Outrageously, advance coverage of what should be a glittering glamorous gathering of royalty at Windsor tomorrow is being dominated by partisan political posturing. Despite earlier reports that Spain's Queen Sofia would attend Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee luncheon for international crowned heads, the Spanish government abruptly announced that she will not be going after all. Misleading headlines suggested that this constituted a "snub" by Queen Sofia, but of course as the "Young Fogey" explains the rude decision was made by the Spanish Government, which reportedly "ordered" the Queen not to attend. Nearly three hundred years after the Treaty of Utrecht, Spain is still perpetually and officially aggrieved by British possession of Gibraltar, whose inhabitants overwhelmingly wish to remain British, though a Spanish friend of mine believes the government's refusal to allow Queen Sofia (who surely would love to go if it were up to her) to travel to England tomorrow has more to do with finances than Gibraltar. Either way, I am disgusted that mere politicians are able to prevent their Queen (herself a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria) from attending a totally innocuous international family occasion celebrating the reign of her third cousin. The Queen should be ordering them around, not the other way around!
As if that weren't bad enough, Queen Sofia's brother King Constantine II of Greece will not be attending either, to avoid offending the Greek government. (As more than one wag on Facebook has commented, "what Greek government"?) Unbelievably, Conservative [sic] Party chairman [sic] Baroness [sic] Warsi, trying to deflect criticism of the inclusion of the King of Bahrain, tried to claim that the guest list was the Queen's personal choice, flatly contradicted by reports from courtiers that if it were up to the Queen, of course King Constantine (her husband's first cousin once removed, and her grandson's godfather) would be attending. I am sick of republican and crypto-republican politicians who think they have the right to boss royalty around and prevent them from attending functions whose sole purpose is to promote international understanding and good will. I say to hell with the Greek government and to hell with the Spanish government! Queen Sofia and King Constantine should go anyway, though of course they are far too polite to do so. But I wish someone would tell these politicians exactly what they can do with their interference.