Thursday, 11 October 2012

What did Nicolae Ceausescu and Sir Lancelot have in common?

An interesting item about disgraced British knights, in the wake of the truly horrible revelations about Sir Jimmy SavileI knew about Ceausescu and Lancelot but not about Mussolini. 

It shows that knights should come from or have been absorbed into the upper or upper middle class. Lancelot of course was thoroughly upper class. But his sin was a human one and, in any case, he didn't exist.

The article makes no mention of the Emperor Hirohito being given back the Garter - that was an odd decision of the Queen, for it is nowadays in her sole gift, thanks to Clement Attlee,who was not interested in such things. 
'Nasty Nip in the Air: Hirohito flies in'

was the Private Eye headline above a picture of him when he came here. Apparently the word 'Nip' is no longer permitted.

AJP Taylor made fun of King George VI's appointees to the Garter: after Churchill, Eden and some generals the recipients were mostly dukes, but AJP Taylor was a leveller of the worst sort.

Lord Melbourne said he liked the Garter because 

There is no damned merit in it 

but Hirohito had less merit than any other member of that illustrious Order.

Lancelot imagined by Arthur Rackham

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