In 1959 James Pope-Hennessy was reluctant to write the Biography of Queen Mary. His brother finally persuaded him on the grounds that ‘it was a form of anthropology or even zoology’. ‘Royalty is an endangered species and it was an occasion to establish through close inspection, the nature of the phenomenon’.

It is particularly appropriate that we are holding the talk at Boughton as it features in the book when JP-H visited there in the course of a memorable stay at Barnwell Manor with the Duke of Gloucester, one of Queen Mary’s sons. Visiting Boughton, The Duke came across a girl struggling with a wheel-deck-chair over some steps. "I went up and pretended to help her, of course, but in fact I didn’t do a bloody thing. I didn’t even lift the thing. I don’t believe in doing things. She had to do it all herself in the end!"

Hugo Vickers has lectured all over the world from Australia to Russia. He frequently appears on both television and radio and has produced and directed a number of theatrical productions, in which he has performed with, amongst others, both Edward Fox and Prunella Scales. Hugo Vickers is also the author of several biographies including those of Cecil Beaton, The Queen Mother and Princess Andrew of Greece.

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