Wednesday 6 June 2012

The Royal Manure

From 1945 to 1947 the then Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip rented Windlesham Moor in Surrey as their private residence.

Painting of Windlesham Moor by Winston Churchill

My mother’s cousins farmed close by in Bagshot.  One night, in the pub, the Royal Stable Manager caught sight of my Uncle Jack (this is obviously the non Quaker side.)  He offered my great uncle as much manure from the royal stables as he needed as long as he was willing to remove it himself.

In due course Uncle Jack sent over two of his sons, then aged seventeen and fourteen, with the trailer. The boys found a gigantic pile of poop and straw at one end of the stable yard and set to work. It was a hot day and after a while they looked and smelled foul.

To their horror they saw Princess Elizabeth enter the yard and begin strolling along the horse boxes. Handling the situation with aplomb was beyond the skill of two teenage boys. They dived into the manure pile, covered themselves and waited a considerable time in the fulminating mess until they were sure the coast was clear.

I often wonder if the Princess knew they were in there and was having a good giggle. Needless to say the boys were given a wide berth by friends and family for some time after.

Naturally, the whole family now feels closely connected with the Royal Family. I really wanted to show my respect to “Auntie Liz” on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee but was stumped until I saw a posting by Pyjama Gardener. Following her lead I hastily planted a pot with blue and white pansies and red salvia. I placed a piece from the Coronation tea set, inherited from my husband’s grandmother, in the centre. My husband marched the arrangement around to the front porch, stepped back and snapped off a crisp salute. I curtsied. 

I made a pot of tea using the Earl Grey from my Coronation souvenir tea caddy, also from Granny. 

We sipped it on the veranda overlooking the south lawn (back deck) and reflected on Her Majesty’s reign, satisfied we had done our duty.

For the ultimate in Jubilee afternoon teas click here Hurtled To 60


  1. What a fabulous story to be able to pass down the generations. I do love the areas of windlesham and bagshot. You pot looks very lovely too!
    Victoria xx

  2. This is so funny! I didn't know you were English. I can't believe those boys hid in the manure! Why did they feel the need to hide? Were they worried they'd be accused of stealing?

  3. What a great story about the two young lads! We have all had Diamond Jubilee fever over here! I went to Windsor Castle to watch an international horse pageant in the presence of the Queen. The atmosphere was electric and so memorable. I have blogged about this evening and also the boat pageant on the river Thames in London.

    Many thanks for becoming a follower of my blog and I'm delighted that in doing so it has led me to yours. I'm happy to follow too!


  4. The Diamond Jubilee wasn't a big deal here, however the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Calgary last year and were a big hit.