Nicholas Witchell speaks for the Queen
Standing outside Balmoral (outside note), the BBC’s Royal Correspondent has “spoken for the Queen”.
He assures us that she is “very concerned”, that she is “aware of the Constitutional niceties”, that her advisers have “kept her informed throughout the night”, but that never-the-less, “she will be privately relieved”.
What a waste of space. I can understand why someone said of him, “I can’t bear that man. He’s so awful. He really is.“
I think the cold and damp must have got to him.
- That our sovereign is “concerned” is part of her job description – we don’t require the intellect of Witchell to confirm that.
- That our sovereign is “aware of the Constitutional niceties” is no surprise. She will have been schooled in them at least since her father become King and she has been practising them for longer than the BBC’s “Royal Correspondent” (b 23 September 1953) has been on this earth.
- I suspect some of Her Majesty’s advisers sat up all night watching the result come in, but I very much doubt that the were keeping our Sovereign informed throughout the night – I suspect she wanted to sleep. But then I am no better informed than the cold and wet Mr Witchell. Our 86-year-old sovereign may have had a referendum all-nighter which was regularly interrupted by flunkies delivering little notes on silver salvers as each declaration was made.
- How does he know she will be “privately relieved”? Either he knows her well enough to know her private thoughts, in which case I would hope that he would not betray confidences, or he does not know her well enough to know her private thoughts, in which case I would have hoped that he would not “guess and proclaim”.
A truly “awful little man” – or a poor BBC sap who has offended some senior BBC mandarin and been given the “Royal Correspondent” job (defined as chief simperer) as penance for previous crimes? To be honest I don’t know – but following Mr Witchell’s example – I don’t see why that should not stop me pontificating.