I may have been a bit harsh on HMQ and Phil the Greek. You can’t help who your ancestors were. Is it really the fault of William, Harry et al that they’re direct descendants (at least some of them) of Germans, or that some of their more recently departed relatives actively supported the Third Reich? No, of course it isn’t, and shame on you for thinking otherwise. We’re all accidents of birth and none of us can chose who our parents are or how much dosh they have or what privileges you get by being born into the right lineage.
Can Max Mosley help it if the old man was the British Fascist leader of the 30’s and 40’s? A man who wanted to be Hitler’s UK rep during the war, and PM after it? No, don’t be daft. The only thing we can pin on him is his apparent penchant for women in Nazi uniform beating the buggery out of him of a wednesday night, between Grand Prix. Who amongst us hasn’t done that? Nope, we can’t help where we come from. I can trace my lineage back to someone called Sir Richard Arundell-Bealing, Secretary to Queen Catherine of Bragaza (1601-1689). I quote from the History of Tea: “In Europe tea was sold as a medicinal drink in the 1650s. Tea drinking really took hold when Catherine of Bragaza, a Portuguese princess, married Charles II in 1662. She brought tea and served it to friends at court. The tea started being served at what was called tea gardens all over London” proof, if any were needed, that there has not only been a whiff of aristocracy in or near our family in days gone by, but that some of them could actually write (two things that haven’t been passed down the generations). So my ancestor probably took tea with the King. Pass the biscuits!
Yesterday we read that a woman called Carole Tovey, 66, of Ilfracombe, is the closest living relative to Bob Marley. Apparently her great uncle, Albert Thomas Marley, who was of white British descent, settled in Jamaica in the late 19th Century. Now if Bob was anything to go by (he had 12 kids of his own) Uncle Albert may well have made himself busy between harvesting bananas. As the seeds of his loins went forth and multiplied, they sailed the seven seas, and at least one of them ended up in Devon. Who’d a thunk it? In a wonderful quote which only your mum could utter, Mrs Tovey said to The Times: “I’ve never heard his music before today. I used to like people like Neil Sedaka and the Everly Brothers. No reggae. No heavy metal”. No-one cared to ask if she had a spliff-fixation but I suspect I know the answer. My ancestor’s love of tea managed to survive the generations while all Mrs Tovey got was a tin-ear but no natty-dreads. Max Mosely retains his father’s love of a jackboot, Prince Harry has a shock of Ginger hair(!) while others receive no tell-tale signs of who their ancestors were, what their traits were, or where they came from. It’s a bugger of nature, nothing we can do, but nevertheless mystifying. Innit?