And then there is the voice that follows his bonhomous
greeting: soft, nuanced, thoughtful.
While a Council of Regents directed his realm, Ferdinand emerged as a boisterous, bonhomous
, rough-edged youth who loved hunting as much as his father and hated reading, writing and even signing his own name.
To the best of my knowledge, he did not explain his appointment by saying that the prime minister "gave it to me because I'm hot." The night before His Excellency and I shared our little chat, I'd seen him up on stage presenting a couple of awards, a tall man of martial bearing, checked shirt and blazer, a bluff confident off-the-cuff speaker with a bonhomous
jest about the Royal Australian Air Force bombers for a fellow veteran and some splendid remarks about the virtues of clarity in writing for a journalistic recipient.