We interrupt these tales of Jordan for a brief news bulletin:
It seems that there was a Royal Wedding this morning. Oh, you heard about that?
Well, even I was not immune to the delights of it. Or, to be frank, the opportunity to take the piss out of it. The trouble is, they make it SO easy…As I cracked the lid on my first bottle of cider (I am in Somerset y’know!) I flicked around and discovered that there was almost nothing else on the telly which would provide as much sport. I tuned in to BBC One just as the commentators, who had been at it since 6 am and had clearly run out of anything meaningful to say in the first ten minutes, were discussing whether or not Elton John needed the toilet. It looked like he did – but did he? High drama at nine in the morning, with the distinct possibility of even higher drama by ten – at which point, with no other option, Elton would surely piss himself in public.
“But he’s Elton John! He can do whatever he wants! If he wants to go to the loo, he can go,” enthused the commentator.
This was gripping stuff. Groundbreaking journalism.
I hate commentators. This one (Huw Edwards) wouldn’t shut up about the young Princes William and Harry following the coffin of their mother Lady Di – “and then they were truly brothers, in an almost Shakespearian sense,” he said.
So, what? More truly brothers than, say, me and my brother? Than anyone, anywhere in the world that has an actual brother? And they were Shakespearian in what way? Did they kill their mother? Murder anyone? Have confused gender issues? No. They lost a parent. Something that has never happened to anyone since Shakespeare’s day, and of course features heavily in all of his work. This commentator, it occurred to me, was a bloody idiot.
Or maybe I was drunk. Well had I learned the dangers of drinking too early – imitating a ridiculous royal wave with both hands and forgetting there’s a glass of wine in one of them.
“Who are all this lot?” Mum asked, as a small fleet of minibuses emerged from the Palace.
We struggled to explain, but after much discussion we couldn’t figure it out. The commentator, despite his incredible boredom and utter lack of anything new to say, didn’t bother to inform us. He did, however, point out that with him was noted historian Simon Schama. He’d been pointing this out every ten minutes or so, as though to prompt the noted historian into saying something. “With me is Simon Schama… the Noted Historian who has been paid about ten grand to sit here with me, and consequently is now about to SAY SOMETHING God damn it!’
By the time we’d decided who was arriving, another bunch of cars seemed to be pulling up amidst flourishes of ushers and clergymen in vast superman capes.
“Who’s this lot then?” Mum asked.
I sighed. It was going to be one of those days.
A new arrival at the Abbey caused a stir of interest. Ah, it was Lady blah-de-blah, “dressed by Anna Valentine,” (but I heard she tied her shoelaces herself).
Anna Valentine had obviously had a busy morning rushing back and forth between royal households in London, as she’d dressed quite a few people. She must be dying for a cup of tea, I thought. I spent most of the show hoping to hear “And hear is Mr and Mrs Cheapskate Royal from Doncaster, dressed by P.R. Imark…”
The lead trumpeter in his raised gallery was featured quite closely. After leading a fanfare he removed his trumpet with a dramatic flourish, and we were treated to a High Definition view of his spit raining down on the hats below.
And what hats! Of course they’re ridiculous, that goes without saying. But one gigantic silver lampshade was clearly pushing the boundaries of what is structurally feasible in headgear. As my sister pointed out, “if all the guests had solar panels installed in their hats they could power the whole of London for the day!”
Kate Middleton’s father, an ex-market trader from Doncaster (okay, flight attendant from Leeds), was giving her some last minute advice in the car (whilst the camera crew focused on her cleavage). I was practising my lip-reading and I’m pretty sure I saw him say: “Eh up lass, ye’ve dun good there. Get yer ‘ands on im and dun’t let ‘im go ‘till ‘e’s impregnated yer. Then we’re ‘ome free.”
Kate’s beginners version of the royal wave was vigourous – we figured it’d be a few years before RSI set in and she scaled it down to the barely perceptible movement favoured by the Queen.
Price William, however, arrived in a black cab with a cardboard royal crown stuck over the ‘taxi’ sign. But it was a Bentley taxi, which makes all the difference. And then he was out of the taxi and into the church – which made me think about camera placement. I can’t imagine why anyone would specify an aerial view with extreme zoom capabilities when the groom is bald as a plucked egg on top? I had to marvel at the power of a lens that can pick out a necrotic hair follicle from the top of Westminster Abbey.
That trip down the aisle was memorable for one reason; it was the exact moment that Mum stood up to pass round cups of tea. From my perspective her ass perfectly obscured all 42” of widescreen, HD action.
The blokes were led into position by a church official dressed like one of the faculty at Hogwarts, complete with brandished wand. Actually it looked disturbingly like the thing used to brand horses. Perhaps Kate was getting more than she’d bargained for. I couldn’t resist my favourite joke when I saw a group of Sisters sitting off to one side.
“How much fun d’you reckon they’re having?”
My sister saw it coming. “Nun,” she said.
The two Princes, standing at the altar, were struggling not to laugh. Harry was swaying, regretting having one more glass of wine before leaving the palace. Our eyes were on Kate’s sister, looking very tasty in her plain white dress. Looking tastier than Kate, by quite a lot. It suddenly occurred to me that, as best man, little Harry was obligated to at least try and shag her. I wasn’t the only one having that thought – at that moment the camera caught Harry in a backward glance followed by a few sly words and a grin to Willie. “Gonna tap that tonight,” he was saying.
No wonder he was smiling.
I watched the vows and cringed as soon as the bible readings began. ‘Fear God and his Wrath and Sacrifice Yourself to Him’ seemed to be the gist of it. Highly appropriate for a wedding. Bu then, when has the bible been appropriate? Elton John had spent the entire ceremony inside God’s holy church, standing right next to his gay lover without so much as a lightening bolt from heaven.
I contemplated this, and decided to switch channels. I’d seen the bit that mattered and the TV coverage would be endless. I was starting to think it would go on all night as well. At what point would the cameras peel away? Perhaps we’d see the future monarch being conceived from about 11:30pm….
I welcome your thoughts and opinions, as always!