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Main Series Other Titles. Evans 1 John K. Walton 1 Stephen Constantine 1 Michael J. Winstanley 1 Robert M. Bliss 1 Keith J. Stringer 1 A. Beier 1 John M. MacKenzie 1 John Gooch 1. Book 1. Political Parties in Britain Book 2. The Second Reform Act. Book 3. Social Conditions in Britain Book 4. One estimate of government support in the Commons at the end of the s counts about members whose primary loyalty lay with the king and, through him, to his appointed ministers, 50 or so who attached themselves to Pitt and just over 40 who owed family or patronage allegiance to other ministers, notably Henry Dundas whose control of corrupt Scottish seats was legendary.

Pitt took more political concern to strengthen support in the Lords. For a long period during the eighteenth century almost no additions were made to the or so peers. Pitt created over while prime minister, 45 of them between and Most became staunch friends of the government in the upper House. Pitt always called himself a Whig, but he used the term rarely and meant by it little more than one who supported the objectives and achievements of the Glorious Revolution in creating a constitution of balance and mixed powers.

Party issues certainly did not monopolize parliamentary time in the s. The Regency Crisis, which polarized issues very acutely, was out of the routine of business. On this last question, Pitt found himself in a minority of over seventy. None of these defeats was considered a reason even to contemplate resignation. Its outbreak shocked the autocratic governments of central and eastern Europe. The prospect of democratic government was not only abhorrent in itself; it would lead to the abandonment of all civilized values. But Britain was not an autocracy. Many experienced political observers here took the patronizing view that, though it had taken the French a century to catch on, their Revolution was a variant of the English Glorious Revolution and would likewise produce a mixed constitution.


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In the French Revolution took a much more radical course. A revolutionary commune was proclaimed in Paris; a republic was declared; armed bands took control of the capital and executed over a thousand political prisoners, many of them landowners and priests; a National Convention was elected on the principle of one man one vote; in January King Louis XVI was executed; his wife followed him to the guillotine a few months later.

These events were assimilated in Britain with horror and disgust by MPs and men of property. Yet, in some ways even more alarming was the establishment in many British towns in and of radical associations called Corresponding Societies. These were dedicated to the reform of corrupt government in Britain and the election of a parliament by means of manhood suffrage. The societies, as their name implies, corresponded with one another, held meetings for political discussion and sent messages of support to the French National Convention.

Britain was at war with France from February so such messages were deeply suspect anyway. More worrying to the authorities, however, was the fact that most Corresponding Society members were working men. They represented a new challenge to the existing political system. Before these developments occurred they had been predicted, in broad outline, by Edmund Burke, the prominent opposition Whig spokesman and writer. In he published Reflections on the Revolution in France.

Englishmen must awaken to the true nature of the threat, not only in France but within their own country. French revolutionaries and their sympathizers in Britain based their arguments for change on the principle that men are born with inalienable natural rights. These rights it was the prime task of government to safeguard. It followed logically that, if such rights existed, their most basic expression lay in the right of citizens to choose their governors by democratic process. Burke challenged the notion of equal natural rights. Authority, for Burke, derived from custom, practice and experience.

No state could turn its back on the lessons of the past without risking the breakdown of the social order. Reliance on speculative theories, however rationally grounded, was no basis for effective or stable government. Burke was not a reactionary. He argued that a state which did not permit change was a state which had lost the means of conserving itself.

He was proud of his Whig reformist origins and remained a believer in equal political rights for Roman Catholics. But, in the fevered climate of the s, Burke stood little chance of being remembered for religious egalitarianism. From onwards, as extra-parliamentary radicalism grew, the vast majority of Englishmen with property of any kind to safeguard rallied to the defence of the existing system. Property was urged as the basis both of the wealth and the stability of the country.

Those with property to conserve could be trusted to use their votes and influence wisely, while those without it would be swayed by emotional appeals. The poor were insufficiently educated or reflective to be trusted with votes. The outbreak of war with France provided additional patriotic reasons for the defence of things as they were and for the need to repel Jacobinism. Fox broke with Burke in an emotional and tearful scene in the Commons in April Burke took very few supporters with him then but the events of the following year widened the rift in the party.

In a group of more radical, and generally 13 younger Whigs led by Charles Grey and Samuel Whitbread and aided by the playwright R. Sheridan, who had been extravagant in his praise of the Revolution from the beginning, formed an Association of the Friends of the People. It advocated parliamentary reform. These reformers argued that Whiggery implied love of liberty and that parliamentary reform was as clearly in the Whig tradition as was commitment to removing political disabilities from nonconformists. A campaign on this religious issue had received substantial opposition support when debated in the Commons in , and Fox was acutely embarrassed.

He was broadly in sympathy with the aims of the Friends of the People, but he knew that they would place the opposition under intolerable strain. His party was now being forced to make an uncomfortable and divisive choice: did it emphasize liberty and reform or order and public security? Early in , Windham distanced himself from his leaders and formed a third party of about thirty conservative Whigs who put the defence of the constitution above all else. Between and government actions smack of firmness rather than panic. In January this line, and the offer of the Lord Chancellorship, brought over Lord Loughborough from the opposition to the government.

For the next eighteen months Fox and Portland strove to keep their party together, but in vain. Fox, against his earlier better judgement, slid ever closer to the reformist Whigs; Portland shared the fears of Windham. Fox opposed the outbreak of war; Portland regarded it as a regrettable necessity and supported it even after it became clear that it would not quickly be won.

By the middle of the year, it was clear that opposition unity, so painstakingly preserved during the s, could not survive. The realignment of political forces which took place in July was the logical culmination of these developments.

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Portland accepted high office — the home secretaryship — under Pitt; four other conservative Whigs, Fitzwilliam, Mansfield, Spencer and Windham, entered the Cabinet. The new coalition was a true partnership. Six of the thirteen Cabinet ministers had been anti-Pittites at least before ; seven were old associates of the prime minister. Yet many historians have seen in the formation of the coalition of the rebirth of the Tory party and the origins of modern Conservatism.

Later developments support at least the first of these claims. Moreover, the old conservative Whigs did more than the Pittites to emphasize the anti-reformist nature of new Toryism after They were more fearful for their property and privileges than was the Pitt group, which consisted increasingly of young men appointed by the prime minister for their administrative and executive talents.

It was also a party of patriotism, playing on the substantial jingoistic element in British society. Pitt, the parliamentary reformer of , had become its most steadfast opponent by Such wilful hyperbole struck a ready chord both inside parliament and out. The rash of loyalist clubs which spread over Britain in —3 had already shown how popular such sentiments were. The Seditious Meetings Bill, drastically curtailing the rights of free assembly, passed the Commons by votes to The Treasonable Practices Bill which extended the definition of treason to the point where, as Fox sardonically remarked, Pitt the reformer of the s would have been liable to prosecution under it, was opposed in the Lords by only five peers.

About eighty members of the old Whig opposition had joined Pitt by the middle of Any immediate prospect of office removed, the Foxites who remained could at least allow themselves the luxury of principled opposition. They felt that their old allies had betrayed not only Whiggery but the balanced constitution. Between and the Commons witnessed something like a two-party split, though a grossly unequal one.

Even the independents were beginning to take sides, though few would yet acknowledge the permanence of party labels. Most, as men of solid property, supported the Pitt line, but a few took the Foxite view that the government now represented a major threat to British liberties. In some respects the Foxites anticipated the nineteenth-century Liberal party. Their leaders, like those of the later Liberals, were men of aristocratic lineage and influence. They emphasized the liberties of Englishmen and were committed to moderate reform and religious equality.

In other respects their feet remained firmly, even anachronistically, in the eighteenth century. For Fox the real enemy remained, as in the s, a king who challenged British liberties by excessive use 16 of court influence. Fox even saw Pitt as a creature of the court. In training his fire so resolutely on the royal target, Fox failed to discern the full significance of extraparliamentary radicalism and its pointers for the future. The seductive symmetry of Pitt v.

Fox, with its attendant two-party associations, was swiftly distorted. Pitt wrenched the symmetry further in when he refused to accept a royal veto on the Catholic question see p. What succeeded Pitt suggests confusion. Between and seven governments ruled Britain. None, between the long administrations of Pitt — and Liverpool —27 , lasted longer than three-and-a-quarter years. The large governing coalition of Pitt was split by his resignation.

Castlereagh and Canning fought a famous duel on Putney Heath in When Henry Addington formed his administration in , most Pittites stayed, with the approval of their leader, though Canning not only refused to serve but mounted bitter and wounding personal attacks on the new prime minister.

Addington, acutely conscious of his own inexperience and shortcomings he had previously risen no higher than speaker of the Commons , had made it a condition of accepting office that Pitt would not oppose him. This Pitt readily agreed to, heaping fulsome praise on those of his followers who agreed to serve the new man.

The Addington administration also divided the conservative Whigs. Of those who had joined Pitt in , Portland stayed in office while Windham and Spencer left. News of the change of government revived the Foxites. Fox reappeared in Westminster and garnered votes in an early division against Addington, more than twice the Foxite strength in the mids. Grenville and 17 Windham formed a separate war party of about thirty. They included many senior men, were good debaters and offered the prospect of eventual alliance with the Whigs.

Pitt retained his popularity with the country gentlemen and could command a parliamentary majority. He could not even bring all of his old personal following back. George Canning would not serve with Castlereagh and preferred to exercise his waspish debating talents against his old colleagues; in the process, he came increasingly within the orbit of Grenville. Grenville would only serve if Fox, now in favour of war since Napoleon declared himself Emperor, could be brought into government in a grand coalition to wage war, and to this the king would not agree.

The developing Fox—Grenville alliance presented formidable opposition to Pitt, though personal jealousies played at least as great a part as did party sympathy in determining alliances. Contemporaries discerned four political groupings around the leading personalities of Pitt in office, and Fox, Grenville and Addington out of it. It was not the basis for stability. Aristocratic politicians of the early nineteenth century, it might be remarked, viewed the loss of office with considerably greater equanimity than do their less aristocratic twentieth-century successors.

This is partly because loss of office nowadays implies rejection by the electorate and such rejection is always wounding if not humiliating. Nineteenth-century politics, however, was a less full-time and professional affair, and the aristocratic life-style was almost bound to offer attractive alternatives to running a department of state. In the event, their brief period out of office in —7 brought the Pittites closer together as a group. Now, as then, Fox must come 18 back into office if there was to be a government at all.

Now, as then, the king had him on sufferance. The new government, headed by Grenville with Fox as foreign secretary, laboured under the heavy disability of royal resentment. From the Pittites began to operate as a party in a way of which Pitt himself would never have approved. The Talents were a Whig-dominated coalition though, with Grenville at the helm, never so reformist as the old Foxites.

No action was taken on the most important tenets of Whig reformist faith, religious concessions in Ireland and parliamentary reform. Both were offensive to the Addingtonians. George was emboldened to be rid of an administration unpopular both with himself and, apparently, the nation. The fact that the war was going badly did not help Grenville either. Wrangling split the ministry; Sidmouth resigned in March ; George removed the remaining ministers a week later. Most Whigs would not see office again until The spring of marks an important stage in the history of party politics.

George III could turn to a rejuvenated Pittite group, though he looked to the far from rejuvenated — indeed increasingly decrepit — Duke of Portland to provide seniority as prime minister. The new ministry included both Castlereagh war office and Canning foreign secretary , while Hawkesbury returned to the home office. These three, though they differed in almost every personal respect, were the ablest torchbearers of the Pittite tradition and the Pittites were now in the process of making themselves the basis of a Tory party.

The chancellor of the exchequer was Spencer Perceval, a conscientious and sober man from the Addington group who had recently abandoned the law for a full-time career in politics. Sidmouth himself stayed out. As in , George III held an early general election to confirm his ministry in power. As in , it worked. In the election of , MPs were defending seats first won in the election of the previous year. Ninety-five of these were considered supporters of the Talents and 43 against them; 49 of the former group lost their seats in and only 10 of the latter.

The new government achieved this success despite the nationwide circulation of political propaganda by the Whig opposition. This direct appeal to the electorate itself emphasized the growing importance of general elections. Once again, personal rivalries determined political allegiance and the final mental collapse of George III was a further obstacle to stable government. Dominating everything was the progress of the war and the increased taxation and commercial difficulties to which its long continuance was giving rise.

Ministries had to contend with the revival of extra-parliamentary criticism and opposition. His successor, Perceval, could not keep the increasingly self-regarding Pittites together. Characteristically, Canning would not serve under a man he considered his junior both in experience and abilities. Castlereagh also went. In the face of able attacks from Canning and his friends, however, Perceval felt that he needed to broaden the base of his administration. Initial overtures to Grey and Grenville were rebuffed and the Whig opposition harboured expectations in — 11 that the advent of the Prince Regent would bring a change in their fortunes more attractive than any prospect of serving under Spencer Perceval.

Not until March did the government look secure, when its anti-reformist base was strengthened by the return of the important figures of Sidmouth and Castlereagh. And then, his ministry apparently well secured, Perceval was shot dead in the lobby of the House of Commons by a bitterly resentful and probably deranged bankrupt, John Bellingham. Spencer Perceval thus entered the large print of historical reputation not as the man who consolidated the Tory party as well he might have done, given the conditions which Liverpool would inherit , but as the only British prime minister so far to have been assassinated.

Not so. The regent offered the prime ministership to no less than five candidates in the spring of before it was given to Liverpool. This apparent slight to a man who then settled in to become the third longest serving premier in history is easily explained. Liverpool was not senior enough or brilliant enough to compel selection as the obvious Pittite. The appointment of Perceval in and in not dissimilar circumstances had given George III considerable trouble. The regent calculated that it would be better to try, yet again, for a broad-based coalition.

His failure supports the contention that party consciousness was growing. The Whig opposition much preferred government on their own and believed that they deserved the opportunity to succeed where the Talents had failed. It remained strongly anti-reformist and included, in Sidmouth, Castlereagh and the Lord Chancellor, Eldon, men of experience and weight. Opposed to them, yet again, was Canning, both an ex-Pittite and a strong opponent of political reform but, significantly, in favour of relief to the Catholics. Grey and Grenville, political opponents in the s, were now widely recognized as close allies in the opposition Whig interest.

He contributed to the increasing wariness with which senior Whigs approached the reform question. The party included men, like Francis Burdett, who remained ardent reformers, but they were not in senior positions and the Whigs after Fox were less inclined to emphasize their links with extra-parliamentary radicalism.

Whether their leaders welcomed it or not, however, the Whigs were receiving increasing support from hardpressed industrialists and commercial men in the north of England, where the early stages of the industrial revolution were providing at least as much crisis as opportunity while the war dragged on. The links between the Whig party and commerce had been important before see p.

In the selection of Liverpool, a strong pro-war man and secretary for war under Perceval, provoked riots in Lancashire. The decline of royal influence, — The Whig opposition continued to believe, at least until about , that its main enemy was the crown. This understandable eighteenth-century reaction was increasingly inappropriate. The powers of the monarchy declined quite rapidly in this period, with profound implications for the clarity of party divisions.

Much of the politics of the later eighteenth century could be characterized as a struggle between the king and his friends on the one hand and landowning politicians zealous to maintain the privileges of parliament on the other. Once this characterization no longer held, the focus of debate had to change. The opposition Whigs recognized very late that their opponents were not simple court lackeys and they paid the price for their slowness of perception in the inordinately long period out of government which they had to endure before Many of these were either peers of the realm or commoners who could be selected to represent those small boroughs in the House of Commons which were under the control of the king.

This system of political patronage has been briefly outlined elsewhere In the early s, thirty peers holding royal appointments sat in the Lords. In a chamber containing little more than two hundred members, many of whom were infrequent attenders, such a loyal and acting voting element was frequently decisive. Opposition politicians naturally sought to curb such royal influence.

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This legislation had far less significance, however, than the reforms of the younger Pitt. His quest was not to curb royal power but to reduce government debt and increase administrative efficiency. The recent War of American Independence had proved very costly and Pitt saw in the reduction of sinecures a means of lessening government expenditure.

More than sinecure offices were abolished between and These reforms meant, however, that the monarch could no longer use such influence either to bolster a newly installed government or to act against one he wished to remove. As we have seen, the king used patronage in the House of Lords to unseat the Fox—North coalition in George III was able to exercise considerable powers thereafter, though partly because of his experience and the respect in which he was held by most politicians outside the Foxite circle.

Royal 22 disapproval emphasized the impermanence of the Talents ministry in and royal influence helped to strengthen the Portland ministry which followed it see pp. Royal influence, though waning, still mattered. The House of Lords, increased to about members since the early s, now contained only 18 peers who held household appointments and might be expected to support the king through thick and thin.

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I have absolutely none. It was significant that at the general election of , made necessary by the death of George IV, Wellington lost support despite the known preference of the new king, a naval man, for Wellington, a military man of the highest standing. In the elections some loyal government supporters who were opposed to reform lost their seats in constituencies where public opinion mattered.

In the autumn of William IV, quite unjustifiably fearful of the extent of radical influence within the Whig government then headed by Viscount Melbourne, used his royal prerogative to dismiss his ministers despite the fact that they had a secure majority. He appointed a Tory government in its stead. The Whigs and their allies had a majority of over one hundred and Peel was forced to resign a few weeks after the election. Never again would a monarch dismiss a ministry which retained Commons support. Only rarely would royal preferences be of much significance in the choice of ministers. While independent royal influence was effectively at an end, general elections became ever more important.

Party developed still further, in part to fill the power vacuum. The younger Pitt could plausibly assert that he was not a party man and refuse to organize his followers into a party. The same luxury was not open to Lord Liverpool in the s and s. The long Liverpool administration was the first stable government which needed to give as much attention to party groupings and political organization as the opposition had been doing since the days of Burke and the Rockingham Whigs in the early s. It is also possible to discern the growth of Cabinet identification, and even solidarity, as a partial consequence of declining royal power.

Senior ministers, knowing that access to the royal closet was now of limited value to their political careers, established their positions by more collective action and, where necessary and in exceptional circumstances, by threat of collective resignation. When Castlereagh committed suicide the following year, however, the government took the view that Canning was the only possible replacement as foreign secretary.

Liverpool canvassed ministers of all opinions and, when he was assured that even those most unsympathetic to Canning saw no alternative to him, presented the king with what amounted to an ultimatum to appoint him. The king backed down with that ill grace and vituperation which his ministers knew well. Constitutionally, the important point was that he still made it. In , on a less memorable issue, Liverpool further demonstrated the superior power of Cabinet judgement over royal preference.

George IV had wanted to make his private secretary a privy councillor. When the government objected, the king threatened to dismiss Liverpool. The prime minister, a mild, even dull man to whom flamboyant utterance was completely alien, nevertheless brutally reminded his monarch of the new facts of political life. Canning or Peel or any of my colleagues would remain behind.

The Prince Regent inspired almost no respect in political circles, being reputed vindictive and licentious, lazy, unpredictable and lacking in judgement. He was precisely the wrong man to shore up monarchical influence at a time when its direct power was waning. By the time that Queen Victoria came to the throne in , a totally inexperienced and rather empty young woman of eighteen, her famous, even touching, reliance on her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, was rather a political hindrance than a help to her ministers.

A ministerial memorandum to the Prince Regent in reflected this sentiment: It is almost unnecessary to observe that the British government. For a Whig government means as it has all along meant nothing else than a government established by laws equally binding upon the King and the Subject. Few believed this any longer. In the absence of a disciplined system of whips, and with variable attendance, precise figures of support for the parties are impossible, but the estimates of Austin Mitchell 25 strongly suggest that a kind of two-party system was operating at Westminster 7.

In the parliament of —18, firm government Tory supporters have been identified, with equally firm opposition Whig supporters against them. Figures for the early s show a similar pattern. It is noteworthy that the Whigs, though in a minority in the Commons as a whole, were in a very substantial majority among that small but important group of MPs elected from the large boroughs and more populous counties where public opinion had an effective electoral voice.

Only a few issues were likely to bring such a challenge, however, and one was taxation. The reintroduction of income tax was delayed for a generation until Peel had the determination to push the measure through in , but only immediately after a decisive general election victory and when party discipline had become tighter. The social background of MPs supporting the two party groupings reveals interesting variations. Between 50 and 60 per cent of both Tory and Whig MPs were either themselves, or were closely related to, large landowners.

Among MPs with a commercial background, however, roughly twice as many Whigs were found as Tories. The Tories had a roughly equivalent advantage in the not unimportant category of retired army and navy officers. In some respects, as we shall see, differences in social composition were more marked between the parties than were differences in policy. Luck undoubtedly played its part early on. Before ministries were fully established the possibility of counter-groupings always existed and adverse votes, especially in the Commons, could be damaging.

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Liverpool 26 was helped through this bumpy early period by the fact that national attention was concentrated on the war with France and that, finally, the war was being won. Furthermore, the Grey—Grenville opposition was split over the war, the Grenvillites urging vigorous endeavours while the Grey element argued during for immediate peace. Liverpool was thus allowed the luxury of an opposition divided on the crucial issue of the day. The strong conservative coalition of Pittites and Addingtonians was firmly in the saddle by the end of , under a prime minister whose reputation as the most senior and experienced of the old Pittites made him a natural choice as leader.


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Recent rehabilitations, notably by Norman Gash 19 , have gone too far in the opposite direction, but no man retains power at the highest level for as long as Liverpool without some bankable assets. He was a man with whom others could work, a considerate yet shrewd chairman of Cabinet, a good speaker in the House of Lords and an efficient, conscientious administrator. He was, assuredly, dull but in the climate of the times even this may have been an advantage. The press in the s was playing a large part in moulding public opinion and public opinion itself was growing in importance.

The widespread distress of the period —20 was a godsend to polemical journalists and cartoonists. Once established under a competent prime minister, an administration before could usually count on important accessions of support, at least from those for whom the prospect of long-term opposition was unalluring. George Canning was brought into the administration in His oratorical talents were much needed since Liverpool, who sat in the Lords, lacked good speakers in the lower 27 House and possessed, in Nicholas Vansittart, one of the most spectacularly inarticulate chancellors of the exchequer of the nineteenth century.

In the Duke of Wellington accepted a ministerial post. Wellington was no politician, and was to prove the point with two unhappy years as prime minister from to , but he had great national prestige as the victor of Waterloo and he gave the government additional authority. The fact that a non-party man like Wellington should take Tory colours to become a minister indicates the growing acceptability of party government. The most satisfying new support came from the Grenvillites.

Relations between the Foxites and the Grenville clan grew more distant after , and became especially strained over questions of public order when the parliamentary reform question revived under the stimulus of economic depression. Grenville, whose warm personal regard for Grey had always been an important factor in the alliance, took a less active part in politics while his successor as leader of the group, the Duke of Buckingham, hated Foxite Whiggery. After , the Grenville group separated from the opposition and worked for a time as a small, personal, third party.

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In they openly declared their support for Liverpool and their Commons spokesman, Charles Wynn, accepted a Cabinet post. The Whigs were reduced to something like their old Foxite base. The revival of extra-parliamentary agitation sent shivers up propertied spines. For many politicians, —20 was the s writ large; their reaction was similar. They rallied behind a government which declared its priority to be the preservation of public order. Parliamentary reform was not an issue around which the party could confidently rally. Splits were revealed between radical Whigs and more cautious figures who, by , certainly included Grey himself.

The Whig party in the Commons was very difficult to lead. George Ponsonby, who did the job from 28 to his death in , had few talents beyond his ability to conciliate. His successor, George Tierney —21 , was a decided improvement but was selected largely because he would not antagonize moderate elements within the party as would the more prominent radical contenders, Samuel Romilly and Henry Brougham. The distinction is too crude and derives from excessive concentration on the personalities, rather than the policies, of the Liverpool government.

They were all able and had deserved promotion. Sidmouth and Vansittart, who both accepted less senior government posts, were 65 and 56 respectively in ; their successors, Peel and Robinson, were 34 and These two, and the rather older William Huskisson, were imbued with the reforming vitality which is the hallmark of able politicians on the way up.

The policies they were putting into effect, however, had been substantially agreed by their predecessors and always with the concurrence of Liverpool himself. The general economic strategy was determined in — It was to stimulate national revival by a policy of sound money and giving a stimulus to trade. Indirect taxes were to be reduced and interest rates to fall.

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What's Oprah 's gift for BabySussex? That's exactly what the royals intend to do. In April, Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess "look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.

While her appearance at the royal wedding came as something of a surprise to many royal watchers, it's clear that the Oprah has a close relationship with the Sussexes. To pay tribute to all of the incredible work people across the globe are doing in this space, we are hoping to shine a light on several Instagram accounts that promote mental well-being, mental fitness, body positivity, self-care, and the importance of human connection - to not just hear each other, but to listen.

The sense of expectation readers are left with slightly confounds the nice cosy message that all babies are unique. It suggests we're all going to be scrutinising this particular little scrunchface for signs of strength, cleverness and general royalness from the word go. Which is unfortunately quite likely.

The Royal Nappy , on the other hand, is focused on the business end of the puissant infant, as you might expect from the chap who brought you The Queen's Knickers and Cinderella's Bum. Poo is always good for a chuckle or, in the case of my daughter, a terrifying roar of maniacal laughter , and I liked the idea of Henry VIII's youthful fondness for meat pies giving rise to a special song, handed down from royal nanny to royal nanny, to greet all-too-frequent princely egestions.

In a similar vein, Shhh! Don't Wake the Royal Baby focuses on the unusual methods Elizabeth and co might use to get an unsleeping infant to nod off think helicopter rides and a parachute jaunt attached to granny.