The last Royal Wedding that I really remember was when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson in 1986. I was laid up with a badly damaged knee and had no option but to watch the whole thing on TV at the time - I think my parents were punishing me at the time by tuning the telly to the wedding and then hiding the remote control, safe in the knowledge I was unable to walk across the room to find it. My other abiding memory of that wedding was the British gutter press' and their immediate and utter open dislike of Sarah Ferguson from day one. Her main problem, it seemed to me, was that she wasn't Princess Diana. Thank the Lord for that really.
This time around for Prince William and Kate Middleton's bash there was similar amounts of press enthusiasm and much over use of the phrase "Diana's legacy". I had also been asked to appear at Preston Primary School in Yeovil for their party to celebrate the wedding on the day before the big event. I turned up at this lovely school bright and early and was soon out in the playground greeting the children and parents alike as they arrived. About 99% of the children had come either as Princes or Princesses. Some of the really little ones in Reception year looked so cute. All the teachers and staff had gone for the Royal look, including the head who was in a pure white flowing medieval dress. I asked her if she was the sacrificial victim for later on! I did two groups in the morning. First off it was the little ones - Reception class through to year 3. They were very enthusiastic, but hard work, especially the little ones who mostly had the attention span of goldfish. But I persevered and got some good laughs out of them, and all the staff seemed to enjoy it. When that had finished I thought I would get a five or ten minute break, but I didn't as they immediately started bringing in the next group - years 4 to 6. This lot were much easier to talk to and I did my usual life and times of Henry talk for them, much to their amusement. And suddenly it was all over! The children were off for a picnic in the grounds of the school and I was on my way back to Crewkerne.
This morning I got up and turned on the radio by my bed. It immediately went completely haywire and broke. Hmmmm. Perhaps my radio is a republican and knew about the Royal Wedding. Whatever, I went into my front room and switched on the TV and even at this early hour the BBC AND ITV were showing endless footage of the already crowded streets of London whilst commentators told us that "this is where the Royal Coach will come past" and "this is where Prince Harry will crash his car" etc etc. And another thing, doesn't Prince Harry look like his Dad? Shame he wasn't invited... (Ooh! Saucer of cream for the King). I was due over at Barrington Court for a walk about and then for a small tea party for visitors involving free cups of tea and slices of cake to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
To be honest I thought it was going to be a disaster as the early part of my walkabout showed so few people in the grounds of Barrington Court that I thought I had arrived at a hermit's convention. However as the afternoon progressed a few more people arrived, but it still wasn't looking very hopeful. Then smack on 3pm, when we were to serve the tea and cake, the sun came out spectacularly and people appeared from all over the place! It was packed out! Great fun was had by all and it was nice to have visitors from abroad including France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
Next Henry appearances are on BBC Somerset again with Emma Britton on Tuesday morning and then up at Falcon Junior in Norwich on Wednesday.