Alan Lascelles

I am delighted to tell you that I have an article in UnHerd today about Alan Lascelles, who was the Queen’s first Private Secretary (you will remember him from The Crown). In the piece, you’ll find my argument that Lascelles was an essential part of what it took for the monarchy to survive the transition to democracy — and that the rather dour view of Lascelles we get from Netflix is a little one-sided.

Here’s a press report from the Prince of Wales’s tour of the USA, before things went sour between Lascelles and the future Edward VIII. (This little snippet isn’t in the UnHerd article, by the way. It’s just for you.)

Captain Lascelles… stepped away from the royal train to say a few words to the newspapermen, who were herded at a respectful distance. He spoke of the wonderful welcome to the Prince everywhere in the United States…. glancing over his shoulder he saw that the royal train was pulling out of the yards. Captain Lascelles took one spring towards the train and with a hoist from an obliging official he was landed safely in the royal coach.

Isn’t that everything you want in a courtier?

I am delighted to be in UnHerd, and to have had the benefit of excellent editing from Freya Sanders, who has the rare art of using a dash with style. Normal service will resume next week. In the meantime, do go and read the whole thing.