When April show­ers strike

The Queen knows the ben­e­fits of car­ry­ing one’s own um­brella on walk­a­bouts – a les­son some have yet to learn

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents -

Royal match

1. Here’s Her Majesty in 2012 with a baby-bluer­immed um­brella that – now I’m in­spect­ing it closely – matches a rib­bon on her hat. Nice one, style queen!

2. And here’s the Queen again, also in 2012. A sim­i­lar um­brella, with what I guess is a vi­o­let rim that sort of goes with her pur­ple coat. Do I de­tect a pat…

3. Woah. Scroll back to 2010. Here she is in Canada with a yel­low-rimmed um­brella that ab­so­lutely matches her hat. Hmm, I’m no sleuth but some­thing’s up. And won’t those flow­ers on the hat need wa­ter­ing?

4. And again! Christ­mas 2015, and out comes a red um­brella to match her Santa-ish coat. This is fi­nal, in­con­tro­vert­ible ev­i­dence for my the­ory that ev­ery royal res­i­dence has a dun­geon full of mul­ti­coloured um­brel­las. And yes, the the­ory is wa­ter­tight.

Wa­ter man

5. Prince Harry has been bumped down the line of suc­ces­sion in re­cent years, and as such is no longer en­ti­tled to use the Royal Rain­bow Um­brella Col­lec­tion.

6. Oh, God, this one of Harry and Meghan is just like that scene at the end of Ti­tanic when Jack hangs on to Rose’s piece of flot­sam. THERE’S ROOM FOR BOTH OF YOU!

Brolly good fun

7. Prince William’s aide, pic­tured in 2016, risks get­ting his heir wet.

8. The Duchess of Cam­bridge vis­its Kens­ing­ton Palace’s Sunken Gar­den dur­ing a down­pour. Just sinkin’ in the rain… SOD’S LAW you’ll read this on a blaz­ing, blue-skied, rain­less day, but this is, of course, April, and April is, of course, the month of April show­ers. Ge­of­frey Chaucer, who it says here was a renowned me­te­o­rol­o­gist, made per­haps the first recorded ref­er­ence to this phe­nom­e­non in The Can­ter­bury Tales, which, if noth­ing else, means that when you’re next com­plain­ing about be­ing caught in the rain, you’re tak­ing your place in a long-stand­ing and no­ble cul­tural tra­di­tion. That said, um­brel­las seem to me to rep­re­sent a weirdly spe­cific point of ridicu­lous­ness, in­so­far as we are suf­fi­ciently prag­matic to carry wa­ter­proof hemi­spheres on sticks, yet in­suf­fi­ciently prag­matic to sim­ply af­fix them to our heads and thus en­joy the use of both hands. Yet here we are, in 2018, still cov­er­ing our heads, still re­fus­ing to get our crowns wet. —Tom Ough

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