Posted by Bob on January 31, 2004
In Reply to: The grey man posted by ESC on January 31, 2004
: : : : : Someone has asked what that means. Does it mean her staff -- the "suits" that make up her staff? I found this:
: : : : : My Story by Sarah Ferguson and Jeff Coplon. In this surprising autobiography, the Duchess of York reveals herself as a deeply fearful and insecure woman who never thought she was good enough to be a member of the royal family. She accuses the "Grey Men" who work at Buckingham Palace of plotting to destroy her, but she mostly blames herself for the scandal surrounding her marriage, and has nothing but praise for Prince Andrew and the rest of the royal family. A very interesting book.
: : : :
: : : : I think so. There was an administration that was referred to as the men in grey suits. Was it John Major's? I think it also implies that the men are technocrats and functionaries. If that makes any sense. :)
: : : That's the way we understood it it the UK.
: : John Major's nick name of the 'grey man' of British politics was attributable to his lack of charisma in the eyes of all but one.
: Thank you!
The phrase "eminence grise" comes to mind. Still French, but widely used in English. These "powers behind the throne" are gray ("grise") because they operate in the shadows.