woensdag 16 maart 2016

Harold Nicolson -- 17 maart 1937

Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) was een Britse schrijver, diplomaat en politicus. Dagboekfragmenten van hem zijn gepubliceerd in o.m. Diaries and letters 1930-1964.

March 17, 1937
It is quite possible, without undue shame, to arrive at Buckingham Palace in a taxi even though one's taxi driver (in an orgy of democracy) insists upon throwing his cigarette down upon the red carpet of the steps; but it is difficult when the outer hall is filled with Beef-eaters, Gentlemen-at-Arms, and Royal Watermen to dash past duchesses in their tiaras and to say to someone (who for all one knows, may be the Lord Chamberlain or the Master of the Horse) "please, do you think I could get a taxi?"
The dining table is one mass of gold candelabra and scarlet tulips. Behind us the whole of the Windsor plate is massed in tiers. The dinner has been unwisely selected since we have soup, fish, quail, ham, chicken, ice and savoury. The wine on the other hand is very excellent and the port superb. I discuss with David Cecil the reasons why we have been asked. He says, "I know why I have been asked. I have been asked as a younger member of the British ariostocracy." I say that I have been asked as a rising politician, and I regret to observe that David is not as convinced by this explanation as I might have wished.
Afterwards the Queen goes the rounds. She wears upon her face a faint smile indicative of how much she would have liked her dinner party were it not for the fact that she was Queen of England. Nothing could exceed the charm or dignity which she displays, and I cannot help feeling what a mess poor Mrs Simpson would have made of such an occasion. It demonstrated to us more than anything else how wholly impossible that marriage would have been. The Queen teases me very charmingly about my pink face and my pink views in exactly the same words as Mr Baldwin had used previously, so that I felt sure that during dinner he had told her of the remark that he cast at me from the Front Bench.
I go back to the Stanley's house and have some beer while we discuss the strange legend of monarchy.

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