One-time barrister and ex-justice minister Simon Hughes went to see the Queen last week for his investiture as a knight of the realm.

One wonders what they talked about. After all, Sir Simon and Her Maj have a bit of previous. In 1991 Hughes, then MP for Southwark and Bermondsey, introduced a bill which sought to make the Queen pay income tax.

The Baltimore Sun painted Hughes as ‘a panting republican zealot out to deep-six the Queen of England’.

A change of heart, perhaps, with Hughes completing a lengthy descent into respectability as he passed through the palace gates in topper and tails? In fact Obiter recalls, plain Simon (as he then was) was quicker off the blocks than this. Having introduced his bill on the morning of 3 July 1991, he had time for a quick change before pitching up at the afternoon’s

Buckingham Palace garden party – an irony not lost on the diary columns of the day.