Of Lettuces And Kings

4 Aug
Four Kings: King Edward VII (right) with his s...

Image via Wikipedia

Last night I watched The King’s Speech and loved it.

All the way through, a quote that I once read played at the back of my mind; and I was pleased when I heard it used in the film.  Attributed to George V, it is something like this:

My father was afraid of his father; I was afraid of my father; and I’ll make damn sure my children are afraid of me.

These days, of course, it is the parents who are afraid of the children.

I always remember that quote in conjunction with an amusing story I once read about George VI as a child.  The Royal Family were eating lunch.  GV was talking and little Bertie interrupted, ‘Father, Father.’  Daddy G was furious and told Bertie to pipe down, not interrupt, and speak when he was spoken to. Little Bertie subsided, abashed.

Once lunch was over, King George said sternly to the little prince, ‘Now you may speak.  What is it?’

Bertie replied, ‘I wanted to warn you that you were about to eat a caterpillar with your lettuce.’


That reminds me of something I once read in Reader’s Digest:

A religious and stern father insisted that his children arrived promptly at the breakfast table each day.  One morning, his daughter was late.  As she sat down he said to her, ‘Child of the devil!’

‘Good morning, Father,’ she replied.


I sat down to write this post and then noticed the date: today, the fourth of August, is the Queen Mother’s birthday.  The same Queen Mother who married the Bertie who became George VI.

It is well-known that she liked a tipple (and a flutter – she had the race commentary piped into her house on racing days) and she liked her first tipple at the same time everyday.  It is also well-known that many of her staff were gay.

One day, tipple time arrived, but no beverage.  The QM waited a bit and finally phoned down to the staff: ‘When you old queens have finished chatting, this old Queen would like her G&T!’



18 Responses to “Of Lettuces And Kings”

  1. vivenne blake August 4, 2011 at 10:51 #

    I adored the King’s Speech – saw it here in France on one of my very rare cinema visits.

    I love that Queen Mum story – probably apocryphal but nonetheless very funny.


  2. SammyDee August 4, 2011 at 10:55 #

    Lol. I love it! I loved the whole post. I’m now starting the day with a big smile on my face.


  3. eof737 August 4, 2011 at 11:15 #

    TOUCHE TO THE QUEEN! I loved that movie as Colin was brilliant… which brings me to… 😉


  4. gigihawaii August 4, 2011 at 12:40 #

    That Bertie could have been anyone of our kids. Cute stories!


  5. barb19 August 4, 2011 at 12:43 #

    Love your post Tilly -it gave me a good laugh at the end of my day!


  6. mairedubhtx August 4, 2011 at 12:50 #

    These were interesting anecdotes.


  7. Pseu August 4, 2011 at 17:18 #

    Love the caterpillar one! Ha, served him right!

    (caterpillars are known in this house as ‘pitter catters’ – )


  8. nrhatch August 4, 2011 at 20:45 #

    The King Who Ate A Caterpillar . . . just to prove his point! 😆

    Terrific movie. Loved it.


  9. sarsm August 5, 2011 at 23:54 #

    You saw the film. I’m glad. It’s brilliant.


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: