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DIANA MEETS BRYSON IN THE PARK

From
Bryson, Notes on a small island,
70-71


At this time, Windsor Great Park continued to enjoy a merciful obscurity, which I find mystifying in an open space so glorious on the very edge of London. Only once could I remember any reference to the park in the newspapers, a couple of years before when Prince Philip had taken a curious disliking to an avenue of ancient trees and had instructed Her Majesty's Tree-Choppers to remove them from the landscape.

I expect their branches had imperilled the progress through the park of his horses and plus-four, or whatever it is you call those creaking contraceptions he so likes to roam around in. You often see him and other members of the royal family in the park, speeding past in assorted vehicles on their way to polo matches or church services in the Queen Mother's private compound, the Royal Lodge. Indeed, because the public aren't allowed to drive on the park roads, a significant portion of the little traffic that passes is generated by royals. Once, on Boxing Day when I was ambling along in a paternal fashion beside an offspring on a shiny new tricycle, I became aware with a kind of sixth sense that we were holding up the progress of a car and turned to find that it was being driven by Princess Diana. As I hastened myself and my child out of the way, she gave me a smile that melted my heart, and since that time I have never said a word against the dear sweet girl, however pressed by those who think that she is a bit off her head because she spends 28,000 Pounds a year on leotards and makes occasional crank phone calls to hunky military men. ( And who among us hasn't? is my unanswerable reply.)

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Last updated 09.11.99
Burkhard Leuschner