Saturday, 1 August 2009

Saturday curiosity - Lorraine Wilson

You won't have heard of Lorraine Wilson, but her family holds 1/80th of the hereditary office of Lord Great Chamberlain of England, and on the accession of the next Sovereign, it will be Lorraine's turn to exercise the office during his reign. After that, it reverts to the Marquis of Cholmondeley, whose family has a half share in the job and therefore gets it every other reign. It's a sort of dynastic job-share, split between a score of families, with shares as minor as 1/100th of the office. One of England's old curiosities that has slipped under the Socialist radar.

To exercise the office, Lorraine will need to become a life peer; only Lords of Parliament can actually do the job. Alternatively, she can appoint a deputy who is a life peer or hereditary peer to exercise the function; if a hereditary peer, they are guaranteed a place in the Lords under Labour's last Act that sought to reduce the hereditaries, and no doubt will be under the new Act. One hopes.

The office is a good example of the difficulties created when one starts poking about with our ancient constitutional offices and duties. You can't do constitional reform on the back of a fag-packet or slurping coffee on a sofa. The thing is, our unwritten constitution works, and one cannot guage the extent of the repurcussions when government foolishly fiddles. If it ain't broke ...

4 comments:

idle said...

All you say is true, raedwald.

This is the post that involves walking backwards, which suits the present Cholmondeley rather well, one gathers.

The greatest curiosity is that one of these families should call a daughter 'lorraine'.

Anonymous said...

If it ain't broke ...

But isn't the entirety of left-wing ideology founded on the premise not wholly in keeping with Marxist-Socialist theory is inherently broken?

I've spoken with too many left-wingers who have stated their honest belief that "pragmatism" is another word for "fascism" to have any confidence in their ability to recognise or understand the idea that something which works well need not be changed.

Blue Eyes said...

"The greatest curiosity is that one of these families should call a daughter 'lorraine'."

That was the first thing that crossed my mind when I read this!

Anonymous said...

Your peasant backgrounds are showing , its pronounced Lynn.