Neuhaus’s experiences as a pastor in the New York slums and his passionate opposition to abortion had led him rightward in the 1980s. But he was disturbed by the racial politics of Chronicles , and also by what he termed its “insensitiv[ity] to the classical language of anti-Semitism.” Neuhaus contemplated severing the connection between his institute and Rockford. Word of his dissatisfaction filtered back to Illinois, and, one day in May, Rockford struck back. An executive from the institute jetted out to New York, fired Neuhaus and his entire staff, ordered them literally out onto the streets, and changed the office locks. The paleos at Rockford exploded in dumbfounded rage when the foundations that had been supporting Neuhaus’s work refused to switch the money over to them instead.
We can be sure the queen was not traumatised by my staring, as when next we met she gave me a medal. As I prepared to go to the palace, people would say: ‘Will it be the actual queen, the queen herself?’ Did they think contact with the anointed hand would change you? Was that what the guests at the palace feared: to be changed by powerful royal magic, without knowing how? The faculty of awe remains intact, for all that the royal story in recent years has taken a sordid turn. There were scandals enough in centuries past, from the sneaky little adulteries of Katherine Howard to the junketings of the Prince Regent to the modern-day mischief of Mrs Simpson. But a new world began, I think, in 1980, with the discovery that Diana, the future Princess of Wales, had legs. You will remember how the young Diana taught for a few hours a week at a kindergarten called Young England, and when it was first known that she was Charles’s choice of bride, the press photographed her, infants touchingly gathered around; but they induced her to stand against the light, so in the resulting photograph the nation could see straight through her skirt. A sort of licentiousness took hold, a national lip-smacking. Those gangling limbs were artlessly exposed, without her permission. It was the first violation.