Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Alex Cockburn 

1993: The Queen Mother's Leninist Love
February 4 
During World War II, Balmoral was a hothouse again, as Elizabeth, consort of George VI and today the aged Queen Mother, was seized with a passion for one of the military detachment based there. Her lover was a married man who before the war had attended the London School of Economics and there became a member of the Communist Club, confessing to the club’s secretary, J .B., that he had read no Marx but all the works of Lenin. With the invasion of the Soviet Union he volunteered and was subsequently posted to Balmoral, where his love affair with the King’s wife commenced. He told his wife of it. She was not pleased but remarked that at least she could be sure the relationship had no future. 
As did many leftists of the period, the couple had adopted a Basque baby orphaned in the Spanish Civil War. At the funeral of her mother years later, this young woman told intimates that finally the great secret could be disclosed. Widowed in the early 19505, Elizabeth conceived a passion for Cointreau, for at least one other military man and, some say, for Bourguiba of Tunisia, exchanging the dour surroundings of Balmoral for pleasures amid the ruins of Carthage. 

My grandfather Jack Arbuthnot, an officer in the Scots Guards, used to visit Scottish fastnesses such as Balmoral and Glamis, home of the Queen Mother’s family, the Bowes-Lyons, early in the century, and the future consort of George VI used to commandcer him as her steed, perched on his back and galloping him around the drawing room. Perhaps this formed the foundation for her later predilections. I shall wear a little Tampax pin with pride. As dear Jack Finnegan used to boast in his Scottish accent as thick as John Brown’s, ‘Finnegan, ML–Monarchist-Leninist’.
The golden age isn't in us, and everything he wrote demonstrates the fact. But that's ok.
Monarchist-Leninist has stuck with me ever since I read in it 93. Every once in a while I look it up.

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