David Starkey: The night I found my alcoholic partner dead on the sofa
TV HISTORIAN David Starkey today reveals the heartbreak of the night he found his partner dead at their home.
In a moving interview with Event magazine, Starkey says the untimely death in 2015 of publisher James Brown, his companion for 20 years, was ‘a profound rupture, something horrible and dreadful’.
Starkey, 73, says: ‘I knew he’d become an alcoholic but I had no idea how far it had gone. That evening I found James dead, sitting on the sofa.
‘He looked as though he’d just gone to sleep in the snug, which was our favourite little sitting room. I didn’t go in that room for another week.’
He took comfort from the ceremony of the funeral at Rochester Cathedral, where James, 43, was once a choirboy, and says: ‘One thing I suppose, as a historian, you should be used to is the idea of death. You spend the whole of your time communing with death.’
The famously acidic commentator hits his stride when asked about the Monarchy’s role with Brexit, saying: ‘It has played no part at all in the whole business.’
He adds: ‘At the time of Munich , George VI and Queen Elizabeth received Chamberlain on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, they put the weight of the Monarchy behind peace.’
Asked if the Queen could really do anything about Brexit, he replies: ‘That’s what everybody now says, but that’s the result of 60 years of Elizabeth II, which have very much diminished the Monarchy.
‘What is there under the flummery? That’s the frightening question Charles will be asking.’
Starkey’s current project is an exhibition of Tudor art at Hever Castle in Kent.
TRAGIC LOSS: David Starkey celebrates receiving the CBE with James Brown in 2007