JAN MOIR: Only our diamond monarch could tame Trump the toddler
JAN MOIR: Queen showed she is worth her weight in beaten gold during US President’s state visit – and only our diamond monarch could tame Donald Trump the toddler
There was pomp and there was circumstance galore because, as the old song goes, ‘Nobody does it better, Makes me feel sad for the rest.’ In London there were multiple gun salutes, a state banquet; an unfurling of golden pageantry that impressed the watching global audience and the Leader of the Free World — plus his knockout wife.
In Portsmouth, some of the most powerful leaders on the planet gathered to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by ordinary people, amid skirling bagpipes and a scorching Red Arrows flypast. And now that it is all over, can we agree that the state visit of President Trump and the commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings were indisputably magnificent?
It was certainly a glorious stitch in the tapestry of our nation’s history, something that even the grisly doughnut of milkshaking protesters in London could not curdle.
And in the middle of it all, the undisputed, thousand-carat star of the show was our own dear Queen.
From the moment she greeted Mr and Mrs Trump at Buckingham Palace to her terrific speech in Portsmouth, HM proved anew that she is worth her weight in beaten gold
From the moment she greeted Mr and Mrs Trump at Buckingham Palace to her terrific speech in Portsmouth, HM proved anew that she is worth her weight in beaten gold.
Who is like her? Absolutely nobody. Whether in her ruby-rich tiara or her pink-feathered hat, she was regina in excelsis at all times; a tiny but determined figure steering her own course through difficult diplomatic waters, always sailing onwards towards the greater national good.
At her side, the normally belligerent and difficult Trump was a model of good behaviour, clearly in awe of the woman and her ancient office. Instead of his usual bored toddler fractiousness, he was much more the dutiful and attentive son, his behaviour both modified and modest.
Perhaps this was testament to the Queen’s inviolate sense of duty, for it is clear even to Trump that she is the real deal.
After all she has transcended fashion and fad for more than half a century; her face set against the storm, her compass fixed at resolute, modesty her watchword.
She keeps her own counsel, her cornflakes in a plastic container and she holidays in Scotland — there is nothing not to love.
And at big moments like this, when it falls to her to speak for all of us, especially on this one last chance to pay everlasting respect to the young soldiers, sailors and airmen who left the UK to fight in Europe, she did not let us down.
‘It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country — indeed the whole free world — that I say to you all, thank you,’ she said in Portsmouth.
She added that when she attended the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004 some thought it might be the last such event. Yet as she pointed out, the wartime generation — ‘my generation,’ she emphasised — is resilient.
Indeed they are. And it seems terribly important that not only did HM live through the war herself, she understands the unspoken ache and the brooding memories it still evokes in this country.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings about various other members of the Royal Family, but I simply adore the Queen. I love her square-toed shoes, her damp tweeds, the concrete invincibility of her snow-white shampoo and set. Throughout my entire life she has always been there; on stamps, on coins and on the throne.
Pictured: US President Donald Trump, US First Lady Melania Trump and Queen Elizabeth II attend the D-Day 75 National Commemorative Event
During the 67 years of her reign she has never, not once, yielded to the seductions of fame. When one regards the occasional indulgent outbursts of some of her entitled offspring, who seem to want all of the perks and prestige of royalty without any of the responsibility, she is a totem of unimpeachable good manners.
She has never behaved badly, nor felt the need to show off, nor seized a commercial or social advantage for her own advancement. Whatever the occasion, she never fluffs her lines, nor milks sympathy nor sucks up to the cameras or lets us down. Gaze across the crowned heads of Europe and you cannot say the same about them. Look closer to home, ditto.
She understands that it is not about her, but all about the dignity of her office. And she presided over a whirl of emotion all week.
The two 90-something veterans parachuting onto the Normandy fields, just as they did over seven decades ago, brought a tear to the eye. As did the thought of all those young men (and women) who unquestioningly left their warm and comfortable homes in towns and cities across the UK, to march into the unknown darkness of a conflict that had to be won.
This anniversary has stirred the pot of our shared memories in a deep way. Some critics say that it is wrong to dwell on the blood-soaked memories of an old war — but this is not ancient history, this is yesterday. Led by the well-chosen words of the Queen, the D-Day anniversary was not just about the remembrance of lives lost, but also the quiet celebration of something profound; ourselves.
This week would not have been the same without her at the helm; throwing a banquet that made the American one look like a Sunday School picnic, welcoming President Trump with a warmth and a spirited pragmatism that put many to shame, including sulky Prince Harry. She looked and sounded like she meant every word, and that is because she did.
Am I fan-girling about her too much? I can’t help it. The Queen is unique, incredible, a monarch of whom we can proud.
The thought of her not being there to reign over us, happy and glorious, is saddening and awful.
Yet as she says herself, her generation is indeed resilient. And in this week of all weeks, three cheers for them, each and every one.
How I inspired Melania’s chic look
Never mind Donald, it was Melania Trump who fascinated most this week
Never mind Donald, it was Melania Trump who fascinated most this week. Her beauty and poise, her impeccable taste in outfits, her sphinx-like presence, her heels and her hair. But most of all her hair.
During her three-day state visit, Melania sported various hats, three different updos and two absolutely impeccable blow-dries.
When I looked at her closely, there seemed to be something familiar about that gorgeous swoop of shiny hair, that slow tumble of curls, the excellent staying power of her style.
And no wonder. For her state visit, Melania had engaged the services of Lino Carbosiero from the Daniel Galvin salon in Central London. Who is actually my hairdresser not hers, so stop copying my style, FLOTUS!
‘I can’t believe you didn’t tell me about Melania,’ I said, during my Lino trim on Wednesday afternoon. ‘You’d be the last person I’d tell,’ he said, snipping away at his usual speed; delivering an excellent cut and blow-dry in 30 minutes flat, boring chat about Chelsea Football Club optional.
He had been tending to Melania that very morning at the American Embassy, but his lips were sealed.
‘I’m not supposed to say anything, but I do want to say that she was lovely, warm and amazing,’ he said. ‘And so was her husband.’
The Trumps were charming to Lino and his assistant Sophie, too, which says something about them which is entirely to their credit. ‘They put a lot of celebrities to shame,’ said Lino.
Meanwhile, Samantha Cameron, Ffion Hague, Hillary Clinton, Andrea Turner and many others cannot be wrong about Lino’s skills. He makes your hair look like hair, rather than some confection of gel and tangles.
I asked him if it was true that Melania had seen my byline picture before she came to the UK and said: ‘Wow! Who is that chick? That’s the look I want.’
Lino was diplomatically silent, as ever. But I like to think I put the Me into Melania. Don’t even think of arguing.
Richard Madden has spoken about the mental struggles he faced following the television series Bodyguard
Perhaps actors get paid so much because they never stop telling us all how difficult it is to be an actor? Richard Madden (right) has spoken about the mental struggles he faced following the television series Bodyguard, in which he played the role of a principal protection officer (PPO) in the Royal and Specialist Protection Command of the Metropolitan Police.
‘You spend so much time in someone else’s clothes, saying someone else’s words, thinking someone else’s thoughts, that you lose a bit of yourself,’ he said. ‘And at the end of that, I felt broken, much like the character was. Physically and mentally exhausted. I know we’re not curing cancer, but you’re giving everything you’ve got.’
Quite a struggle for a six-part series. Although I imagine it is rather more difficult actually being a PPO than pretending to be one.
Not sure Richard would agree.
Nigella’s objection is music to my ears
Nigella Lawson has criticised restaurants for playing loud music, saying it leaves her unable to taste her food properly.
She might sound like one of those old prog-rock hippies who insisted they could hear the colour in music — yeah man — but she is right, as always. Even the most resolute prawn risotto disintegrates under the teeth-chattering thunder of 100-decibel grime or rap. Especially when it is music being played by the staff when the boss isn’t there — particularly enraging.
The cook and TV star, 59, said that she’s ‘allergic to noise’ and that it’s ‘utterly draining.’ It’s worse than that, Nigella. If loud music is on the menu, I just lost my appetite.
Nigella Lawson has criticised restaurants for playing loud music, saying it leaves her unable to taste her food properly
This week I went to a preview of the next (and last) Poldark series, which will be broadcast on BBC1 next month. Several of the cast members were there, too, tragically diminished by not being in their sexy breeches and frockcoats.
Watch out for Barley’s big scene, which includes some of the best dog acting ever
Aidan Turner (Poldark) now has a giant face-eating Brutus beard while Luke Norris (Dr Enys) was wearing a yellow jacket and a silly little hat. I sat next to Harry Richardson, who plays Drake Carne.
Throughout the showing he would sit bolt upright and fidget excitedly when he was onscreen, then slump back in his seat during scenes in which he did not feature.
Although an embargo forbids me from revealing what happens, I can tell you that the undisputed star of the first episode is Demelza’s dog, Garrick.
In real life he is a rescue lurcher mix called Barley, who was adopted by an animal trainer from Battersea Dogs Home.
Then trained to Oscar-winning standards. Watch out for Barley’s big scene, which includes some of the best dog acting ever. In quick order, he has to look worried, attentive, watchful and frightened.
He does all this with wooftastic aplomb. And I bet he manages to sit nicely when watching himself and doesn’t get tetchy when asked if he is going to be the next James Bond. Ruff!
Love Island’s close shave
Love Island is fascinating for many reasons, but most of all for the insight into the grooming habits of the modern male.
Full body waxes, manicured eyebrows, muscles pumped like zeppelins and stomachs that look like a bag of wet walnuts? All this and more. Women have long struggled with the ongoing quest to tame body hair, but I had no idea that young men had followed suit.
One of the contestants — he’s Scottish! — even gets his mum to shave his bottom. You know it is nice for a boy to be close to his mother, but there are limits to this intimacy.
Love Island is fascinating for many reasons, but most of all for the insight into the grooming habits of the modern male
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