Yesterday’s Royal Visit passed without disaster. The arrangement basically was that a sizeable mob of invitees were waiting in the library to greet the sovereign, while anyone who felt like rolling up could come and wave a flag along the route to the library, which is spacious. Sadly, as a very respectable turnout of students waited to cheer, the weather suddenly made its mind up to be disobliging and the heavens opened. By the time Her Majesty appeared, the storm had rolled over, but meanwhile, everyone was drenched. Our students are a hardy breed, and stuck it out gallantly, but one group which looked particularly pathetic were the tinies and their carers from the University nursery, who’d been given a space at the front. They touched the heart of the Royal Household chaps, who promptly decided among themselves to ask them all in, so dignitaries dressed to the nines were suddenly augmented by a sort of bouquet of toddlers in brightly coloured raingear. It’s nice to know the Men in Suits have a human side, as has Her Majesty, who went straight over the moment she got in the door: a colleague’s little boy, never backward about coming forward, got to say ‘Hello, Queen’ which will doubtless be a topic of household conversation for some days. The Maestro and the Professor’s music was splendid, like a fanfare. The best thing about the day really was that a variety of old friends and colleagues now living and working elsewhere (Hong Kong, in one instance) had turned up for the occasion. Now we’re back to business as usual, and a good thing too.