British Commonwealth of Nations: Oxford

The new Earl of Oxford and Asquith, Julian Edward George, now a child of eleven years, sat round-eyed and attentive in a gallery overlooking a huge, oblong, Gothic room. Below, the House of Commons was somberly proceeding to honor the little boy's grandfather, great onetime Prime Minister Asquith (1908-16), the Earl of Oxford and Asquith, who had just died.

The child sat mouse-still. Possibly he was awed by the nearby presence of his widowed "grandmama,'' famed Margot Asquith. Perhaps, on the other hand, he was now and then whisperingly reminded not to...