Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Bit of a Royal Do

Excitement gripped the area this week. Could it be the return of Eric Robson and Gardener’s Question Time? No, someone even more august, despite the fact that it’s July. The Queen and Princess Royal were visiting.
It’s been many decades since the Queen visited South Cumbria, possibly put off by the weather. I can’t speak for the Princess Royal, partly because it took me a while to work out which one that was. (Not Edward, apparently.)
The Royal Visit began in Kendal, progressed to Windermere and then set sail on the lake for Brockhole, where the Royal Party enjoyed half-an-hour on the Treetop Trek aerial playground.
The last time the Queen visited, social media consisted of the Court Circular. Today it is slightly different. By following #royalvisit on Twitter, anyone could be kept informed, read live updates and see photographs tweeted from the scene by citizen journalists (this is one of the best). As one wag pointed out, it is Royal protocol to curtsey before snapping her Majesty with a smartphone.
The sun shone, the whole area was a-buzzing (not just with bees) and there was a general good feeling in the air. 
And it was press day at The Westmorland Gazette, so how could a cartoonist for Her Majesty’s Press spoil it all by being customarily cynical and embittered? Besides, he might end up in the Tower.
Below is a selection of cartoon drawn for the Royal Visit, with a wider selection of captions. There were also a couple of other stories which I sketched, but don’t let them trouble you.
So, you ask, which Royal Cartoon made it into the newspaper? Well, I don’t know. Apparently at Gazette HQ everyone picked a different one. Press day during a Royal Visit is an exciting affair and as the paper was being assembled in all directions, I drew up the final art and left the captions with them. In an hour or so, I’ll pop out and buy the paper. I’ll know which cartoon they chose, just as soon as the readers.
Loyal readers in far-flung places can see the chosen cartoon by visiting my website, sometime on Friday.

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