Tight with Their Majesties

“The King changed his practice of receiving me in a formal weekly audience at about five o’clock which had prevailed during my first two months of office. It was now arranged that I should lunch with him every Tuesday. This was certainly a very agreeable method of transacting State business, and sometimes the Queen was present. On several occasions we all had to take our plates and glasses in our hands and go down to the shelter, which was making progress, to finish our meal. The weekly luncheons became a regular institution. After the first few months His Majesty decided that all servants should be excluded, and that we should help ourselves and help each other. During the four and a half years that this continued, I became aware of the extraordinary diligence with which the King read all the telegrams and public documents submitted to him. Under the British Constitutional system the Sovereign has a right to be made acquainted with everything for which his ministers are responsible, and has an unlimited right of giving counsel to his Government. I was most careful that everything should be laid before the King, and at our weekly meetings he frequently showed that he had mastered papers which I had not yet dealt with. It was a great help to Britain to have so good a King and Queen in those fateful years, and as a convinced upholder of constitutional monarchy I valued as a signal honour the gracious intimacy with which I, as First Minister, was treated.” – Winston Churchill, Their Finest Hour

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