A. J. Liebling’s column on the royal marriage ceremony captures a joyful second throughout Britain’s postwar restoration.Photograph by Bert Hardy / Getty

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on Friday, on the age of ninety-nine, a solemn second in a tumultuous period in British royal historical past. Four years older than The New Yorker, the Prince made one of his first appearances in the journal in 1947, a interval when its pages have been typically occupied not solely with the aftermath of the struggle however with the actions of aristocracy each international and home: the Astors, the Rockefellers, and, particularly, the British Royal Family. The event for the article was Philip’s wedding to younger Princess Elizabeth, and all its attendant media protection, which A. J. Liebling reviewed underneath the rubric The Wayward Press. Liebling’s media column, which ran for a number of a long time, was typically as acidic because it was enthusiastic, and the royal-wedding roundup is a specific pleasure to revisit. Liebling’s report brims with particulars that one way or the other didn’t make it into “The Crown”: Noël Coward’s seating project throughout the ceremony; a bust of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow seen behind the Duke’s head as he entered Westminster Abbey; and, for the newlyweds’ safety, the presence of a Scotland Yard agent, on a makeshift mattress, in an attic above the room the place they spent their marriage ceremony evening. (Across the pond, Liebling’s employer, Harold Ross, would quickly be invited to a dinner with the previous King Edward VIII and his spouse, Wallis Simpson, who turned out to be followers of The New Yorker’s protection of his abdication.)

Liebling’s marriage ceremony column captures a uncommon joyful second throughout Britain’s tough postwar restoration, however the reporter nonetheless will get his zingers in. Correspondents providing tremulous protection are “dealers in radiance”; Liebling cites a citation, in the Post, of a “starry-eyed Cockney girl” who says, of the longer term Queen’s consort, “Gord, but ain’t ’e the ’andsome one.” (Liebling joked that he had pored over so many British experiences that week that he was seeing spots—the end result of “dropped ‘h’s.”) And for a remaining phrase in class-based commentary he turns to no much less an authority than the Daily Worker, which pointedly famous, in a headline, “18 COUPLES WED QUIETLY AT CITY HALL, NON-ROYAL LOVERS UNITED IN SIMPLE RITES.”

Having run by press accounts of weddings each royal and frequent, Liebling ends the column by turning his gaze throughout the English Channel—the place, in keeping with the Herald Tribune, “the Count of Paris, the Pretender to the French throne,” had lastly renounced his claims. He not believed, Liebling experiences, that there was any type of future in “the king business.”

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