Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Edward VIII and Me

In the wake of the King's Speech, allow me to introduce a historical titbit. In 1920, the then Prince of Wales undertook a Royal trip to Australia and New Zealand to thank the Empire nations for their support and sacrifice in the Great War (an extensive city tour on which he was greeted rapturously, by the way). A little-recorded fact is that on his two-month voyage Down Under on the battlecruiser HMS Renown, he was served his daily grub by none other than the ship's cook, one Arthur Thomas Dawson, my grandfather (who, sadly, died before I was born).

I sincerely hope it wasn't Grandad Dawson's boiled beef and carrots that persuaded the future Edward VIII that this kingly business might be hard to stomach. I prefer to think it was this commoner's advice (delivered in a candid moment, while slopping up the mash), that American birds were "always up for it"... And then again, maybe not.

A butterfly flaps its wings, etc. ...

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