Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor

A large fuss about very little

There’s a fresco on the wall of an Egyptian pyramid. It depicts the Hittites coming to pay homage to the pharaoh. They all look like me, and I must tell you there are advantages to being a Hittite. You save money on sun cream because you never need it and your  hooked nose is certainly a protection for me against  hay fever.

So what’s the big deal about what colour Archie Windsor was going to be. Jewish Mums wonder if the daughter they’re carrying will have a hooked nose.  I’m sorry for anyone with mental health problems, but Jews take the rare instances of anti-Semitism in their stride during their lifetimes. They complain about it but they don’t crumple under the strain. I would have thought the compensation of becoming a royal involves a pretty comfortable life style.

I’ve worked in a non-Jewish world all my life and I suppose I’ve had antisemitic comments thrown at me on half a dozen occasions. Perhaps I’ve just been lucky, but it seems more likely that racism is a bit non-u nowadays. Certainly I don’t believe for a moment that my royal family are racist. After all Charles’ yarmulke has his three feathers proudly on its front.

I don’t deny that the Black community in the 20th century had it worse than the Jews in the 19th. We used to run the St. Ermins Hotel in Westminster and the Foreign Office used to put up African Kings at the hotel. Why not a more luxurious hostelry? Most London hotels at the time didn’t take Black guests. Whenever my Chairman bought a hotel, we abandoned its colour bar. The nephew of the boss had spent 18 months in a concentration camp during the war.

The trouble is, of course, that the dreadful American sells newspapers, creates advertising revenue and provides a human interest story. Buckingham Palace can now be described as “in turmoil” and “reeling”.

It’s my humble opinion that they have far more important things to do than worry about scuttlebutt. If the Americans rubbish our royal family, it avoids them having to look at the disgraceful arguments over their recent election. Nobody is going to storm Windsor Castle like the Capitol and a great many of Donald Trump’s comments make a remark about Archie’s skin colour totally innocuous.

Now I’m not suggesting that the Black community will find it easy to brush it off. Over the years they’ve been treated even worse than us. Nevertheless, there are now 65 MPs from ethnic communities and 50 members of the House of Lords.  That’s 10% of the MPs and I doubt whether all the ethnic communities together can muster 10% of the population.

As the spotlight of publicity is always on the royal family, the ghastly American’s story will run and run. Scandals are not unusual though. One thinks of Henry VIII and the fate of his six wives, George IV refusing to have his wife crowned. with him,  the gambling scandals of Edward VII and Mrs. Simpson and Edward VIII’s abdication. The monarchy has survived all of that.

The Queen has been exemplary and does not have to defend the institution. Those who are not in favour of it are mostly to be found outside the country and the United Nations represents some dreadful people in power.

So, on behalf of the Hittites, we are perfectly happy with the monarchy and we suggest that attention now switches to important matters, like how can we get Charlie Austin to stay with Queens Park Rangers.

About the Author
Derek is an author & former editor of the Jewish Year Book
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