Awkward moment Camilla confronted with ‘unhappy families’ quote as royal row rages on | Royal | News | Express.co.uk
Queen Camilla maintained a fixed smile today after being welcomed to a museum with a famous quote about unhappy families.
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The Queen at The Garden Museum (Image: Getty)
Amid the fallout from a revived race row inside the House of Windsor, she went to the Garden Museum in London and heard her host cite Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy’s opening line from Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Christopher Woodward, the museum director, quoted the Russian writer during a speech as he hosted Camilla’s visit to his institution’s Winter Flowers Week, an exhibition of five installations celebrating seasonal and sustainable festive decorations.
But he explained afterwards that it had not been intended as a comment on the Royal Family’s show of unity after controversy surrounding author Omid Scobie’s book, Endgame, and the naming in its Dutch edition of two royals alleged to have expressed concern about the skin colour of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child, Prince Archie.
It was intended, he said, as a declaration that flowers and gardening provide the same joy to everyone.
“We all need a balcony to go out in, sometimes,” he said. “Half an hour with flowers can change the feeling of a day. Flowers make people happy.”
Camilla, 76, enjoyed a playful tug of war with Mr Woodward’s three-year-old son Max, who shook hands with the Queen using his toy dinosaur, during the visit to the museum in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth in south London.
She was also presented with “an empowerment doll” and other examples of the arts and crafts developed by enslaved African women on the island of Antigua and learned about the work of artist Frank Walter, an ardent royalist.
Camilla was shown a photograph of her husband the King as a young man which Walter kept on his sideboard. “I recognise the face,” the Queen joked.
Her husband, meanwhile, got a taste of Christmas yesterday on a visit to Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre in west London.
The King toured the Christmas market at the shopping centre and was told by Santa Claus that he was at the “very top” of his good list.
The King looked delighted to hear it from the “other big guy”.
Santa, who also goes by the name of Keith Flaherty, said afterwards: “I asked The King if he was at a Sandringham this year and he said he was. I asked him if he had enough room for the sleigh to park and he said yes. I remarked that he looked very well and the King said he had ‘never felt better’.
“I told him that he was at the top of Santa’s very good list and he said: ‘Really?’ and sounded delighted.”
The 75-year-old monarch’s visit had not been announced in advance but word soon got round and huge crowds gathered to shake his hand and take selfies.