|A modest family home close by the Thames|
As he approached the august castle gates he noted that the Royal Standard was fluttering excitedly in the breeze. Her Majesty was in residence. 'At last,' he thought. In the course of FB's long and undistinguished official career, many of the Royal Family have had the privilege of shaking him by the hand at various events he has graced. Sadly for Her, in all the many years of Her reign, Her Majesty herself has never had that opportunity. To the outward world She seems to have borne this misfortune with commendable fortitude.
But this week might be different. The message would surely get through to Her that FB was close at hand. Perhaps She would sneak down for a quick word. It was time to put the disappointments of the past behind Her. For there is a tragic reason behind Her Majesty's reluctance to come into FB's presence. After all these years it is time that the truth be told.
Many years ago, he was playing cricket for a lower XI of Aberdeen Grammar School FP. A match against Crathie CC was played in the grounds of Balmoral Castle. As FB athletically prowled the boundary, he saw a head-scarfed figure wearing a tartan skirt followed by a couple of corgis in tow. FB prepared for the introduction and the modest shrug he would have to give as his sovereign commended his prowess in the field. So intent was his focus on the etiquette of the impending occasion that he completely failed to notice the skier coming in his direction until the crude shouts of his teammates reached his ears. He was about to chide them for the use of such indecorous language in the Royal presence, when the ball thudded into his chest and on to grass beside him. Her Majesty, and the corgis, walked on. The bowler, having first questioned FB's parentage, let loose a tirade of anti-monarchist sentiments and from that moment on was a confirmed republican.
FB's cricketing career stalled and he never made progress up the ranks of AGSFPCC.
This unfortunate event evidently lived long with Her Maj. She clearly carried heavily the guilt of distracting FB at this crucial point in his cricketing career. It has deterred Her from coming into FB's presence - she would be embarrassed and tongue tied. What could she say by way of apology? It would be beyond even Her powers of graciousness.
Sadly, Her feelings must still be raw, for She did not seek FB out this week. She did not stretch out to him her much-shaken hand in a gesture of contrition.
FB would like to convey to Her that he is prepared to put the past behind him. He has long got over the trauma of that long gone incident. She has no need to worry about coming into his presence.
It was disappointing that She could make use of his visit to Windsor, but if she consults the fixture list of go ahead Edinburgh cricket club Carlton She will see where FB is on A Saturday for the next 3 months. She would be most welcome to walk Her corgis around the boundary.