To the Editor

Port  Tidings-American Gondolier

1 August 2011



Dear Henry,


As your sister and eldest sibling, I must tell you how appalled Hartung and I were to read in this morning’s Gondolier a description of Zara Phillips, with emphasis on her shoes. Really, do we need to know she was seen wearing flip-flops the day after her wedding?


Wasn’t it enough to mention she married that ball player, and in Scotland, of all places? And that she will keep her maiden name?  And those horses? Why your “Royals” columnist saw fit to use the term flip-flop instead of sandal or whatever is beyond me. I am already dreading our mother’s reaction, and our aunt Geneva’s. I advise you to lie low, Henry.


That you apparently edited out certain other details related to the wedding does not surprise me, given your obsessive focus on the Port Tidings High School football team. Those boys haven’t won a game in years. Meanwhile, Ms. Phillips is 13th in line for the British throne. Great Britain, Henry. Across the Pond.  Surely her bridal dress warranted a mention. She is granddaughter to the Queen.


Who, I would bet, is like mother and Gen in never leaving the house wearing anything less than a sturdy, expensive pair of shoes. Even when she’s going to the next yard over to walk her mean little dogs.  Of course, I am sorry to say that the Queen’s reaction to Zara’s shoes, or to anything else the Royals might wear or have or do, most likely is to maintain a stiff upper lip.  She has had much practice. Zara’s biological father is not even thought to be named Phillips.


Everyone knows the Prince of Wales was caught saying he wished to live inside his mistress's trousers, and that his son Harry seems to be the only member of granny's family to have hair as red as that of James Hewitt. Mr. Hewitt is a British army officer who taught Harry’s mother, bless her soul, to ride a horse.

So perhaps it came as no surprise to the Queen and all of England that Zara was seen wearing flip-flops the day following her nuptials, while departing the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Just so you know, Henry, Holyroodhouse is the Scotland digs of Her Majesty. Surely it is grand enough for a guest, especially one who calls Her Majesty granny and the Princess Royal mummy, to depart it wearing an actual shoe.


Never mind the Queen’s stiff upper lip, Henry. This is Port Tidings. Hartung and I shall expect never again to see the term flip-flops in your paper. And I suspect mother and Gen will feel likewise, although they don’t know a flip-flop from a boot. I suspect they won’t ask, either, because the term itself will frighten them.


What were you thinking, Henry?

As Always,

Maybell  Tidings Postlethwaite

(Mrs. Hartung Postlewaite IV)