Speak to Tory ministers of a certain background and the question of succession soon arises. But the position they’re talking about is in Windsor, not Westminster – and it has nothing to do with skipping a generation of the monarchy. Pretty soon there will be a new Provost of Eton and, thanks to a quirk of history, it’s a Crown appointment. With so many Old Etonians in this government, including the Business Secretary, Brexit Opportunities Minister and the Prime Minister himself, there’s no shortage of opinions.
The incumbent, Lord Waldegrave, is expected to leave his post shortly, after 13 years – and at a time when a battle is being waged for Eton’s soul. When exercising their power to advise the monarch on her choice, recent premiers have deferred to the school’s preferred successor, but with Boris Johnson nothing is ever conventional.