Monday, April 23, 2007

Cry God for Harry, England and St George!

A very happy St George’s Day to one and all.

I reproduce below the section of Gaunt’s speech in Act II Scene I of Shakespeare’s Richard II, from which I drew the inspiration for this blog.

It is, quite simply, absolutely priceless…

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,--
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.


I’m now off out to raise a glass (or several) to our patron saint.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jacquie Oatley: why not?

Much debate and comment in the dead tree press and the sports media generally this week about the fact that Jacqui Oatley is to become the first female to commentate on a premiership football match this afternoon, when she describes the action from Craven Cottage, where Fulham entertain Blackburn Rovers.

As I have written here before, in those fields of human endeavour where matters of physical strength do not disadvantage women vis-à-vis their male counterparts, I cannot see why - if she has the requisite ability, which her bosses at the BBC clearly think she has - she should not take hold of the mike.

I wonder whether any of those who are criticising this decision similarly opposed the introduction of female newsreaders, or weather forecasters, because I can see no difference in their opposition to Jacqui Oatley other than their lumpen Chauvinism.

As an aside, has anyone else noticed the physical similarity between Jacqui and the actress Zoe Lucker, otherwise known as the scheming uber-totty Tanya Turner from the much lamented series ‘Footballers’ Wives’?

Yes, I know I’ve just undone my feminist credentials by making that observation, but you’ve got to say it as you see it, haven’t you!

Many happy returns...

As you would expect from the title of this blog, the Throne is staunchly monarchist.

As such, may I wish Her Majesty the Queen a very happy eighty-first birthday for today.

Thy choicest gifts in store, on Her be pleased to pour, long may She reign! May she defend our laws and ever give us cause, to sing with heart and voice: God save our Queen.