The British Stiff Upper Lip on Full Display

p. 232 of Lady in Waiting:

Three years after their eldest child became hooked on heroin, the Glenconners decided to dis-inherit him. The boy was 19. He had to sign a contract, agreeing to relinquish all rights to the British properties (there were substantial properties also in the Caribbean, but the contract only covered Britain. Because the British properties were more important to the family name?)

Darn, even at 19 the kid had enough savvy to require two conditions: a) a bigger monthly allowance; b) an agreement that his parents “cover his future medical bills.” (Did he, self wonders, hire his own lawyer?)

The parents’ fear was that, if anything happened to them, and their ‘seat’ fell to the eldest, he would sell it for drugs. The contract protected the property for future generations. The decision must have been very painful. But — three years? They reached that decision when their son had been addicted for just three years? That was a business decision.

Stay tuned.

Imelda Out-Colins Colin

Anne Glenconner pinch-hits for an ill Princess Margaret in Manila, where she and her husband are wined and dined by Imelda:

“The singing sprees continued until 3 a.m., when she would drop us off at the house, only to arrive again at eight the next day. Colin continued to be an asset, although after enduring a few days of Madame Marcos’s intense entertainment, he declared, “I simply can’t stand this anymore. This is the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. I’m going home.” — Lady-in-Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown, p. 211

And Colin is no slouch, either: among other things, he single-handedly turned the island of Mustique into a playground for the wealthy.

The thing about Filipinos: their hospitality is relentless. And if you shun them, they do bear grudges.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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