LONDON — Long before there was such a thing as “Big Data,” there was Tim O’Donovan, a retired insurance broker who has meticulously tabulated the British royal family’s engagements with pencil and paper every day for 40 years.
In a row of old-fashioned leather-bound ledgers, in a wisteria-fringed house in the village of Datchet, just west of London, he has amassed an extraordinary collection of raw data. The Autumn Dinner of the Fishmongers’ Company, convened in October by Princess Anne? It’s in there. The opening of the Pattern Weaving Shed in Peebles, Scotland? Of the Dumfries House Maze? Of a window at the Church of St. Martin in the Bull Ring? Noted.
Mr. O’Donovan, 87, is not part of the hurly-burly of royal commentary. Not only is he not active on social media, he claims never to have seen it. (“I am glad to say I don’t have anything to do with it,” he said, a bit starchily. “Everything I’ve heard about it is negative.”)
Every year, Mr. O’Donovan releases a comparative table listing the number of engagements attended by the highest-ranking royals, setting off a flurry of barbed commentary in the British news media. The feeding frenzy comes because Mr. O’Donovan, intentionally or not, has effectively invented a metric of how much the members of the royal family work.
The tabloids, seizing on these statistics every January, pit the royals against one another like prized greyhounds. There are winners and losers. “The Queen’s Annus Relaxicus,” sniffed The Daily Mirror one year, when Queen Elizabeth II carried out 407 engagements. “Guess Who Does All the Hard Work?” asked The Daily Express. (Princess Anne, on this occasion, with 624.) “Camilla ‘Laziest’ of the Family,” sniped The Daily Star in 2011, when she showed up for 243. In 2017, when Prince William dropped to ninth in the “league tables,” the Sun called him “Workshy Wills,” opining, as one columnist put it, that he “clearly feels he is accountable to no one.”
All this, in the view of some palace officials, has made Mr. O’Donovan an irritant. They argue that the statistics do not accurately reflect the royals’ actual workload, especially in the case of the younger family members, who have held jobs (William worked as an air ambulance pilot) and are raising young families.
“He’s doing it quite innocently, on the basis that he’s interested, but he’s not taking into consideration that it has an onward journey,” said Dickie Arbiter, who served as a spokesman for Queen Elizabeth II and media consultant to Prince Charles. “He’s devoted to it, and good on him, but the end result is not a satisfactory one.”
What makes it all the more strange, Mr. Arbiter added, is that Mr. O’Donovan does it for fun.
“It’s his hobby,” he said, in a tone of mild amazement. “Some people go out and play tennis.”
Others see Mr. O’Donovan as an unsung hero, compiling a record of events that would otherwise be lost to history. Andrew Defty, a political scientist at the University of Lincoln, compared him to the 19th-century scholars Erskine May, a House of Commons clerk who wrote the definitive work on parliamentary practice; and Walter Bagehot, a journalist whose accounts of procedure are the closest thing Britain has to a written constitution.
“I wouldn’t want to overplay this,” Mr. Defty said, but as a chronicler of the monarchy, Mr. O’Donovan “is in a small way part of the U.K. constitution.”
As for Mr. O’Donovan himself, he speaks about his project — “my tables,” he calls them — as one of his life’s great endeavors.
“One started this thing because one was curious,” he said. “One has had a huge amount of enjoyment out of doing it, because one has met people one would never have met before. It has widened one’s life, in a way.”
The royal family attracts all manner of devotees, including some notable eccentrics.
Outside the maternity ward when any royal baby is born, you can count on running into the 83-year-old Tony Appleton, a former carpet salesman who shows up in the knee breeches and tricorner hat of a town crier; and 83-year-old Terry Hutt, a retired carpenter and joiner who wears a suit made of the Union Jack. Last spring, when the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her third child, Mr. Hutt slept on a bench outside the maternity ward for 15 days, having received contradictory reports about her due date.
Mr. O’Donovan is in his own scholarly category.
Born into a family of avid collectors, he hungered in his 40s to undertake a statistical project; he had been impressed by a man who used public records to tabulate the waxing and waning popularity of baby names, publishing his findings once a year in a letter to the editor of The Times of London. He found his fodder in the Court Circular, an account of the royals’ engagements that appears in The Times of London. He decided to clip each one, paste it in a ledger and run the numbers, releasing his first results at the end of 1979.
“It was just a fascination with what they actually did,” he said. “Some of them work extremely hard.”
It did not take long for Buckingham Palace to take note. A few years in, the dean of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, where Mr. O’Donovan and the queen both attend services, pulled him aside to pass on a message: Palace officials wanted the data project to stop. Mr. O’Donovan went to see the queen’s private secretary in an effort to persuade him of its usefulness.
“I suppose one was anxious because one did not want to stop doing it,” he said. “If they had said, ‘Mr. O’Donovan, we don’t want you to go on doing this,’ I would have obeyed them.”
There is no public record of their conversation, but Mr. O’Donovan says he persuaded the queen’s secretary of his good intentions. To address his worries, Mr. O’Donovan added a clause saying that the tables should not be used to stoke competition. That the tabloids continue to do precisely that, he said, is “really very uncalled-for.”
“All I’m doing is recording their activities,” he said. “It’s just a straightforward table of events, really.”
No one entering Mr. O’Donovan’s home could doubt his devotion to the queen, who, at 92, is five years his senior. They know each other a little from church. Once, he said, when he fell off a ladder and showed up with a bandage on his head, she warned him sternly, “You are never to go up a ladder again.”
With the queen turning 93 next month, he said, we are nearing the end of a golden age.
“I think we have been amazingly lucky to have such a wonderful monarch,” he said. “Continuity is a great thing, and I think there has never been any question of impropriety, like there are among other heads of state around the world. She has had an unblemished record.”
Mr. O’Donovan has been acutely aware, as well, of his own advancing age. He moves with difficulty around the house. His wife, Veronica, who has Alzheimer’s disease, moved two years ago to an assisted-living home.
His sons, who both work for insurance companies, have no interest in carrying on his royal chronicle. He has considered asking his 15-year-old grandson, but he says he doesn’t want to burden him during exams. He worries what will happen if he dies in June, for example, right in the middle of a year which is only half tallied.
“I don’t know what will happen when I die,” he said. “At the moment, I’ve made no arrangements with anybody. No doubt it will just peter out.”
One thing he does not expect to record is the queen’s death. “We are meant to live longer than our parents,” he said. “Her mother lived to 102. So the queen has another six years, by which time I will have passed away.”
Until then, though, he will be on the job. “As long as I can write and use a pair of scissors,” he said, “I’ll carry on doing it.”B:
2017109期跑狗玄机图【几】【轮】【交】【战】【下】【来】，【双】【方】【都】【损】【失】【惨】【重】。 【不】【过】【只】【要】【城】【墙】【不】【丢】，【一】【切】【都】【不】【是】【问】【题】，【坚】【城】【利】【炮】【才】【是】【杨】【知】【风】【等】【人】【最】【大】【的】【依】【仗】。 【城】【外】【的】【外】【国】【玩】【家】【依】【旧】【人】【山】【人】【海】，【但】【是】，【人】【数】【再】【多】【也】【有】【上】【限】，【所】【有】【人】【不】【可】【能】【全】【都】【铺】【开】【了】【去】【打】，【几】**【击】【之】【后】，【对】【方】【的】【士】【气】【也】【遭】【受】【到】【了】【巨】【大】【的】【打】【击】。 【十】【分】【钟】【后】，【攻】【击】【停】【止】，【激】【战】【了】【数】【个】【小】【时】【的】【天】
【就】【像】【是】【萧】【芷】【想】【的】【那】【样】，【杨】【氏】【很】【快】【想】【通】【这】【之】【中】【的】【关】【窍】。 【绝】【尘】【而】【去】【的】【马】【车】【已】【经】【不】【见】【踪】【影】，【杨】【氏】【笑】【眯】【眯】【的】【吩】【咐】：“【没】【听】【见】【五】【娘】【子】【的】【的】【话】【吗】？【还】【不】【快】【将】【十】【四】【娘】【子】【带】【回】【去】？” 【萧】【莉】【脸】【色】【顿】【时】【白】【了】、 【她】【原】【以】【为】【萧】【芷】【即】【将】【离】【开】，【杨】【氏】【也】【会】【将】【这】【件】【事】【情】【不】【动】【声】【色】【的】【揭】【过】【去】—— 【可】【是】【结】【果】【为】【什】【么】【和】【她】【想】【象】【的】【差】【距】【那】【么】【大】？【她】
“【长】【公】【主】【此】【次】【前】【来】【所】【为】【何】【事】？”【司】【倩】【儿】【头】【一】【歪】，【低】【声】【问】【出】【口】。 【茌】【蕳】【和】【茌】【好】【也】【十】【分】【疑】【惑】，【所】【以】【都】【望】【着】【茌】【夫】【人】，【等】【待】【着】【她】【的】【答】【案】。 【茌】【夫】【人】【心】【中】【隐】【隐】【有】【些】【不】【安】，【把】【手】【放】【在】【茌】【好】【的】【肩】【头】【轻】【轻】【抚】【了】【抚】，【低】【声】【道】：“【大】【约】【是】【谈】【两】【家】【的】【婚】【事】【吧】。” 【其】【实】【她】【也】【不】【确】【定】，【但】【是】【最】【近】【听】【到】【了】【一】【些】【风】【声】，【让】【她】【忍】【不】【住】【有】【些】【怀】【疑】。
【在】【龙】【氏】【之】【中】，【有】【一】【条】【从】【龙】【氏】【创】【始】【之】【初】【流】【传】【的】【组】【训】，【那】【就】【家】【族】【最】【具】【有】【天】【赋】【的】【天】【骄】【必】【须】【进】【入】【龙】【氏】【的】【禁】【地】【进】【行】【考】【核】。 【如】【今】【龙】【氏】【面】【临】【巨】【大】【的】【危】【机】，【如】【果】【现】【在】【不】【让】【他】【们】【进】【去】，【就】【没】【有】【机】【会】【进】【入】【了】。 【要】【知】【道】，【龙】【氏】【的】【禁】【地】【藏】【着】【机】【缘】，【至】【于】【是】【何】【种】【机】【缘】，【谁】【也】【不】【得】【而】【知】 【因】【为】，【龙】【氏】【的】【禁】【地】【乃】【是】【一】【座】【空】【间】【大】【阵】，【随】【即】【传】【送】【到】【某】
【湖】【人】【队】【绝】【对】【是】【本】【赛】【季】【最】【令】【人】【感】【到】【惊】【喜】【的】【球】【队】【之】【一】，【虽】【然】【揭】【幕】【战】【输】【给】【快】【船】【队】【让】【球】【迷】【们】【对】【他】【们】【有】【一】【丝】【担】【忧】，【但】【是】【他】【们】【并】【没】【有】【让】【看】【衰】【的】【声】【音】【持】【续】【太】【久】，【迅】【速】【以】【一】【波】7【连】【胜】【登】【顶】【联】【盟】【榜】【首】，【目】【前】【全】【联】【盟】【只】【有】【凯】【尔】【特】【人】【队】【和】【他】【们】【一】【起】【站】【在】【联】【盟】【第】【一】【位】。2017109期跑狗玄机图【马】【三】【爷】【依】【旧】【是】【面】【无】【表】【情】【的】【说】【道】：“【就】【是】【天】【天】【哭】【那】【也】【轮】【不】【到】【你】。” “【过】【分】【了】【昂】。”【于】【飞】【不】【满】【的】【嚷】【嚷】【道】：“【你】【信】【不】【信】【我】【把】【你】【女】【儿】【偷】【过】【来】，【让】【你】【自】【己】【天】【天】【哭】【去】？” “【我】【会】【剐】【了】【你】。”【马】【三】【爷】【轻】【飘】【飘】【的】【说】【道】。 【于】【飞】【摇】【摇】【头】，【决】【定】【不】【再】【搭】【理】【这】【个】【老】【字】【号】【的】【女】【儿】【奴】。 【见】【几】【人】【还】【都】【在】【门】【口】【站】【着】，【于】【飞】【说】【道】：“【咱】【们】【进】【去】
【沈】【言】【卿】【不】【知】【道】【岁】【寒】【九】【用】【了】【什】【么】【法】【子】【竟】【然】【在】【她】【试】【镜】【的】【短】【短】【时】【间】【内】【扣】【下】【了】【曲】【新】【词】，【也】【不】【知】【道】【他】【这】【个】【计】【划】【布】【局】【了】【多】【久】。 【她】【只】【知】【道】【曲】【新】【词】【一】【旦】【被】【顾】【城】【西】【抓】【在】【手】【里】，【怕】【是】【此】【生】【都】【不】【会】【再】【见】【到】【今】【天】【这】【样】【好】【的】【阳】【光】【了】。 【祝】【以】【南】【得】【知】【这】【个】【消】【息】【的】【时】【候】【无】【悲】【无】【喜】，【平】【静】【的】【仿】【佛】【置】【身】【事】【外】【的】【人】。【他】【看】【了】【一】【眼】【正】【在】【眯】【眼】【看】【太】【阳】【的】【沈】【言】【卿】，
【林】【天】【齐】【也】【觉】【得】【自】【己】【确】【实】【是】【需】【要】【去】【学】【院】【的】【图】【书】【馆】【里】【面】【好】【好】【充】【充】【电】【了】，【好】【好】【增】【加】【一】【下】【自】【己】【对】【这】【个】【世】【界】【的】【了】【解】，【尤】【其】【是】【这】【个】【魔】【法】【的】【世】【界】。 【虽】【然】【自】【己】【以】【前】【在】【希】【尔】【城】【自】【己】【家】【的】【书】【楼】【里】【面】【也】【看】【了】【不】【少】【书】，【对】【这】【个】【世】【界】【已】【经】【了】【解】【不】【少】，【但】【是】【自】【己】【家】【族】【的】【层】【次】【终】【究】【还】【是】【太】【低】【了】【点】。 【有】【道】【是】【地】【位】【决】【定】【眼】【界】，【这】【句】【话】【一】【点】【都】【没】【有】【错】，【别】