The Queen and the coffee table

As regular readers may recall, my office in the Lords is shared with several other peers and used to be rather cramped.  We managed some months ago to create a little space and a couple of comfortable chairs were installed, along with a small coffee table.  The table can be glimpsed, just, in the picture beside the chairs.  

Shortly before the Queen addressed both Houses of Parliament in March, the table disappeared.  It reappeared some time after the occasion.  We were told that it was needed for a room set aside for the Queen.  I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statement, only that this was what we were told.  It has, however, just gained some credence.  Yesterday, the Queen attended a lunch in Westminster Hall as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  This morning, I was in my office in the House.  There was no coffee table.  Shortly before 9.00 a.m., a workman arrived with the table and returned it to its normal position.

It certainly shows a practical streak, making effective use of what exists – and making a number of peers rather proud of our office’s contribution to royal visits.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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11 Responses to The Queen and the coffee table

  1. D F Rostron says:

    A new title to be added to your office perhaps “By Royal Appointment to H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, supplier of an on loan coffee table”?

  2. ladytizzy says:

    Fab story but should I conclude that this is the only coffee table in her palace?

    I’m a bit worried that the blocked door constitutes…, oh, forget it.

  3. ladytizzy says:

    Michael White, The Guardian:
    “Hull University’s Philip Norton, now the Tory peer Lord Norton of Louth, did pioneering work in the 70s.”

    Hmmm, time to unleash the Hull Massive once more?

  4. Neil M says:

    This surely merits you posting a better picture of the table itself – one in which it is not obscured by the dodgy armchairs – unless these are now acting as the furniture equivalent of its close protection squad, given that the table now appears to be better connected than the other occupants of the office.
    Good that it has acquired a following though – I see it has got a fan!!!

    • Lord Norton says:

      Neil M: I must confess that the picture predates the event. I took it when I was testing a new camera. I must take a better picture of the table and then post it for the benefit of those who wish to admire it.

      The fan has not been much in use recently.

  5. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,
    Does that mean coffee in your office at the House of Lords is a possible Super Grand Prize to liquidate some of those sets of three a few have amassed?

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