Et tu, Mary! I’ll teach Ge­orge and Char­lotte Latin, says new Dame

Scottish Daily Mail - - Weekender - By Jake Hur­furt

CAM­BRIDGE don Mary Beard of­fered to be a per­sonal Latin tu­tor to Prince Wil­liam’s chil­dren as she col­lected her dame­hood at Buck­ing­ham Palace yes­ter­day.

The aca­demic and broad­caster said she would do ‘any­thing’ to teach five-year-old Prince Ge­orge, Princess Char­lotte, three, and baby Prince Louis the lan­guage.

Af­ter col­lect­ing her hon­our from the Duke of Cam­bridge, Pro­fes­sor Beard said: ‘Well, I hope he was lis­ten­ing. Of course he was very po­lite and said, “I’ll have to get you to teach them”.

‘I didn’t quite say, “You get the lit­tle squats to learn Latin…” but I did say you get them to learn be­cause it is very im­por­tant.’

Wear­ing a green and blue hat and a black cardi­gan, the his­to­rian was seen chat­ting with Prince Wil­liam as she re­ceived her award. The 63-year-old, who was ac­com­pa­nied by her chil­dren Zoe and Raphael, was re­ceiv­ing her dame­hood for ser­vices to the study of clas­si­cal civil­i­sa­tion, five years af­ter be­ing awarded an OBE for her re­search.

Pro­fes­sor Beard is also known for her TV work, re­cently pre­sent­ing the BBC art his­tory show Civil­i­sa­tions, with Si­mon Schama and David Olu­soga.

She said she had a ‘touch of repub­li­can’ about her in her younger days but ex­plained why she now felt com­fort­able ac­cept­ing the gong in the Queen’s Birth­day Hon­ours.

She said yes­ter­day: ‘Had some­body said to me at 23 that I would ac­cept a dame­hood of the British Em­pire, I would have said: “Sorry, sun­shine, that’s not what my pol­i­tics is all about”.

‘But I’ve grown older and wiser, and it does seem an odd ti­tle – a mix­ture of pan­tomime, be­cause dames cart around the stage, don’t they? – and we don’t have an em­pire any longer. That makes it charm­ing, quaint, and doesn’t have those bits of pol­i­tics at­tached to it.’

When her hon­our was an­nounced in June, Pro­fes­sor Beard said: ‘I’d like to treat it as a bit of a trib­ute to the Greeks and Ro­mans them­selves, as well as to all my won­der­ful col­leagues.’

Royal of­fer: Mary Beard with Prince Wil­liam as she col­lected her dame­hood yes­ter­day

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