirium. Likely the poor chap saw his own future (being King and being married to Queen Mary) and drank something poisonous, if you ask me, but as always, no one has! One of Dear One's gifts (from outside the family, of course) was a copy of the new book, The Heir Apparent. Lots of tosh about "did he" or "didn't he" with this Duchess or that American or whichever random tart, but the author was very decent about my Great Granny.Well the book DID give us an excuse to have one more round as Great Granny and King Edward--by far our favorite private past time! They knew how to do everything with so much taste and panache. Sadly lacking in every aspect of life these days.
For the record, OF COURSE, we watch the Mother-in-law's broadcast. Need I say that we are currently her guests? It's really rather fun. Randy has the staff microwave some of that so-bad-for-you American theatre popcorn (its served in the bag-- such a hoot for the Mother-in-law, if not for the rest of us who, not living in Downton Abbey all our lives, have not only eaten always from the bag, but zapped it ourselves when necessary). So once the popcorn bags are delivered, Pip and the Mother-in-law hole up on a settee like young loves (such a lovely couple--truly Darby and Joan as I always say) and bicker over what she did well and what was appalling. Lovely to see a marriage that's so mutually encouraging.We all stand for the National Anthem, then had a hoot of laughter over the trey politically correct "holiday" tree with blue and gold ornaments. I quietly pointed out a spot of corgi pooh to Dear One and we fought the giggles for a minute or two. Pip had to spout off about how "gloomy" his wife was at the start. But, no one actually listens to anything said--we all know that. One watches because of DUTY and TRADITION. We grow up on the Christmas message. I make sure my Grands watch it--its essential.
Well, once it was over Randy had to of course praise Mummy darling to the very sky. This set Pip off making gagging noises, to which Dear One joined in. Edith looked perplexed. He needed to be back in Dear One's good graces, but couldn't afford to alienate Papa. He managed an audible "Well done, Mummy" then feigned an unusual interest in the sticker books the Rent-a-Nanny had given his children to keep them under control. (Note: My Grands would NEVER be allowed this--not during Her Majesty's broadcast!) Mind you, the cousin's youngest child simply sat still and watched, then politely congratulated Great-Aunt Queen on her performance. That one is brought up right, I can tell you.
Well after the broadcast everyone fled to their little patch of privacy--we to Prince Eddy's room, the Mother-in-law to her red boxes in her study, Pip to chat up the Brazilian culinary student and Edith and Randy to bicker over the tv remote. Typical. No idea where Mrs. Edith hid herself but from the color of her cheeks at the time of the broadcast, something liquid was on hand to be sure! Sensible, really. Haza made himself VERY scarce. Turned out he'd left and just didn't say anything. The Boy and Yummy were chaffing for their off as well. It takes a special kind of dutiful sacrifice to endure giving our Sovereign a Christmas to enjoy! It takes more than tolerating corgis and pretending to love doing jigsaw puzzles, too. It means putting up with food a motorway cafe would be embarrassed to serve, bringing (and hiding) your own REAL booze so you can make do at other times with the watered grocery store-special-offer-quality booze and having very, very selective hearing. If we didn't do the Royal Round the rest of the year, we'd never have the stamina for the boredom, tedium and monotony that is a Sandringham Christmas.
At about 2:30 am on the 27th Dear One and I were awakened by a voice that could shred steel. Seems Randy and Edith's movie had awaken Mummy. Boxed their ears good--and about time, too. Then, since he'd been awaken too (but no doubt needed a quick pass thru the loo) Pip gave them a further dressing down, too. The "little boys" (as their parents and siblings still call them) skulked back to their own rooms and the two OAPs settled in for a rant on the entire family--forgetting (or perhaps not?) that the acoustics at Sandringham mean that there is no such thing as a private conversation. While Dear One had fallen back asleep, I was wide awake and took a listen. Very chuffed to hear US praised for our tact and decency. Apparently holing up in one's room is the new key to Christmas kudos. The OTH is ALWAYS praised so that was no surprise. It was the "Where DID we go wrong" element with Randy and Edith that shocked me. I shook Dear One awake just in time to hear Pip say "Perhaps [Dear One] was right in 1974 and we should have come down harder on them...." From the tone I could tell the Mother-in-law had taken his hand. "Oh sod them, darling, lets go back to sleep." His response would warm any wife's heart. "Sod them, indeed. Need a cuddle, darling?" to which she replied: "Don't be ridiculous." But I just KNOW she accepted. They're such lambs--the pair of them.