- Writer Roy Strong is publishing a full collection of his diaries from 2006 to 2015
- He details his attendance at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011
- He names Sally Bercow as the ‘most inappropriately dressed woman’ on the day
- The book also tells stories of dinner with The Queen, remarking ‘she must have done her own make-up,’ when they met in 2007
Establishment favourite Sir Roy Strong’s waspish diaries are wonderfully indiscreet.
On Saturday, he offered telling insights into Prince Charles, Camilla, Sophie Wessex — and Michael Portillio.
In today’s exclusive extract, he’s invited to William and Kate’s wedding and says the Middletons were the class act…
November 30, 2006
Dinner with Antonia Fraser at the Garrick Club. Tears came on both sides.
That she dreads losing Harold [her husband, playwright Harold Pinter] was the subtext.
She asked me how I saw the afterlife.
I said that I didn’t, beyond a feeling and a hope that it would somehow be a perpetual awareness of the presence of God and, equally, of [my late wife] Julia.
Antonia was very funny about her mother, who believed that her husband Frank [Earl of Longford] would be waiting for her with a cup of tea in his hands.
May 16, 2007
A droll day in Bath. Much to my amusement, the Fashion Museum [to which Strong had donated most of his extensive wardrobe] is planning an exhibition of my shirts.
It was so astonishing to see the stuff all carefully folded away, wrapped in tissue paper. My task was to choose the right ties for the right shirts.
What is so striking is that they’re already history: the huge collars and very narrow shirts of the late 1960s with ‘kipper’ ties, the narrow-collared mid-1970s shirts with thin ties, and the expansion of the 1980s.
Also the changes in colour and pattern: the art nouveau revival of the late Sixties and the early art deco one in the mid-Seventies.
I told them that there was a lot more to collect: my clothes from the late 1980s to 2000 ought to go.
Much to my surprise, I was asked to a dinner at Lambeth Palace by the Archbishop of Canterbury to which the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were coming. I can’t think why.
There were 16 of us, with quite a contingent from the [Royal] Household. What was odd was to find two glasses on the table already filled with red and white wine and the food just put before you on a plate.
But I warmed to the fact that this was how things were done here on a slender budget. And, in any case, I don’t think that the Queen notices food very much.
She was dressed in a pale emerald green frock with a lot of bead embroidery.