Eamonn McCann - Has Prince Charles croaked?

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The question is posed by the exciting news that the Royal ecoist has had a frog named after him. In fact, an entire species of frog. All hail the speckled Ecuadorian Hyloscirtus princecharlesi!

The Hyloscirtus princecharlesi is an endangered species, I’m told. Beginning to look out of place in changing surroundings. Still finding it hard to adapt.

Princecharlesi is also, I gather, a particularly slimy class of Ranidae amphibian - but slimy in a good way, the oily glisten being a product of a chemical excretion which repels predatory commoners. Maybe that should be common predators.

In other and not unrelated Royal news, I see that the Girl Guides of Australia have ditched their pledge of allegiance to the Queen and will in future promise merely “to be true to myself and to develop my beliefs”. I like that. Pledging not to adhere to set beliefs. We should have more of that in our schools.

Head Girl Belinda Allen explained that the time had come for the Guides “to become relevant to the girls of Australia”. They already sound like a relevant bunch of Rough Guides to me.

And finally from the Royal front - Readers won’t have missed the unveiling by the Queen of a memorial in Hyde Park to RAF Bomber Command on June 28th, although you may have missed it on television.

The Daily Mail went ballistic, to use an appropriate term, that the ceremony wasn’t broadcast live.

But, I discover, it was the fact that the affair wasn’t covered live which shielded us from the distress of knowing that the event almost ended in tragedy. Ninety percent of the poppies intended to be scattered and strewn from a Lancaster bomber to cascade gently downwards and flutter onto venerable veterans gathered below instead emerged from the bowels of the ‘plane adhering together in huge blossomed clumps which plummeted to earth to hit the ground in explosions of crimson at a speed which would have killed outright anyone who took a direct hit.