This is Iain Martin’s weekly newsletter, exclusively for Reaction subscribers.

In the early 1980s, when the comedian Spike Milligan put on a show at the Lyric Theatre attended by the then Prince Charles, Milligan made a point of calling him “trainee king” throughout. The pair were friends. As a young child, the future monarch had heard on the BBC the nonsensical, surrealist and highly popular Goon Show, written by Milligan and featuring Peter Sellers. The final series proper aired on the radio in 1960 when Charles was only 12, but through the published scripts and recordings the young Royal became a fan as a young man.