Wednesday, 3 June 2009
What do we make of the diplomatic muddle over the celebrations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings and France's apparent failure to invite the Queen to Normandy? It seems to me that it is all to do with the inflated egos of President Sarkozy and Gordon Brown, both of whom want to consider themselves the major representatives of their respective countries. In the case of Sarkozy, that is reasonable (though without doubt the presence of the Queen would have detracted from his media coverage), but in Brown's case there is no excuse. Of course the Queen should have been invited and as her Prime Minister he should have made sure that she was. She is the only one of them all who actually went through the Second World War and served in the armed forces. She is a contemporary of the veterans, for whom this is likely to be the last commemoration, and admired and respected by them all. For Sarkozy to want a Franco-American occasion, without including the British, and for Gordon Brown supinely to accept this, is typical of them both. Now it appears that the Prince of Wales has belatedly been invited, like some B-list guest. Our Prime Minister (for the present) has a lot to answer for.