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Carole Malone: Your duty is to your son, M'um.

Byline: Carole Malone

IN this country you attack the Queen at your peril. That's because for the past 50 years she has put her country first, foremost and above everything else.

She has put her duty before her own needs and tragically the needs of her children. And never has that been more obvious than now. That's why the woman who has served this country with pride and dignity has never been in more danger of looking spiteful, petty and vindictive.

I make no apology for writing about this subject again - and judging by your letters and emails you're as passionate about it as I am. But I think the way Her Maj is behaving about Charles and Camilla's wedding is childish, damaging and downright cruel to a son she's never had much time for or showed much love for.

How can she refuse to go to her son's wedding citing pitiful excuses like it wouldn't be the "low-key occasion" they want if she pitched up at Windsor Town Hall? The Queen could have been in no doubt just how the people of this country, and indeed the rest of the world, would interpret the news that she was refusing to go. They'd see it as a heartless snub to a son whose marriage she vehemently disapproves of and an occasion which, because she feels it will be cheap and vulgar, doesn't want to be associated with. All families have problems, but I can't think of many mothers who could boycott their son's wedding simply because they didn't like his fiancee or the way arrangements were being handled. Palace insiders are claiming the Queen feels it would "demean the monarchy" if she attended Windsor registry office.

No, she means it would demean HER to have to attend an occasion that wasn't all pomp and ceremony. But it isn't the monarchy being demeaned here, the Queen is demeaning herself by being so petty. No one's suggesting she has to approve of or even like Camilla whom she calls "that wicked woman". But Charles is her son, he's heir to the throne and to hurt and humiliate him in front of the world shows a staggering insensitivity to his feelings. I don't know what it is about the aristocracy, but they treat their kids differently from the working classes. The concept of "Family" doesn't seem to exist with the Windsors. Hell, even Andrew and Edward have refused to go and the idea it might "demean" these two workshy spongers is laughable. If ever two people demeaned the monarchy it's this dopey duo.

After Diana's death, when the Queen refused to cut short her holiday at Balmoral and return to London, the public turned on her because they saw a stoniness and lack of emotion which angered them. And it's in danger of happening again. Not because she doesn't approve of Camilla - because not many people do - but because of the cold-hearted way she is treating her son.

For once, the Queen must put aside protocol, duty, the Church and her subjects and just concentrate on her son - who because of the farce surrounding his marriage is fast becoming an international laughing stock. It could even scupper his chances of becoming King - and what mother would want to be responsible for that? Moreover, her determination to hurt and humiliate her son so publicly is even making Charles and Camilla detractors (like me) feel desperately sorry for them.

Because of the nastiness with which this marriage is being sabotaged I'd be tempted to say "Bollocks to the lot of you," jump on a plane to Hawaii where I'd get hitched in a hula skirt and show how Her Maj what being "common" is REALLY about.

The fact is that most mothers would die for their children. But one feels that while the Queen might happily die for her country, her kids come very low down on her list of priorities. And while that might make her a good Queen it makes her a pretty bad mum and an even worse human being.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 27, 2005
Words:683
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