David Starkey: The Queen is uncultured and poorly educated

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The openly gay historian Dr David Starkey has said the Queen is uninterested in her predecessors because she was poorly educated.

He told the Guardian: “I think she’s got elements a bit like Goebbels in her attitude to culture.

“You remember: ‘Every time I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver’.”

He recounted an occasion where he showed Her Majesty around an exhibition he had curated about Elizabeth I at the National Maritime Museum in 2003, where he found her more-preoccupied with the late arrival of a her drink, a gin and Dubonnet than the works of art on display. He claims that her only comment was that one of the objects belonged to her

Dr Starkey said that reminded him of “a housewife” who had been left some possessions: “She’d looked after them, she’d put in place much better arrangements for their care, but again – I suppose it’s this absence of any kind of, to be blunt, serious education.”

He compared her to Elizabeth I, who also acceded the throne at 25, “was 20 times as well educated. And had either five or six languages”.

The historian recounts one reference to her namesake: “It was in the second Christmas broadcast when – I remember vividly – there was all this talk about a second Elizabethan age. Elizabeth turns to this in her broadcast, and says: ‘Frankly, I do not myself feel at all like my Tudor forebear, who was blessed with neither husband nor children, who ruled as a despot and was never able to leave her native shores.’ “