Rosemary Righter’s column in The Times today is trenchant stuff. She calls Diana’s death the “best thing that could have happened to the Royal family”, which seems rather strong even to a Diana-sceptic like myself. (One can only admire, though, her response to her editor when he asked her what all the messages on the tribute bouquets said to her: “One thing,” I said. “The nation cannot spell.” True. Angel was Angle, Heaven was Hevven and Love, more forgivably, was Luv.’)
But the reason I am actually writing this post is that Righter has a fantastic example of that rarest of collector’s items, German wit.
“when, at the height of World War I, George V decided it would be a tactful gesture to change the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the Royal House of Windsor, his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II remarked: “I suppose Shakespeare’s play will now be known as The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg.”