Mike Hoare and Lord Marmaduke Hussey - the British aristocracy loved Mike.

Watching Series 5 of 'The Crown' on Netflix recently – about the British royal family – I was intrigued to see the series brings one Lord Marmaduke Hussey, chairman of the board of governors of the BBC, into the action.

So here's the thing. Dukie, as he was known, was a friend of the Queen of England – and a friend of Mike Hoare! How do you like that? Here's how.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Mike Hoare made a number of friends among the British aristocracy, by virtue of his post at a chateau in France working for a British lord. Dukie was a regular visitor to the chateau.

The point is, the British aristocracy loved Mike, they did not give a damn about the failed coup in the Seychelles, his time in jail, or anything of that sort. Frankly, they were fascinated by him.

Dukie was a staunch royalist, and in the TV series we see him visiting the Queen with his wife who is the Queen's first Lady in Waiting and godmother to King Charles III. Dukie sure was well connected.

Below is what Mike told me in a recorded interview about his close friendship with Dukie.

"I was privileged to meet Lord Marmaduke Hussey, an incredible man, bloody hell! He had been educated at Rugby and Oxford University, been in the Grenadier Guards, was severely injured at Anzio and had a leg amputated as a prisoner of war. He later served as Managing Director of Times Newspapers.

"One day early on at the chateau, Dukie's wife said he wanted to have a swim, and could I arrange that. What it was in fact, was that Dukie wanted to talk to me privately. Anyway, I said the pool is down there, go ahead, and he said No, no, I have a problem, I have only one leg, and I said, Oh my God. I took him down in the wheelchair and he swam up and down and I helped him out.

"Now fast forward and I myself am in hospital nearby for a hernia op, and Dukie came to see me and he brought me a bottle of whisky. By now we had known each other for years and had had long conversations on many subjects. Now in hospital, I see things in a different light, I see he has a story to tell of immense value to people who are ill and dying. And I said to him, suppose we write a pamphlet and distribute it to every hospital in England, and it is called "The will to live". And we tell your story of how after five years they had written you off, and you had another operation and another operation, and ultimately your determination to live saw you through, and my God you went all the way to the top and became a Lord."

Unfortunately the pamphlet idea did not get off the ground, but the story illustrates the respect that Mike engendered, even at the highest level of society. How did he do it? He had become a major after about six years in the British Army and that had made him a proper and supremely polite British officer and a gentleman. And as we know, one has to have superb manners to be accepted by the British upper classes.

Chris Hoare

Go to our Order Form for some of Mike Hoare's books, and Chris Hoare's 'Mad Mike' Hoare: The Legend. Or send your postal address, postal code and tel or cell number to chris@madmikehoare.com for a quote.

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