Just as I was getting tired of updates on the Harry and Meghan situation - who is or isn‘t invited to the wedding, how excited Kate is to have two wedding in the royal family this year, what kind of style icon each one is, even stories about a grey hair being spotted in Meghan’s luscious locks - up pops a different royal topic to keep us all up to speed.
It has been reported that the queen’s last remaining corgi has died. This one was Willow, almost fifteen years old. It is apparently the first time the queen has been corgiless since the end of second world war. She received the first one, Susan, for her 18th birthday and this one last one was a descendant of the first. How nice that consistency of line has been maintained.
All over the world people know about the queen and her corgis. Well, I suppose everyone has to have a hobby and everyone has to be famous for something. But she stopped breeding the dogs a few years ago as she didn’t want any left behind after she died.
Maybe she doesn’t trust the rest of the royal family to carry on looking after them properly.
It must be bad enough having to worry about who will be head of the Commonwealth after one is gone.
It seems Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on Willow’s death, saying it is a private matter, but someone clearly felt the need to put it in the papers.
Here’s another animal story. Craignethan Castle in South Lanarkshire has been closed to the public because a “very angry badger” took up residence in a cellar tunnel and caused a lot of damage. The castle dates back to the 16th century. You wouldn’t want a badger, especially an angry one, messing about with it.
Badgers always seem grumpy and bad tempered in those children’s stories that anthropomorphise animals. And people used to set them against dogs and bet on the outcome of the fights. What an uncivilised place this used to be!
A friend of ours almost had a run-in with a badger recently. He usually lets his little dog out for a runaround late in the evening, leaving the door open for the spaniel to run back in. One evening he heard him approaching in rather a hurry. On looking out he saw the dog rushing towards the door, pursued by ... you’ve guessed it ... a very angry badger! So he shut the door on both animals and waited until the dog had managed to dodge and weave enough for the badger to get bored and go about his night time business! It seemed to me a rather mean reaction on the part of the dog owner, but there it is! Maybe I am just too sentimental!
Elsewhere in the country, an organisation is re-introducing beavers to an area in the hope that they will help prevent flooding. They are building a “starter home” for a pair of badgers, letting them settle in and hoping that they will breed and proceed to damn the river at a point high enough up the system to prevent flooding of a town further downriver.
There are some clever people around.