The Queen and her relationship to her laureate of ordinary humour

Poet laureate Ted Hughes is given a hollow role by the Spectator’s Phillip Hensher. In his slavish and servile tribute to Ted Hughes (and a considerable poet he was) he makes him appear a laureate of ordinary humour. The poor lad wrote to his Aunt that the Queen was fascinated by his volume Birthday Letters. Problem was he had just given it to her and she hadn’t read it. She was extremely vivacious and happy-spirited. How cliched could a poet be. No wonder Sylvia Plath topped herself. He writes: “It’s well known that Hughes’ relationship with the monarch and her family was warmer and more direct than any other laureate since Lord Tennyson’s with Queen Victoria.” Really? Why? That Hughes was dying perhaps, and she wouldn’t have to see him for too much longer. No one questions that the Queen hasn’t a bloody clue about poetry, politics, art, other cultures, or anything remotely connected with life. Aaaah, of course, racing, but has anyone seen her race, or even ride a horse at speed, or look after one of the creatures. Let’s be serious about the Queen, she hasn’t been seen to have experienced real life in any form whatsoever. And those bloody Xmas speeches. At least they’d have been better if Hughes had written them.


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