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Blog: We Went To A Wedding

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Like most of THE NATION yesterday I woke up slightly confused - after all these bank holidays (and especially Extra University Statutory Days) it's getting hard to know what DAY it is - although you could hardly miss the fact there was a WEDDING going on.

Now, I defer to nobody in LIFE and especially not on Constitutional Reform - as ever, my proposal for a tricameral system of government is available for explanation at a moment's notice - and obviously think it's foolish that we STILL have a hereditary head of state. HOWEVER! HOWEVER! HOWEVER! I am also 93.75% ENGLISH (Exciting Family FACT: my great great grandmother was FIRED from her service as a MAID for Vita Sackville West when she became PREGNANT by Virginia Woolf's French French Tutor - this story ALSO available in greater depth at a moment's notice) and so am GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED to think of THE QUEEN as an extra NAN and go a bit PECULIAR whenever I hear "Jerusalem". I can't HELP it so long ago decided not to worry and just GET ON with it.

So it was that The Vows In My Wedding Ceremony and I decided that, as we do actually LIVE in That London, we might as well go and LOOK at The Big Wedding. After watching the start of it on TELLY we set off about half eleven, ASTONISHED to find the streets and tube NOT entirely DESERTED. Who were these non-telly watching TRAITORS? And why were they all going in the same direction as us, carrying FLAGS?

We arrived at St James' Park tube station to find ourselves STUCK in a crowd of people who weren't allowed to go anywhere, including a small girl SOBBING because she couldn't see anything. Her dad picked her up on his shoulders so she could see the Horse Guard far off in the distance passing The Abbey, but I thought that that would be as much as we would get.

HOWEVER! AGANE! The police line stopping us from getting into St James' Park itself BROKE and we, along with a load of other people, STORMED through, DASHING through the park towards The Mall and CHEERING. We got there just in time to see A Carriage go by, having no idea who was in it, and then some land rovers, mini-buses, and LOADS of soldiers. It was weird seeing them with their ARCHAIC UNIFORMS combined with MACHINE GUNS, but lovely watching them try to be STERN about everything and stay in TIME as hundreds of children sang "LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT!" at them.

Once more i thought that they would be as much as we got to see, but we hung around a bit as the RUMOUR was that The Mall would be opened and we could wander down to maybe see The Royal Family On The Balcony and definitely get a good view of The Fly Past. Our house is under the usual ROUTE for Buckingham Palace fly pasts, and so i have become a BIG FAN - especially when they have a LANCASTER BOMBER.

We stood around then I saw a thick line of about a HUNDRED POLICE come marching along, with a huge crowd behind them. "How did THEY get to be first down The Mall" I, and probably loads of other people, thought. Then we realised - it was The Cubs And Scouts And Brownies And Guides! OF ALL NATIONS! HOORAH!

By this time cynicism was ALL GONE and LO! there was much HALLOOING... for about five minutes until THE SHOVING began, closely followed by THE CLAMBERING as everyone SURGED up to and quickly OVER the barriers. HOORAH! AGANE!

Along The Mall we trotted... and got stuck behind The Victoria Memorial. We thought we'd be STUCK there, but the line of POLICE were moving around it like the hands of a CLOCK, with The Scouting Organisations following behind, so the crowd continued to MOVE. There was shoving and bumping some more (LOTS of people had big back packs and even SUITCASES with them) but no more than on The Central Line of a week day morning, and we found ourselves moving closer and closer and closer until BLOW ME DOWN but we were stood ON the memorial RIGHT in front of the palace. We couldn't believe it!

We waited twenty minutes or so for anything to happen and then GOODNESS ME but WE WERE THERE as everyone came out on the balcony. Now, once again we can have a Serious Discussion about The Monarchy, The Class System and Deference, but at that particular moment, knowing I was THERE while TWO BILLION PEOPLE were watching it on Telly, i for one would NOT have swapped it for being at home, moaning on twitter. We saw The Kiss, also The Other Kiss, and pretty much COMPLETED the full set of Members Of The Royal Family I Have Seen. It was all TREMENDOUSLY exciting and YES, we DID wave back when they waved to us. IT WAS GRATE!

The fly past came by... and was a bit disappointing really. The Lancaster Bomber, Spitfire and Hurrican were MEGA BRILL as ever - especially when we saw them turning round over Green Park VERY LOW INDEED - and the modern planes were OK, but where - WHERE?!? - WHERE were the Red Arrows? Eh? DID THEY HAVE A PRIOR BOOKING?!? Everyone stood around waiting for them, but NO! Poor show, Mr D Cameron, POOR SHOW INDEED!

And then there was about half an hour waiting to MOVE anywhere, during which you couldn't help but notice that THE CROWD was an incredibly diverse range of ages, nationalities, class, races, languages and pretty much anything ELSE you'd like to be diverse about. They always SAY this on the telly commentaries and it always LOOKS like it's actually just five thousands slightly bonkers MUMS and NANS from Essex, but when you're in it it's INCREDIBLE, also rather LOVELY.

We shuffled along to a police line where they alternately said "You can't come through here", "You can come through here", "Please turn back", and "Just leave to the left". You'd think BY NOW the Police would have realised that ACTUALLY TELLING PEOPLE WHAT'S GOING ON tends to help keep things calm, also ORGANISED, but the whole crowd was so POLITE it didn't really matter.

We completed our big day in town by going for POSH LUNCH and then THE SHOPS, before we SPLIT, with The Groceries In My Shopping Bag doing a bit MORE shopping, and me going off to a slightly scary pub in Mile End full of GEN-U-INE COCKERNEYS having a KNEES UP, to share a couple of pints with Dr Neil Brown. He TOO is hardly a monarchist, but had ALSO been down for the day. "It's history", he remarked, correctly, "And anyway - so many people were droning on about how uninterested in it they were that I thought I'd go and have a bloody look." TRUE!

We got home to see if we could see ourselves on THE TELLY and to LARF at the Portentious Commentary, of which there was A LOT. I don't know why they have to always do that - I WAS THERE and it all felt a bit daft, a bit silly and a LOT of fun, as opposed to SOMBRE and IMPORTANT. We had a lovely day - but next time there's a big do, book the Red Arrows please!

posted 30/4/2011 by MJ Hibbett

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