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Oxford Literary Festival: The Penultimate Day

Jeremy Smith covers Oxford Lit Fest on Saturday 9th April and discovers the Queen's reaction to things going wrong at official functions
Editor-at-large Jeremy Smith

"Top-notch, scandalous entertainment"

Ahhh, there's nothing like a bit of gossip to kick off the weekend, and Royal journalist Ingrid Seward certainly upped the ante with her talk on the Queen's Speeech.

This was Heat magazine, Hello, and OK! at its very best - refined, sophisticated, elegant and just when your concentration started to drift, slam-bang-thank-you-Ma'am unforgettable.

For instance, according to a contact of a contact of a contact (or frankly across the garden wall at the bottom of Buckingham Palace...), when the Queen entertained the Chinese president at a State visit last year, Mr Xi Jinping proved not only dull but worse still, boasted appalling halitosis.

And just as deliciously, it turns out the Queen LOVES IT when things go wrong at official functions (just a tip: knowing that, if and when you are introduced to her, she'll love it if you make a faux pas...).

Indeed, one of the Queen's favourite anecdotes is how, 30 years ago when a Duchess was attending a state ball, not only did her beautiful gown get caught in part of a footman's uniform and come off, but so too did her wig.

Top-notch, scandalous entertainment that must easily be the festival's best guilty secret.

Loved it!


- Jeremy Smith


Related Articles: Oxford Literary Festival: Day Seven