COULD King Charles use his Coronation to ease prison overcrowding? Royal clemency was traditionally exercised by incoming monarchs, reducing jail sentences by between seven and 90 days. George V was the last to exercise this in 1911. Before the 1953 Coronation there was a move to reintroduce it but home secretary David Maxwell Fyfe told the Cabinet: ‘It would be inappropriate to choose the time of the Coronation to release prematurely a number of thieves and other criminals’, saying it ‘led to few expressions of gratitude from those who benefited from it, and grumbling from those who did not’. Beleaguered with prison overcrowding, might Home Secretary Suella Braverman recommend its reinstatement?
HARRY and Meghan could go one step further and prefix Princess Lilibet with the title HRH. Although they are asked not to use the title themselves, there is no reason why their children shouldn’t. Prince Andrew is forbidden from styling himself HRH but his daughters retain the honour. The only York formally reduced from HRH rank is Sarah Ferguson. In 1996 the Queen issued letters patent removing the title from women who divorce their princes. The men retain their titles.
MATT Hancock, fearful that his CCTV grope with lover
Gina Coladangelo, pictured, contravened government social distancing rules, considered claiming an exemption under an obscure provision.
Charles Moore to wonder if Private Eye’s euphemism for illicit sexual activity – ‘discussing Ugandan affairs’ – might be replaced with ‘providing voluntary and charitable services’.
YES Minister co-creator Jonathan Lynn admits that he and co-writer Antony Jay had run out of ideas for fictitious Cabinet Minister Jim Hacker (played by Paul Eddington), subsequently promoting Jim to PM to write about defence and foreign policy, adding: ‘The late Bernard Ingham was right not to mention his role in the evolution of Yes Minister to Yes, Prime Minister, because he had none.’
COMPLAINING that extended copyright laws allow lucrative artists’ work to reach undeserving hands, Graham Chainey cites the case of Bolero composer Maurice Ravel who remains in US copyright until 2032. He writes in the TLS: ‘He certainly did not intend to make his brother’s wife’s masseuse’s husband’s second wife’s daughter a multimillionaire.’ Try repeating after a visit to the attitude adjustment centre!
WHEN George Osborne first met Matt Hancock he was looking for a ‘hardworking exuberant aide who could help him as shadow chancellor’. ‘You could be the next Ed Balls,’ he told him. ‘When I tell the story now to Matt and Ed, they’re both offended by the comparison,’ he says, adding: ‘I guess these reality TV stars are difficult to handle.’