Columns & Essays
For those Englishmen who remain sufficient vestigial Anglicans to turn to the state church for births, marriages and deaths, we have a touch of hatching, matching and dispatching in today's column. But we shall attend to them in reverse order: ~I was sorry to hear of the death of the great scholar (and, indeed, psychoanalyst) of Islam Bernard Lewis, a few weeks shy of his 102nd birthday. Nobody is terribly sad when a chap has enjoyed a 50 per cent bonus on his three-score-and-ten - "he had a good innings", etc - but Bernard was trenchant and vigorous into his late nineties, and there was no one like him, and thus no one to replace him when it comes to a thoroughly informed perspective on the peculiar psychoses of the Islamic world. He was ...
Well, today was the big day for Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, so it seems appropriate to offer a few Royal romances as our Saturday movie date. The most directly relevant movie, Royal Wedding, made in 1947, was set in London against the background of Prince Harry's grandparents' nuptials and starred Fred Astaire and an actress whose dad was an actual guest at the actual real-life wedding - Sarah Churchill, daughter of Winston. But I'll say a few words about that tomorrow night in our Song of the Week department, and today cast our net a little further afield in search of celluloid romances between royals and commoners...
Musick for a Royal romance - that's "musick" as in Master of the Queen's Musick and Handel's Musick for the Royal Fireworks, although it may also accurately convey the effect the last week's torrent of Royal Wedding gush has had on you. I can't say I've exactly got Royal Wedding fever, but I did think it worth strolling down Memory Lane in search of a soundtrack for Royal courtship. There is, of course, a lot of "official" Royal music. In fact, the new Duke of Sussex can claim to be one of the very few people in human history to have had songs written about him upon the very moment of his birth - specifically speaking, the cycle Songs for a Royal Baby was written by the genial Aussie composer Malcolm Williamson (then Master of the Queen's ...
The first mass shooter motivated by YouTube "de-monetization" policies
Michael E Mann's defamation suit against me enters its sixth year in the constipated bowels of DC justice...
Peter Wyngarde was a bona fide star only for a few years. But his animal sideburns, extravagant moustache, and jaunty cravats nestling in thickets of chest hair cast long and hirsute shadows: He was the inspiration for Austin Powers...
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