A trusted royal guard spills the secrets of a decade of misbehaviour inside Buckingham Palace. The Queen’s call sign was “Purple One”, and her husband was referred to as “Phil the Greek”.
Prince Andrew, meanwhile, was known simply as “The Cunt”.
1. The guards would turn up to work drunk and disorderly – with disastrous consequences.
Drinking was a “huge part of the culture” among the Queen’s guards, but such was the need to have a full relief of armed officers on duty at all times that Page said even those who turned up smelling strongly of booze were allowed to book out weapons and get on with the job. If they were seriously drunk they might be advised to sleep it off in one of the palace rooms, or given medical relief in the form of “a pack of mints and a Lucozade”. Page recalled one incident when a senior official in the royal household was coming through the palace gates, and instead of lifting the barrier, a hungover officer accidentally pressed the underground ramp button, sending the woman’s car into the air.
2. They got their friends on to the Queen’s protection squad by helping them cheat the entry test.
Life on the royalty protection command was seen as an easy gig and a nice little earner. Page said that he and some colleagues wangled their police friends off the beat and into the palace by tipping them off about the questions they would be asked at interview. Even without cheating, new recruits would have been hard-pushed to fail the flimsy entry test. Page says they were merely required to identify a mugshot of a prominent royal and answer questions such as, “Is it ever OK to read a book while guarding the gate to the Queen’s private quarters?” (Answer: no.)
3. They gave each other lewd nicknames ranging from “Roy the Rapist” to “Doug the Slug”.
4. They snapped themselves striking gun-toting gangster poses on the throne while the Queen was asleep.
The thought of having to wait a decade for the Netflix take on the most staggering spectacle of our time – Prince Andrew’s interview – is torture
Does anyone else wish The Crown would get a bloody move on? Because, sure, despite the new intake of actors, the third season of The Crown is exactly the same as the previous two. It’s slow and staid and sumptuous, and largely about a very rich woman who basically has a very nice time without any sort of incident most of the time. It’s good and impressive and all, but there isn’t exactly a lot of high drama.
I can’t speak for everyone but the reason I keep watching is because The Crown is, to all intents and purposes, Better Call Saul With Corgis. The drama isn’t in what we see onscreen, but what we all know will definitely happen later. There will be death. Divorce. Windsor Castle will burn down. Prince Charles will get married to Princess Diana, but declare his wish that he was another woman’s tampon. Prince Harry will dress up like a Nazi. And Prince Andrew will deny having sex with a minor at the behest of the world’s most notorious billionaire paedophile shortly after having a pizza in Woking.
This last one has prompted the biggest crisis the monarchy has had to face for over two decades, and there’s a real sense that the whole thing will end in total disaster if it isn’t handled with extreme care. Everything is going wrong, and we still cannot rule out the possibility that The Crown will end with Queen Elizabeth undertaking the royal equivalent of opening a Cinnabon in Nebraska. That’s dramatic tension, not countless scenes of Prince Philip demonstrating an appropriate level of excitement about the moon landing. Continue reading