Fringe Box



Letter: A View from the ‘Royal’ Car

Published on: 9 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 10 Jun, 2022

The Horsley Queen Photo Rex A Butcher

With the Royal family’s diary rather congested last week it is reassuring to know that tribute acts, of various quality, are always available…

By “Prince Charlie” (aka Harry Eve)

Mummy and I knew that the golden coach was unavailable for our procession from West Horsley Place to Horsley Towers, and one wondered which Rolls Royce or Daimler would be chosen for this momentous occasion.

The weather was threatening to dampen the spirits of Mummy’s subjects on this special day but what a triumph it turned out to be. So it was that one attempted to clamber, in full regalia, into the dickie seat of a superb 1949 Triumph Roadster and “We Will Rock You” took on new meaning.

Mummy was not amused by that, or by the lack of horses, so arrangements were made for us to ride on the back of a fine Mustang instead.

Leaving the stately home (well known to be inhabited by ghosts) our parade of historic vehicles and British icons passed slowly by the splendid Wellington Meadow and the ancient Duke of Wellington public house, with glimpses of the former Thatchers Old World Tea House on the way.

The roadside was thronged with well-wishers waving flags, as we turned the corner by the Italianate Lovelace gatehouse. And then, as we drove along the Mall approaching Horsley Towers, we were greeted with a wonderful welcome by hordes of cheering supporters from our united villages of East and West Horsley.

One was tempted to make a speech but the Mustang, perhaps wisely, was keen to press on swiftly, and we were ushered away before I could treat the crowd with my street, DJ speak. “Don’t Stop Me Now,” I thought, “I’m having a good time”.

I wanted to thank West Horsley Place and Horsley Towers for their hospitality, the volunteers and organisers who made it possible, our chauffeur, and Her Majesty for inspiring us all.

I wanted to wish the community well in their endeavours to reverse the effects of that monstrous carbuncle, the current Guildford Local Plan, and the planning system responsible for helping to bring it about.

We will fight it among the beech trees, we will fight it in our lanes and meadows, we will fight to ensure that our fields and farms remain fields and farms, and we’ll keep on fighting till the end so that we, and future generations, may continue to hear the Lark Ascending over the former Wisley Airfield.

But the opportunity was lost and after a quick change it was back to our normal station in life to enjoy the catering and entertainment, ending with the magnificent Crazy Little Thing Called Queen, who began their performance, in true Queen style, on the roof of Horsley Towers.

They had the whole crowd on their feet, rocking and singing along to the songs we all know and love. It was a privilege for us to take part in this way and how I miss the people smiling and waving flags at me, but “One day like this a year would see me right”.


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