09.24.12 4:14 PM ET
Washer of the Queen’s Hands Dies
File this one under believe it or not…the Washer of the Queen’s Hands has died.
But this is one post that won't be advertised on the situations vacant board at Buckingham Palace, as the courtesy title will now pass from father to son.
The Daily Telegraph reported at the weekend that the previous holder of the title, Peter Houison Craufurd, the 28th laird of Craufurdland Castle, in Ayrshire, Scotalnd died last Monday, at the age of 82.
Craufurd held the title because one of his ancestors chased off a pair of murderous thugs attacking James V. In return, the king gave him a farm, on the condition that his family be ready with water and towels to wash the monarch’s hands at any time.
“The ceremony, or the washing, requires three people. I washed George VI’s hands at Holyrood when I was eight,” Crawford once said.
“We used to have to write to Buckingham Palace to offer to wash the monarch’s hands every time they were in residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, (the Royal residence in Scotland). In his day, my father had to make that offer virtually every year, although it was very seldom accepted.
“More recently, we have been told by the Queen’s office that, as we have already washed her hands once, that is all she requires us to do. So now we have to wait until Prince Charles takes the throne before we do it again.”
It is understood that his eldest son, Alex Houison Craufurd, will inherit the title.