|Upton Cressett Hall in Shropshire|
You may not know this, but these days the poppet lives in a rather grand Grade 1 Elizabethan brick manor called Upton Cressett Hall in Shropshire. Its history is a roll call of royals, dukes and others with the hereditary X factor. One of its owner-occupiers contributed to the Armada Fund in 1588, for instance. And one of its bedrooms is named after Baroness Thatcher!
Much to my amazement, parts of the property are open to the public. Which brings me to the saddest tale of the season.
William maintains a blog on a website dedicated to his home. And the latest post is entitled, 'Why I banned the Women's Institute from Upton Cressett'. It is a narrative of woe you must read if you have half an hour to spare - it's rather long. But compelling. I won't bore you with the he-saids/she-saids, suffice to say that an 'owner tour' disintegrated into farce when William came to blows with a branch of the visiting WI.
Problems began one early August day this year when a floral-skirted old cunty dared to address him as 'staff' and demanded to know where the toilets were. There are none. Now, I should have thought a public convenience essential in a place open to the public and where they tend to drink tea and eat scones. William was taken aback. But he recovered and pointed to a private 'loo under the stairs.' Following more peculiar antagonism, at some point everyone was accidentally locked out of the Hall and William threw a strop, banning all 27 members of one WI branch at a stroke. He even escorted them ('mostly white haired pensioners in summer suits or sixty plus blue-rinse members of the jam-making and Order of the WI Battle-Axe variety.') to the car park.
William is sufficiently self-possessed to spot his inner Basil Fawlty and send himself up a little. But I mean, where's his, er, famed noblesse oblige?
To read William's blog, click here