WEEKLY CHATS WITH ‘NO FUSS’ QUEEN ARE VITAL SAYS DAVID CAMERON
Thursday May 31 2012 by Richard Palmer and Dana Gloger
DAVID Cameron has described how he receives an invaluable dose of “great British common sense” from the Queen during his weekly audience at Buckingham Palace.
The Prime Minister has written a tribute to the monarch in a lavish large-format book which will be sent to every secondary school in the UK and presented by British ambassadors to foreign heads of state, including the Pope.
Writing in The Diamond Jubilee Opus, an 800-page hand-bound volume that includes hundreds of previously unseen photographs among 1,000 images, Mr Cameron reveals how he enjoys the support he receives in his confidential prime ministerial talks with the sovereign.
He said: “So my weekly hour with the Queen is vital because I get to draw on all those qualities: her knowledge; her commitment; her time-tested wisdom.
“Above all she has an abundance of what I’d call ‘great British common sense’; the ability to cut through the fuss and see what really matters. That is invaluable to me, as I’m sure it was to the other 11 Prime Ministers she has worked with.”
So my weekly hour with the Queen is vital because I get to draw on all those qualities: her knowledge; her commitment; her time-tested wisdom
Mr Cameron is pictured in the book, which tells the story of the Queen’s 60-year reign, with his wife Samantha, escorting Her Majesty down the stairs in Downing Street last year past a row of portraits of his predecessors.
Among previously unseen photographs there is a charming image of a relaxed Queen travelling on an InterCity 225 to Edinburgh in 1991.
The book, which weighs nearly six stone and measures almost 20ins square, is aimed at collectors and is being sold by Selfridges in London and online at thisisopus.com.
The first 60 books will contain a one-carat Garrard diamond set into the cypher on the front and sell for up to £20,000. Another edition will sell for £2,500, while a smaller format book is available for £125, and will be given free to every secondary school.
Another Oxford Street store, Debenhams, is displaying a collection of previously unseen royal photographs in its restaurant from today. The 40 images, taken by the late photographer W. Jones, include some of the Queen on her wedding day and at her Coronation. The collection will be on show at other branches of Debenhams after the London exhibition.
Royal photographer Ian Pelham-Turner, who has put it together, said: “As I looked through the photographs, I realised I was looking at a unique chronicle of Her Majesty’s childhood and some of the most prominent moments in royal British history. What is more astounding is that there is absolutely no public recognition of W. Jones, so what was his status and how did he manage to capture so many intimate images of the Queen?
“Rumours have since surfaced that W. Jones was perhaps involved in military intelligence. We may never know the truth, but it is thanks to him that some of the most important moments in royal history have been captured on camera.”