As an ardent monarchist, Alf is dismayed by news that a French magazine has published topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge.
Mind you, his dismay was tinged with puzzlement for a while, because when the media said these were topless photographs – well, did they mean someone had cut the tops off the photos, and if so how much of the photos remained and what did they show?
A closer reading of newspaper reports on the matter shows dismay was the appropriate reaction, because we are talking of – ahem – photos of bare bosoms.
This being so, it is fit and proper that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have begun legal proceedings against the French magazine which did the publishing.
The Daily Mail is up with the play (here) –
As sources close to the couple said she felt ‘violated’ by the pictures, there was mounting fear among royal aides that the Duchess faces being relentlessly stalked like the Princess of Wales.
A strongly worded Palace statement compared the photographs to the ‘worst excesses of the Press and paparazzi during the life of Diana’.
This is the first time in modern history that a British royal is set to sue through the courts in France for ‘breach of privacy’ over what the couple described as a ‘grotesque’ and ‘unjustifiable’ act.
Alf’s constituents – strictly speaking – don’t need to know the indelicate details.
But the pictures show the Duchess removing her bikini top as she sunbathed by a pool during a holiday in France last week.
She and Prince William – our future king, all going well – learned of the pictures while in Malaysia continuing their Diamond Jubilee tour.
We are told legal papers have already been served on the French magazine Closer and an initial hearing will be heard in the French courts on Monday.
But the French magazine’s behaviour has been outrageous and an affront to British decency.
Alf accordingly would do much more than take legal action.
For a starter he would not go back to France ever again.
At least, not until it has been conquered and made a province of Britain.
Alf’s deep research on the matter (here) shows William the Conquerer’s attempted seizure of territory of Brittany in 1076 was halted by Philip I, the French king at the time, bringing the first period of Norman expansion to an end.
Peace was reestablished in 1077.
This was a Norman-French feudal war, not an Anglo-French national one, but it was the first armed conflict between an English and a French monarch.
They haven’t got on all that well ever since.
The two countries haven’t got on too well ever since, which is understandable, because with some exceptions – Brigitte Bardot was among them when Alf was a lad – the French are an unwholesome lot. And Brigitte hasn’t aged all that well.
Not getting on too well understates things somewhat, because actually the English and the French have often been scrapping with each other.
Wikipedia lists this lot of wars between the two –
* Wars of Henry II of England and Philip II of France
* Stephen and Matilda conflict
* Saintonge War (1242)
* War of Saint-Sardos (1324)
* Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453)
* Parts of the Italian Wars (1511–1559)
* War of the League of Cambrai
* Anglo-French War (1627–1629)
* Second Anglo-Dutch War (1666–1667, France sided with the Dutch Republic)
* War of the Grand Alliance (Nine Years’ War) (1688–1697) (formerly the League of Augsburg)
* Williamite War in Ireland (1689–1691)
* King William’s War (1689–1697)
* War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1713)
* War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748)
* Seven Years’ War (1756–1763)
* American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)
* French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815)
Frankly (a nice word when discussing the Frogs), the publication of pictures of the Duchess’s bared boobs in a French magazine should be sufficient cause to go to war again.
And when the Union Jack is flying from the Eiffel Tower, Alf will happily take Mrs Grumble on holiday to Paris to help in the celebrations.
An obvious attraction will be that he will no longer be sneered at by supercilious waiters when he tries to order un scotch avec les glaçon, s’il vous plaît.