The Royal Household Joins the Information Age, 1985

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“In 1985 and 1986 the mobile computerized office arrived. On royal tours the household have always set up shop somewhere, normally in a hotel room, to coordinate arrangements, do the necessary clerical work, and stay in touch with Buckingham Palace. Two or three secretaries, called lady clerks, are taken along to work in this office. Word processors are now taken on the road, and not the old typewriters. In Texas, for instance, the Prince’s speeches were taken out, both in the original longhand in which he wrote them and on floppy discs so that changes could be put in up until the last minute.

Also in the mobile office is a fax machine which can send documents to and from Buckingham Palace. It is also used to send the tour party important extracts from the day’s London newspapers. The newspapers themselves arrive from London on the next airplane out, along with any highly confidential documents for the Prince which are not sent on the fax machine.”

In Private and Public: The Prince and Princess of Wales, Alastair Burnet, 1986.


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Image:”Bobby pin” by Larry D. Moore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Bush Administration Office Decorations

Uncle Sam poster

Donald Rumsfeld kept this Uncle Sam poster in his office (source: Bush at War Part Three, Bob Woodward).

Redneck Horn

Karl Rove kept a Redneck Horn in his office. Recordings: “Slow down, dumbass! Wal-Mart’s open all night!” “Driver’s license? You ought to get one asswipe!” “Hey hogneck, who taught you how to drive?” “What the hell was that maneuver?” “What race are you in, shithead?” “Son of a bitch!” “Get the hell out of my way!” “Are you freaking blind?” “Put the cell phone down, dickhead!” “You’re a goddamn moron!” (source: Bush at War Part Three, Bob Woodward).

A Charge to KeepA Charge to Keep, W. H. D. Koerner painting

“When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves,” George W. Bush wrote in his autobiography, A Charge to Keep.
The painting was actually an illustration of a 1916 short story in The Saturday Evening Post. It was captioned “Had His Start Been Fifteen Minutes Longer He Would Not Have Been Caught.” (source: “The Illustrated President,” Scott Horton, Harpers).

A Frenchman sees England in the ‘Fifties, 1856

Crystal Palace 1856

“I do not know if the English ever rest; but London never sleeps. Yet the day is busy enough. At all hours workshops are full and the resorts of idlers overflow. Although the town has a population of almost three million souls, one cannot account for the number of people about. The streets are seething with traffic, entire populations are floating on the Thames, the parks are strewn with loafers, monuments with sightseers, the gardens and pleasances of the neighbourhood are overrun with trippers, and the bustle never decreases during the whole week…

…They eat at all hours, everywhere and unceasingly. Their cast-iron digestive organs enable them to withstand and even thrive upon an alimentary diet which would more than satisfy the appetite of wolves. The fare of a delicate, ethereal girl would easily still the inner cravings of two Parisian bargees.”

A Frenchman sees England in the ‘Fifties, Francis Wey, translated by Valerie Pirie, 1856.

Photo: Philip Henry Delamotte- Crystal Palace, 1856

Honnish and Boudledidge

The Mitford family.The daughters of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, were renowned and reviled in the twentieth century. Unity (“Bobo”), was a fascist and companion of Hitler who shot herself when Britain declared war Germany. Her sister Diana married the fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley and was interred during the war. Deborah (“Debo”) married the Duke of Devonshire, Jessica (“Decca”) became a political activist and a civil rights campaigner, and Nancy wrote novels and acclaimed biographies of Zelda Fitzgerald and Madame de Pompadour. In childhood, the sisters developed a secret language Jessica Mitford recalled in a biography of her sister Unity: 

“Boudledidge grew up in a very primitive fashion. Pal was Bal, equals Baddle, equals Boudle. Ch would be je; picture would be bigjure or bigjer; chair would be jer. T was d, and it went from there of its own accord. We were starting it at about the age of seven, and went on perfecting it until about ten. The language had to go with facial expression, which was one of great sorrow, and the noise was pressed out of the side of the mouth. ‘Uuge and objegzionalbe’ I called her, and when we quarreled I would urge her to ‘gommid id’, meaning that she should go an commit suicide– when she did, my mother reminded me of that, as though I had second sight.

As for Honnish, that was a language between Debo and me. Kenoy is Honnish for hen, so a phrase like ‘in a woy kenoy’ in Bobo’s letters is a borrowing, she would have been too old for Honnish, which was more an accent than anything else.”

Unity Mitford: A Quest, David Pryce-Jones, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1976.

Kim Kardashian’s “Selfish”: Selected Quotes

Screenshot (1112)(Eating a sandwich) “I was in Spain here starving!!! I had to capture this moment of finally eating! Spain was a wild trip.”

“I was in Africa in a diamond mine.”

“This amazing chateau had an entire room that was an aquarium.”

“These pics bring back so many memories. Mario did my makeup. I can always tell by looking at pics. lol.”

“We were done early one night, so Mario gave me a makeup lesson…I secretly wish I was a makeup artist.”

“I just got this Fendi coat and was in New York. I was in a taxi and took this selfie to send to Kanye to see if he liked my new coat. He did!”

“Bikini selfies are my favorite.”

(Sunburned) “I had work a week later. It was so hard to cover this up.”

“I love doing photo shoots and having memories and so many different vibes.”

“I love doing photo shoots and having memories.”

“I love that I have thousands of pics.”

“Old Hollywood glam vibes. Mary Phillips did my makeup.”

“6 months after baby and I’m feeling sexy again. I feel curvier and more confident than before.”

“Bikini selfies are my fave.”

“How cool is this outdoor shower?”

“There were so many paparazzi that showed up while we were eating. I wanted to change into a dope new look.”

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