During a visit to a sheltered housing scheme the Queen Mother was heard to remark “these are quite nice for the old folks aren’t they”? She was 94 at the time!
Spending a royal penny – The Queen was due to visit an estate in South London and everything was set for her arrival: the gardens were tidy, the afternoon tea was prepared and there was even a little portaloo at the back of the welcoming area – just in case members of the royal party needed to go. As the welcoming party lined up to await the royal arrival, the Mayoress whispered into the housing manager’s ear that she needed to “spend a penny” and hastily went to the portaloo. Just as the royal car drew up, the Mayoress returned and whispered quietly into the housing manager’s ear, “You may want to know that the flush doesn’t work!”
Spotted duke – Some years ago, a new GLC housing estate had been built which spread over two London boroughs. The Duke of Gloucester was due to make a private visit to the estate and both authorities’ Mayors were keen to be in attendance. The local housing manager had been asked to arrange for the Duke to be able to visit and chat with one of the local tenants in the high rise flats and, because the visit was supposed to be private, the chosen tenant was only told she would be visited by the two Mayors. In due course, the royal party arrived on the estate and made their way up to the flat. On opening the door, the young female tenant was introduced to the Duke and promptly fainted. At which point her mother stepped over her daughter’s body and took the hand of the Duke and regaled him with a story about meeting his father some years before. The party were then invited into the living room only to find the husband painting the ceiling. “Don’t mind me,” he says, “I have to carry on as I’m off to work in a bit and it needs to be ready for a visit”. Thirty minutes later the Duke, both Mayors, housing officials and other dignitaries all left covered in little white spots!
In touch – Twenty years ago the Prince of Wales was visiting Salford University and was being introduced to a row of students. “And what are you studying young man?” asked the Prince of one of the students. “Housing management,” replied the student. “Housing management?” said the Prince looking a little puzzled, “Is that anything to do with cookery?”