The good news about Andrew Marr, a British broadcaster, is that he has abandoned republicanism after spending two years following the Queen across Britain and on several trips abroad.
Nope – not because he was impressed by her budget-trimming approach to the celebrating of her diamond jubilee next year (more of which later in this post).
Alf has just read of Marr saying his time spent with the ‘shrewd, wise and kind’ Queen has helped to transform him from a republican to a monarchist.
The not so good news is his disclosure of Prince Charles’s secret plan to ‘move out of Buckingham Palace and turn it into a museum’ once he becomes King
Or is a hotel on his agenda?
This Marr feller is reported to have written a book in which he claims Prince Charles wants to move the Royal household from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle.
Prince Charles has secret plans to move the Royal family out of Buckingham Palace and transform it into a museum once he becomes king, it has been claimed.
According to reports, the prince has a deep-seated desire to put his stamp on the monarchy with a ‘detailed plan for a first year of change under King Charles III’.
Proposals are said to include moving the royal court from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, as Charles moves to rebrand the institution of the monarchy.
Marr is set to make the disclosure of Charles’ plans in a new book about the Queen to be published this week.
Alf got wind of this daft scheme in the Daily Mail, although its report cites a report in the Daily Telegraph.
Sad to say, Alf failed to track down the Telegraph report. Presumably it was not posted on line.
So here’s what the Daily Mail says it says.
According to the paper, Mr Marr writes in The Diamond Queen, his new book, of how Prince Charles has already distanced himself from the Queen’s court in the capital.
‘His succession would be followed by a dramatic clearing out of the current Buckingham Palace staff and the arrival of his own team,’ Mr Marr writes.
‘One of the more dramatic ideas that has been discussed is for the Royal family to leave Buckingham Palace entirely, leaving it as a kind of grand official government hotel and centre for events.
‘The king would base himself not in London but at Windsor Castle.’
How much credibility should we attach to Marr’s dislosures?
Hmm. That’s open to question, because –
“There have been no discussions, plans or meetings at all about this matter,’ a spokesman for Prince Charles told the MailOnline.
Having as good as scotched the Marr stuff, however, the Daily Mail proceeds to point out that Charles has been heir to the throne for damned near six decades.
This has given him plenty of time to to reflect on what actions he might take after his coronation.
Mr Marr’s book claims that Charles has even confided in aides that he wonders whether he will outlive his mother, who has previously ruled out abdicating in favour of her eldest son.
But if the Queen were to become too frail to fulfil her Royal duties, one possibility is that the prince could be given the title of Prince Regent and role of managing his mother’s diary of engagements and sifting through the daily red box of government papers.
So what about the diamond jubilee?
Well, it seems celebrations for the monarch’s diamond jubilee will be over in six months (because of the Olympic Games according to The Daily Telegrah, but more likely because she is frugal and keeps a careful eye on public money, according to Alf).
The Telegraph reminds us that during the Queen’s golden and silver jubilees, events were spread throughout the year.
Not so the diamond jubilee.
“We are very keen that the jubilee should not be overshadowed,” says a courtier. “We have to be realistic. While the Olympics are going on, that is where all the attention will be.
“The Queen is determined that the jubilee events should be kept completely separate from the Olympics. That is very wise, in case there is a row about the Olympics finances. When the Olympics are over, it would seem an anticlimax to have more jubilee events in the autumn.”
Another significant change is likely to be that the monarch will not make any overseas visits during the “jubilee six months”.
It seems she wants to take it easy on the jet-setting.
The Queen, who will be 86, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 90, visited the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Canada during her golden jubilee.
“It would be asking too much for them to undertake such arduous visits,” says a courtier. “It would not be a good idea for the Queen to visit only one or two of the countries of which she is head of state, as this could cause offence to others.”
Alf is disappointed she won’t be coming here, but he is understanding.
He is getting a bit too old for gadding about the world himself, to avail himself of his travel perks, and he is not quite as old as Her Majesty.