Today’s birthday, and a farewell…

Today is Her Majesty the Queen’s 81st birthday. This is her real birthday, not the public holiday celebrated as her birthday in some Commonwealth countries. If she goes on as long as her ma did, she’s got about 20 years left in her. Prince Charles would thus ascend the throne 77 years young. And if Charles then sticks around for, say, 10 years, William would be almost as old as his father is now (57) when he ascended the throne. I will, I fear, be only a memory when William becomes King William V.

As is its wont, we were awakened this morning by the BBC stating ponderously: “Today is the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen” followed by the National Anthem. They do not wish her many happy returns of the day, as they used to for the Queen Mother and other senior royals whose birthdays they announced. We knew the Queen Mum was nearing her end when they changed from wishing her “many happy returns of the day” to “a very happy day”.

And we bid a fond farewell to Terry Major-Ball, the brother of Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and First Lord of the Treasury (to give him his full title). Mr. Major-Ball was a truly interesting character, always ready with a smile and a quotable quote about his brother. He failed in the garden gnome business (I’ll bet you didn’t know there was such a thing as a garden gnome business) and pottered around in various professions until retirement. But when it came to his brother, he was loyal and discreet. He knew of John Major’s affair with Edwina Currie but kept his trap shut about it. He wrote an autobiography that wittily said almost nothing controversial, thus rivaling Diary of a Nobody. Terry Major-Ball died of prostate cancer in Somerset last month. He’ll be missed.

2 Responses to “Today’s birthday, and a farewell…”

  1. rsc says:

    He failed in the garden gnome business (I’ll bet you didn’t know there was such a thing as a garden gnome business)

    I didn’t, but I’ll acknowledge that I’d have been more surprised to learn that someone had succeeded in the garden gnome business.

  2. anonymous says:

    I’m reminded of the scene in The Full Monty when one of them is going for a job interview and the others do a puppet show with his garden gnomes along the windowsill of the room he’s interviewing in.