‘Lulu’ authors attended Queen Mum’s 80th birthday party – 17th July 1980

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July 16, 2015 by dontbringlulubook

Queen Mum

35 years ago today, Ron and Doris Onions were invited to a garden party at Clarence House to celebrate the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday party.

A ‘personal and confidential’ letter from the Independent Broadcasting Authority (or IBA as it was known) sent in February 1980 reveals the level of forward planning for such an event.

Queen mum pic

The Head of Information at the IBA, Barbara Hosking had already been to a meeting at Clarence House ‘to be told about arrangements.’

Ron Onions, at this stage editorial director of LBC was invited to the party with his wife, co-author of ‘Don’t Bring Lulu’, Doris Onions.

But the IBA spokeswoman also explained that an additional guest could go – someone representing the ‘backroom men and women’ The IBA’s suggestion was someone from one of the transmitters, probably Black Mountain in Northern Ireland.

In Ron’s letter of reply, a week later, he put forward the name of the then Head of Traffic who had been responsible for the all-important assembling,checking and scheduling of commercials. David Mason had been with LBC since the launch and had, in Ron’s words, been an outstanding contributor. This suggested guest had been discussed by Ron and his superior Managing Editor George Ffitch but an example of Ron’s direct approach can be seen in a hand-written note by him to Ffitch, putting Dave Mason’s name forward.

It wasn’t the first time ‘Lulu’ co-author Ron Onions had been to a royal residence. He first went to Buckingham Palace as a reporter.

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By 1980, Ron had received a medal from the Queen marking her Silver Jubilee – and more royal recognition was to come.

He often used the phrase ‘ friends at court’ – and it seemed that he did.


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