The Diarists: This week in history


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The Independent Culture

19 June, 1938

Chips Channon, Tory MP and socialite: "The Sunday Express today published a most extraordinary paragraph to the effect that I am really 41 instead of 39 and hinted that I had faked my age in the reference books. The awful thing is that it is true. Now I feel apprehensive and shy as one does when one is in disgrace. Honor is being very sweet and loyal about it... I told her she would be a widow two years earlier."

20 June, 1837

Princess Victoria, aged 18: "I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing-gown), and alone, and saw them. [They] then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired this morning, and consequently that I am Queen. Lord Conyngham knelt down and kissed my hand, at the same time delivering to me the official announcement of the poor King's demise... I shall do my utmost to fulfil my duty towards my country; I am very young and perhaps in many, though not in all things, inexperienced, but I am sure, that very few have more real good will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have."

21 June, 1924

Evelyn Waugh, novelist, about term's end at Oxford: "After a harassing morning of labels and taxis Philip Machin and I found ourselves in the 1.45 luncheon car. We found nothing to eat that seemed tolerable except bread and cheese but we drank some brown sherries, champagne, many liqueurs and smoking great cigars got out at Paddington with the conviction that we had lunched well. At home I found my parents surprisingly agreeable, my father very healthy and full of conversation about the places he had visited in France. He had found an obscenity in the Bayeux tapestry which pleased him."