Thursday, August 4, 2011

Princely potion

Here in rural France, I buy groceries in plebeian places such as Leclerc and Intermarché supermarkets. On the other hand, if I were to settle down in England (which is not one of my current projects), I would make a point of residing in the vicinity of a Waitrose shop, because they have a reputation for offering top-quality foodstuffs. Besides, they have royal warrants to supply groceries and alcoholic beverages to both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. And, as I've always said, what's good enough for the Royals is bloody good enough for me.

The Scottish economist Adam Smith [1723-1790] once claimed—long before Napoleon appeared on the world scene—that Britain was "a nation that is governed by shopkeepers". Well, even Kate Middleton's father-in-law seems to have got himself involved in retail business activities, under a most regal name and logo, which look as if they've come straight out of Burke's Peerage.

The branch of Duchy that markets herbal products proposes a nice little black bottle containing a mysterious potion named Detox Tincture, made from thistles and dandelions. For the moment, I haven't got around to trying it out, and discovering its health-inducing benefits. On the web page concerning this product [access], there's an inspiring description of Prince Charles, who "has always been an advocate of a requirement for fundamental reappraisal of the way we view health. He believes poor health does not exist in isolation, but is in fact a direct consequence of our lifestyles, cultures, communities and how we interact with our environments. He is passionate about adopting an integrated approach to health, as well as exploring how safe, proven complementary therapies can work in conjunction with mainstream medicine."

Not everybody in the kingdom is convinced that Charles is acting correctly from a medical and ethical viewpoint. An article in the Guardian in March used the ugly term "quackery" [display]. A more recent article in the same newspaper introduces an even more down-to-earth expression: "snake oil salesman" [display]. All I can say is that, if Charles or members of his family happened to read my blog, I would be most grateful if they were to ask the Duchy company to send me a few samples of their health-inducing products, and I promise to try them out rapidly, both on me and my dogs, and to describe the outcome for my readers.


  1. Unfortunately we are unable to send you any products, but we did however, find your site most interesting. Thank you for sharing it with us.


    Lady Shirley
    Blackthorn Manor

  2. My dear Lady Shirley: I was delighted to receive your friendly reply, but disappointed that you couldn't persuade Charles to send me samples of his marvelous medicinal products. Please put the question to him once again when he and Camilla return from Down Under. Here at Gamone, the rainy weather has created a profusion of weeds, and I'm wondering whether Charles's elixirs might eliminate this problem in an ecologically sound and spiritual fashion. Bye for now and cheers, my dear Lady Shirley. Guillaume de Gamone.