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The quiet radicalism of Elizabeth II

Long before domestic woes and an inferno at Windsor had prompted the Queen to describe 1992 as her ‘annus horribilis’, she had a very frank discussion with her prime minister, John Major. On this particular matter, she made it clear that she was not interested in ministerial advice. Her mind was made up. She had

What is the most significant year of the Queen’s reign?

Andrew Roberts The most important moment came on 11 November 1975 when her governor-general in Australia, Sir John Kerr, dismissed the Labour government under Gough Whitlam, doing so in her name. Although the Queen knew nothing about it before it happened (indeed, she was asleep at the time), it reiterated the vital constitutional principle that

Medical emergency: general practice is broken

In March 2020, as the health service prepared for the first Covid wave, NHS England encouraged GPs to adopt a new system called ‘total triage’. The aim was to reduce the number of patients in clinics in order to protect GPs, their staff and patients themselves from the virus. If patients hoped this system was


I’m a tourist in my own town

‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in,’ groans a weary Al Pacino in The Godfather III. This is what it feels like being in/out (I’m not sure which) of the Sex Pistols. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has filmed a six-part drama about the life and crimes of my childhood buddy

Notes on...

How to make a royally good Dubonnet cocktail

The Platinum Jubilee celebrations look like boom time for the drinks industry, with various whisky, gin and port brands all releasing special commemorative bottles. But there’s one curious omission: Dubonnet, a liqueur that is said to be the Queen’s favourite. According to a spokesman from parent company Pernod Ricard, there’s nothing planned to celebrate 70