In this issue of The Lady : Dear Readers, I am sorry to say that I don’t have any surviving
grandparents. I do, however, still think about them. VE Day triggered particular memories – they were, after all, from the generation who lived through the Second World War and my grandfathers, Freddie
and Keith, both served in the Army during those dark days. I was also reminded of them by the birth of our newest member of the Royal Family, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, and the key roles Charles, Camilla and the Middletons will play in her life. Grandparents, after all, are central to the family unit, offering worldly wisdom, care and an understated patience to busy and often rattled new parents. On page 16, grandmother Liz Hodgkinson celebrates grannies and grandads everywhere…and offers a few of her own hardlearned lessons. But then there’s plenty to learn from history
– it is populated by people who have seen and done it all before. Not that all of the advice we can glean from it remains relevant. On page 20, the wonderfully named Elizabeth P Archibald scours historic annals, chronicles and self-help guides for the more unlikely and eccentric solutions to our daily dilemmas. Have you, for example, ever thought of using a mushroom to remove those persistent stains? Apparently, it was all the rage in the 16th century. There’s also Sir Christopher Ondaatje’s profi le of Lucian Freud’s troubled wife and muse, Caroline Blackwood; some of the remarkable images submitted to National Geographic’s annual amateur photography competition and, if the sun’s still shining, our guide to the perfect barbecue and a round-up of Britain’s best small festivals. Just don’t forget to invite the grandparents, or grandchildren. Until next week, Matt Warren, Editor
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