[DWJ] Sacking the maids...

Mark Allums mark at allums.com
Wed May 16 21:18:19 EDT 2007

Minnow wrote:
  > The bit that makes me wonder most is the "hereditary" part.  It is not
> possible to force anyone into a job, even in the employment of the
> monarchy, and frankly, I do not see anyone taking over from his father in a
> completely futile and utterly boring job.  And I don't think there are any
> hereditary members of the Royal Household anyhow.

Well, we must keep in mind my bad memory.  But I seem to recall at least 
that he had done it for years, and his father before him.

> There's also "another job in the civil service": the royal household and
> the civil service aren't the same thing. 

I am less sure about this one.

  In any case the "ridiculous
> uniform" implies two things: not royal household, who don't on the whole
> have silly uniforms for everyday wear and only do the "flunkey" bit indoors
> when HM is entertaining, 

He had a traditional very old uniform.  I can't tell you what era, 
because I am totally ignorant.  Perhaps he only wore the uniform for 
special occasions, such as television cameras in the room.

and not civil service, ditto and they don't do the
> "flunkey" bit at all.  Dress-up is for the Forces when they are parading or
> loitering in little huts outside for the tourists, and for members of the
> few organisations who have particular, peculiar garb as part of their
> office when they appear in public.
> Might it be that this was a thing that happened once a year, or during the
> State Opening of Parliament, and was the privilege of a particular peer
> (that being about the only hereditary thing that used to be left)?  Or
> something to do with the Chelsea Pensioners or the Yeomen of the Guard?
> The latter two wouldn't be exactly hereditary, but they would be inheritive
> in a way, I suppose: "It is the honour of the Chelsea Pensioners to provide
> the Guard of the Privy Stair on the anniversary of the failed attempt to
> abduct the Princess Royal...", that sort of thing.

I don't remember that.  Do remember, the reason it was in the news is 
because they were abolishing the office/post.

> Do you have any *location* for this?  I suppose that the choices would be
> Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and St. James's Palace (and that's
> Clarence House really, if it's a royal residence that's in question).  Does
> any of them ring a bell?  I don't *think* any of the others are royal
> palaces, and the other two big important official royal residences aren't
> palaces, they are castles (Windsor and Balmoral, and Balmoral isn't all
> that official, it's more where they go to try to get some peace and quiet).
> Queen Victoria's beloved Osborne House is now a convalescent home, so it
> can't be there...

They said which castle palace, house, or whatever, but it has been too 
long.  I will never remember that.  You are better equipped than I, 
perhaps, to find out, since you have the background I lack as a USian.

> (It occurs to me that maybe this was exactly what DWJ had in mind when she
> was writing CF, and if she were asked she'd say "Oh, yes, the Guard of the
> Privy Stair at X...")
> Minnow


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