I’ve been reading through my grandmother’s journals, the last couple of days. These are journals from about 20-30 years ago, that she wrote every night. She’s not very well these days – she has memory problems and often struggles to remember who important people in her life are, which is a great shame, as she was a very intelligent and talented lady. Her journals are very interesting: full of little nuggets about village life, the interactions between people and I long to turn these into proper books. But the latest journals were written in 1990, and concern events that would still upset the individuals involved, who are undoubtedly still alive today, so publication, as it is, cannot happen – unless I change all details to protect people’s privacy.

She writes a great deal about the village ins n outs, as I have said, but also observations on her family (including events I honestly do not remember about myself, and other ones I do, and one I have very cherished memories of, so it was lovely to read her side of the experience as well), notations on the weather (as a keen gardener, always a priority!) and observations on international politics. She had quite a unique take on international events, including once referring to Noregia as “a bad boy”! But best of all, she’s brought my grandfather alive again, and brought the grandmother that I knew when I was young back, in a way that I cherish very much. My mother is under strict orders not to dispose of these – when Grannie is gone, I’m going to find these a deep comfort, I think. I may well share more nuggets from these in the future. but for now, in re-reading the first in the set last night, I ran across two entries which I want to share here, which are safe to share here, and which I think are very timely, given what is about to occur on Friday…

‘Thursday November 5th, 1981

…We heard on the news tonight that the Princess of Wales is to have a baby in June next year. I remember the day Prince Charles was born, so well. Mickey (my grandfather) brought my morning tea, and said “Princess Elizabeth has got a son!”

Monday June 20th, 1982

Tonight we had the news that all the nation has been awaiting with pleasurable anticipation – the Princess of Wales has given birth to the long awaited baby – and it is a boy, 7 lbs and a little bit, with fair hair and blue eyes. The poor girl was in labour for 15 hours, and Prince Charles was at the birth. He was interviewed afterwards as he left the hospital and said amongst other things that “it makes you grow up”. We are both very happy for them, and delighted that it is a boy. I wonder what he will be called? There is a bet on, apparently, that he will be called ‘George’. I hope not – it is not a pretty name and I hope they go for something more English-sounding – Edward would be much better, I think, if they have to choose a family name. But I think a John, a Robert or a David would be nice, and all suitably ‘connected’. But I think I’d choose Richard, as the best of all, if I had a say.

Tuesday June 21st, 1982

On the T.V. news today, we saw the first picture of the new baby prince – or rather, of the top of his head, as his mother and father brought him home from the nursing home. It seems incredible that they get mothers up and about so early these days. Both parents looked proud and delighted, but I expect all they want now is to be left alone to enjoy their baby and each other….’

She never does say what she thinks of William as a name, but I find it interesting that she likes Edward, John and Richard – all names with less than ideal connections, Edward (as in Edward VIII, he of the Duke of Windsor, and Wallis Simpson) would have made William Edward IX instead, John, of course, from Prince John, Robin Hood fame, and Richard – well, we all know what happened to Richard III! It surprises me as she was something of a historian – it is from her that I get my love of history.

I wonder, when will we see the next generation?

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