Blair on the Royal Family
I write about why Tony Blair and Gordon Brown might not have been invited to the royal wedding in The Independent on Sunday today. Not online is the panel containing the quotations from Blair’s memoir, A Journey, which might have offended the Queen, who takes seriously the business about not “letting the light in on the magic”. So here they are:
What Blair says about the Queen in A Journey:
“I talked, perhaps less sensitively than I should have, about the need to learn lessons. I worried afterwards she would think I was lecturing her or being presumptious, and at points during the conversation she assumed a certain hauteur; but in the end she herself said lessons must be learned and I could see her own wisdom at work, reflecting, considering and adjusting.”
What Blair says about William:
“I had also spoken to William, who was not only still grieving but angry. He knew, rationally, why the week between Diana’s death and the funeral had to be as it had been, but he felt acutely the conflict between public position and private emotion. He knew now, if he didn’t before, what being a prince and a king meant. For all the sense of duty the prison walls of hereditary tradition must have seemed too high a price to pay.”
What Blair says about what the royal family thought about him:
“My upfront and and visible filling of the vacuum would have made her uncomfortable, and certainly some of those around her somewhat disdained it. It also emphasised their general unease with me and what I represented.
“I am not a great one for the Establishment … I always felt that they preferred political leaders of two types: either those who were of them – or at least fully subscribed to their general outlook – or the ‘authentic’ Labour people, the sort they used to read about, who spoke with an accent and who fitted their view of how such people should be. People like me were a bit nouveau riche, a bit arriviste, a bit confusing and therefore suspect.”
What Blair said on Friday, in Colombia:
“I’m delighted for the royal couple.It is completely sensible to invite people from different walks of life instead of politicians. [Was he offended?] Absolutely not at all. It’s not an issue and I wish them every happiness.”
What Gordon Brown has said about it all:
Gordon and Sarah both wish Prince William and Kate Middleton every happiness for the future. They will be joining in celebrating their marriage like all of Britain and lots of people around the world.
Photograph: PATagged in: blair a journey, monarchy, tony blair
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