Secret society defies royal aides to set up masonic lodge inside Buckingham PalaceBy Douglas Wight
News of the World
Nov. 29, 2008
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ROYAL flunkeys have defied their bosses and set up a freemasons’ lodge at Buckingham Palace.
The branch of the controversial secret society was officially consecrated this week.
It has male Palace servants and royal protection squad cops as members.
But the move will infuriate officials and senior royals, who blocked plans for a group called The Royal Household Lodge when it was first proposed earlier this year.
So the defiant masons simply changed the name to Mulberry Lodge — a reference to King James I who grew silkworms in a royal palace mulberry garden in the 17th-century.
A royal source revealed: “They won’t be meeting on royal property because all masons have to meet in a masonic hall. But the lodge will be open to male members of the royal household — not just Buckingham Palace, but every royal residence from Balmoral to Windsor and the Tower of London.”
“It’s all being driven by cops in the Metropolitan Police royal protection squad.
“The lodge has a cop as the grand master and another as the secretary.”
Although the Queen’s cousin the Duke of Kent is head of English freemasonry as its Grand Master, Palace officials had hoped plans for the lodge would be dropped. They felt a society whose members indulge in bizarre rituals was out of place.
And it is the last thing the Palace needs at a time when it is trying to be seen as more modern and open.
The Masons have long been accused of being of being a secret society that indulges in bizarre initiation ceremonies and traditions.
They acknowledge each other through peculiar handshakes and wear aprons at meetings.
And they have been accused of furthering each other’s interests through the sect.
The founding of the lodge has alarmed some royal staff who fear they will be overlooked for promotions if they don’t join.
Women staff are said to be angry because although there are freemasonry organisations for women, this branch is a men-only institution that will not admit them.