Anorak News | Spencer For Hire

Spencer For Hire

by | 11th, June 2004

‘EARL Spencer is no Marcus Antonius, but he has achieved some renown for his funeral addresses.

Available for funerals, weddings, christenings…

His finest hour came seven years back when his cloying, mawkish rhetoric about how terrific his sister Princess Diana was captivated an already sodden-eyed, emoting audience.

Here was a man who seemed to have learnt his English from Hello! magazine. Who can forget lines such as ‘Diana was the very essence of compassion, of duty, of style, of beauty’?

It was great stuff. But rather than produce a new career for the Earl as a celebrity eulogiser, Di’s brother was forced to wait and wait and wait until someone would die and give him another booking at the pulpit.

And then his mother, Frances Shand Kydd, the woman with a name made for circus, shuffled off. And up to the lectern stepped good old Charlie Spencer.

But before he could speak, others, chiefly his princely nephews William and Harry, had first to arrive at St Columba’s Cathedral in Oban, Scotland.

And the party included the Mail, which anticipating much from the good Earl slipped into language familiar to him.

‘By the time Prince William took his place at the pulpit, the church was bathed in sunlight,’ it writes as the heir to the heir to the throne prepared to read his lesson.

‘William was a tall, bronzed figure, looking slimmer and with his hair longer than of late. His facial expressions still recall his mother, especially that downward gaze.’

Oh yes, things were gearing up to the big speech very nicely.

And then, the Express reports, the time was ripe for Earl Charlie Spencer to ‘put the knife in again’.

‘The true love Diana had for her mother was evident in her will,’ he said. ‘She left my mother executor and principal guardian of her sons.’

He then prated on about how his mother was ‘sparky and sporty’ (the Earl can just as easily employ his speechmaking to adverts for Pedigree dog food as deceased peers – remember Diana’s ‘boundless energy’?) and how she was ‘a woman who was the most dazzling of her generation’.

But the pointed remarks about his nephews had already been made. Granny should have looked after them as their ‘principal guardian’.

However, one small man with large ears stood in the way of that, although the Earl could forget about Prince Charles because he’d been expressly uninvited to the ceremony.

So William and Harry’s dad, and their principal guardian, was forced to cover up his disappointment at missing his ex-mother-in-law’s funeral by taking Camilla Parker Bowles to see Mamma Mia in London’s West End.

But don’t be hard on him, the show is something of a sing-along and the Earl did once tell us that his sister wanted people ‘immersed by duty and tradition’ to ‘sing openly’.

So join in, all of you, and that includes you, Earl Spencer: ‘You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on, leave ’em burning and then you’re gone.’

But only until the next funeral…’

Posted: 11th, June 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink