Fans of louche bar songs would have been delighted to learn that the Queen knighted Sir Rod Stewart yesterday. Had they looked more closely at the Honours List, they would also have seen the name of our old friend, Roger (now Sir Roger) Scruton.
The English never adopted democracy as a theory, wrote Sir Lewis Namier, but always practiced it as an art. So it is with the Honours List, in which peers and knights often rose from humble origins. So it is too with Roger, who is probably a little embarrassed by his knighthood. Lawrence Olivier felt the same when he was given a Life Peerage. “O for the days when I was plain old Sir Lawrence,” he complained.
We’ll be posting links to Sir Roger’s contributions to the Spectator, but let me note that he was a great lover of Virginia, where he lived for several years. Georgian homes, fox-hunting, he felt very much at home.
It was while fox-hunting that he met his lovely wife, Sophie. He had taken a tumble and she had stopped to pick him up. I know that it’s supposed to be the other way around, but it’s still one of the most romantic stories I know.