The Director is Named after the Greatest Known Diamond

Sunday 1st December 2019

To the National Portrait Gallery for the Director’s Reception. All the people who really run Britain, so much so the least significant figure was Matt Hancock, a mere Government minister without tenure. V unimportant grey school suit. Sir Robin Janvryn, on the other hand, once Private Secretary to Her Majesty, had that supremely Royal way of terminating a conversation after two minutes maximum. One Pin was leaving her post at the National Portrait Gallery. Her speech was entirely about the Royal Family. Her Late Majesty the Queen Mother visited in her 100th year. ‘Would you like a cup of tea?’ they said, banking on her saying No. But she said Yes. So up to the Portrait Restaurant they went. It turned out she didn’t want tea, she wanted Gin and Dubonnet so someone had to sprint on foot down the Mall to Clarence House to fetch it. Others in the restaurant appeared not to have noticed the presence of the most radiant Majesty of all time but when she stood up to leave there was a standing ovation. She insisted on going into the kitchen to thank the staff, even though they had not supplied the gin and dubonnet. Many of them fell to the floor at the honour.

There was another figure of shattering importance at the Director’s Reception but I can’t remember who it was. Royston was worried about the Director’s attitude to the Victorian portraits amongst which we were situated. Several were by Sargent, so you wouldn’t think they’d be thrown away. There was a fabulous portrait of the leader of the GLC in 1880 (or equivalent body). A fiery, wiry small man. Of course nobody now has a clue who it is. But the picture still worth looking at.

We left the reception having very satisfactorily found out that the Director’s suit was by Paul Smith and went underground in a nearby street. Here Miss PussycatBangkok was performing her delirious cabaret with scantily-clad gay boys. She announced further engagements at Elephant and Castle and Cheltenham. It seemed unlikely that anyone would dare not to go.


Posted Sunday, December 1, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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