“A Year with the Royal Family” is still among the nation’s winning TV programmes, registering 1.067 million viewers on 11 February and 1.055 million on 18 February, 2008.

In the meantime some newspapers cannot resist ridiculing or belittling monarchy, even in their television guides.

Conrad Walters, writing in The Sydney Morning Herald Guide 18-24 February 2008, advised readers that the episode to be shown on 18 February, 2008 was an “ethnographic documentary” about an exotic tribe on “distant islands” with”strange head dress, decorative costumes and curious customs. “

We won’t repeat one of the unacceptable references to our Sovereign, but we will mention his observation that the series has been sanitised to the point of inducing catatonia, that is a state resembling a trance.

…a trance induced at the Herald?…  

A trance may well have been induced at the Herald.

You see, the Herald’s Guide was not about what was actually shown on 18 February, 2008 but what will be shown on 25 February. Channel 9 seems to have changed the order from the BBC series, but the Herald does not seem to have noticed.

From his style we assume that Master Walters is a mere slip of a youth and thus his approach is understandable. It is of course the editors who supervise and take responsibility for all this. Trance or not, what is going on at The Sydney Morning Herald?

Since writing this we are delighted to see that another reviewer on the Herald website, Larry Schwartz, writes in the 18 February 2008 issue that any illusion that Queen Elizabeth II has an undemanding role is quickly dispelled. Even at the royal summer residence, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, she has an eye on affairs of state. He says, again we think of next week’s episode, that The Queen is shown as a busy monarch, acquitting her several roles.