One is 90 this week.

If I'm still going in another 10 years, I suppose I could send myself a congratulatory message.

"Dear Elizabeth. Well done. Regards, Elizabeth.


"PS Your son wants a word."

There he is now. I can see Charles from the window, moping about inside the greenhouse, muttering to himself.

Poor boy.

Philip was beastly to him as a child and I was usually away in some distant marine rock, such as New Zealand.

I'm reminded that a curious message arrived this morning from a New Zealander.

Mr Hosking said his son had damaged the family car, and he was sending him out to work to pay the bill.

He wanted to know whether I needed anything "done around the house".

I like his attitude.


A photographer arrives to take royal portraits.

"We want you surrounded by the people you love," says Ms Leibowitz.

I sit with Princess Charlotte on my lap and Prince George standing at her knee.

We also arrange the other great-grandchildren - Mia Tindall, and Savannah and Isla Phillips, with my two youngest grandchildren James, Viscount Severn, and his sister Lady Louise Windsor.

Lovely children!

Then I pose on a sofa in the White Drawing Room of Windsor Castle with Anne.

Dear Anne!

Ms Leibowitz asks, "Anyone else?"

She photographs me walking in the private grounds of Windsor Castle with corgis Willow and Holly, and my dorgie cross-breeds Vulcan and Candy.

Wonderful beasts!

Ms Leibowitz asks, "Anyone else?"

"No," I tell her.

I can see Charles from the window, glaring up at me from inside the greenhouse. He is clenching his fists.


One is 90.

The phone never stops ringing. One of the callers is a Mr Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

"At the end of the day," he says, "I hope there's no hard feelings about wanting the flag changed. It wasn't my idea."



"Well, anyway," I ask him, "do you know a Mr Hosking?"

"Yes, he works in my press office."

"Can you pass on a message to his son?

"We do need a few things 'done around the house', as it happens. Can he repair glass?"


Mr Hosking entertains me all day with wonderful stories about how happy everybody is in New Zealand.

"Life," he tells me, "is perfect."

His son does a good job at repairing the greenhouse and I pay him a pound. "That's double in your country," I point out.

Charles walks in unannounced.

We sit there in silence until he leaves.

Poor boy.

Mummy looked after him whenever I went away.

She wrote me letters. I found one the other day, dated December 29, 1950.

"He likes to sit on the bed playing with my little box of rather old lipsticks...

"He is a brave little boy, but I think he is sensitive."

"Children," I sigh.

"Perhaps you should send him out to work," says Mr Hosking.

"It doesn't agree with him."

"Needs a good kick up the backside."

"Nothing seems to work," I tell him. "Let's change the subject.

"Have you come far?"


Terrible news.

Prince is dead.

Debate on this article is now closed.