MP brings perfect gentleman Walter Raleigh back to life
Parliamentary heavyweight Michael Fabricant – who punches above his weight – has seen it all in 20 years in the House of Commons, as a former government Whip with a bruising style when fighting the Tory corner on the by-election trail.
But Friday’s Tamworth Tory Association dinner at Drayton Manor threw up a ‘softer’ side to his normal combative approach to political life.
In fact our Lichfield MP enjoyed a Walter Raleigh moment as he found himself kneeling before a queen.
The royal person was none other than Tutbury Castle curator Lesley Smith who in her ‘spare time’ doubles as Queen Elizabeth 1.
The Virgin Queen was a guest speaker at the association’s annual dinner – on the same menu as minister-of-the-moment Owen Paterson, who as Environment Secretary is fronting the government’s response to the horsemeat-in-beef scandal.
Mr Fabricant showed admirable respect for Her Majesty by kneeling at her feet and kissing her hand in homage to a monarch who transformed England in the 1500s.
The castle curator invoked the spirit of a golden age of Gloriana playing Queen Elizabeth I at the dinner, mingling with guests before the event started and then giving a 10-minute oration on the royal heritage of her character.
“Her passionate belief in the English people and lack of marital ambition combined with a brilliant mind and outstanding political skills is why she was so hugely successful,” said historian Lesley, who believes the dynamic and patriotic influence of the first monarch of an Elizabethan era has stood the test of time from the 1500s until the present day.