3rd June 2016 : Page 1

The Lady June 03, 2016 00:00

In this issue of The Lady : Dear Readers,
What is The Washer of the Sovereign’s Hands?
It’s my guess that the vast majority of otherwise
well-informed folk would be hard pushed to
answer that question. Fortunately our cover
star – history buff, monarchist and much-loved
actress Penelope Keith – is an expert on this and other royal
arcana, as revealed in this week’s interview.
At 76, Dame Penelope is of an age to have witnessed the
exponential growth of the ‘wedding
industry’ over the last few decades.
These days it is commonplace for the
happy couple (or their beleaguered
parents) to spend tens of thousands
of pounds celebrating the exchange of vows – a state of affairs
which clearly inflames Liz Hodgkinson, who proclaims modern
excesses to be a nonsense. Now that the wedding season is upon
us, this could be a particularly sensitive subject leading to a
bulging postbag here at The Lady. We await your response with
bated breath...
Less controversial, surely, is Robin Page’s lament about the
gradual disappearance of the cuckoo from his beloved East
Anglian countryside. Who could fail to share his concern about
this trend? But wait a moment – he also informs us that fellow
Britons in the Scottish Highlands are driven to distraction by
the cuckoo’s call. So perhaps, as the Roman playwright Terence
pithily observed, ‘There are as many opinions as there are
people: each has his own correct way.’
Until next week, best wishes,
Sam Taylor

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