Two of the Queen’s most trusted servants have been forced to abandon their homes and move into Windsor Castle because of the devastating flooding in Berkshire. Her Page, Paul Whybrew, and Head Housekeeper, Rachel Gordon, have both seen their historic turreted grace and favour houses in Windsor Home Park engulfed by the rapidly rising waters. Sandbags had been hastily positioned around the properties but appeared to fighting a losing battle against the relentless onslaught of the River Thames. The Queen was not in residence at the castle - she returned to Buckingham Palace yesterday following her extended Christmas break at Sandringham - but is likely see the devastation for herself this weekend. Fortunately the 11th Century castle itself is safe from flooding because it was built so high up. Read more >>
The cartoon by Mac from the Daily Mail shows the Queen and Prince Philip on top of one of the turrets at Windsor Castle. It is pouring with rain and servants are holding umbrellas over the heads of the royal couple to keep them dry. The flood waters have risen to within a few feet of where they are. The Queen comments to her husband, "Ah. Here comes Benskin now - he's been walking the corgis." And indeed, if you look closely, you can see six snorkels sticking out of the water and heading towards the turret.
We are meant to understand that the snorkels are being used by Benksin, another servant, and five corgis who are totally submerged under the flood waters. The name Benskin doesn't have any special significance - it just sounds like the sort of name a royal servant would have.
1. If you walk a dog, you take it for a walk. • It's your turn to walk the dog.
2. A corgi is a small dog with short legs and a pointed nose (see pic). The Queen has several and they're her favourite breed of dog.
Note the use of the present perfect continuous ("he's been walking the corgis") to describe an action which began in the past and continues into the present. • I've been living in Le Havre since 1981 (and still do).
• Paul Thomas cartoon (Daily Express)