Today we went to an overpriced cookware store, looking for something
featured in the New York Times. As often happens, my husband stuck
to the task and I got sidetracked. We had been greeted at the door
by a gentleman with an English accent, so while my husband searched
the shelves, I stayed to chat with the friendly Brit.
He was from London, which we had visited a couple of months ago. He
asked if I had gone to see the Crown Jewels. Well, of course we had
visited the Tower of London and waited in line–uh, “queue”–to see
them, so he told me a story about his great-uncle and the crown
This uncle lived in Wales and was supervisor for all the Welsh coal
mines. In 1939, he was summoned to the Tower of London by the Lord
Lieutenant of the Tower. All very mysterious and hush-hush. On his
arrival, he met not only the Lord Lieutenant, but King George VI as
well! He was told to take the Crown Jewels and hide them in the
Welsh mines, in case the Germans invaded and took London.
So he hid the jewels in ordinary dynamite crates, deep within the
mines. The crates really did contain liberal quantities of
dynamite–but it wasn’t for the enemy, it was for the jewels. His
orders were to destroy the jewels rather than allow them to be
taken. Years later, Queen Elizabeth awarded him a medal for his
I assume that this is a true story, although it doesn’t really
matter because I enjoyed hearing it. We didn’t find the thing we
were shopping for, but this was much better.