Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wedding 'Em at Hedingham! Plus Nonsuch Awareness...

Good King Hal and his Mother discussing the current rocketing price of rhubarb in the Yemen.

Ah, a late summer wedding - how nice!  Louise, a fine Tudor Lady who I have walked around some of the best stately homes in Britain with, was getting married to her fiance Jason, with the wedding taking place in the august surrounds of Hedingham Castle, followed by a reception at a lovely hotel in Old Harlow Town.  I drove up to Hedingham from Amanda's house in Basildon, and this time I wasn't chased round Chelmsford by the Police Interceptors team, so there goes my chances of appearing on Channel 5 in the next few months.  It was a scorching hot day on the Saturday and I wasn't sure how I would last in the full Henry gear.  I was joined in being costumed by the Tudor Roses who arrived very shortly after I did.  There was Lady Emma, Lady Erica and Lady Katherine, who seemed fully recovered from her recent visit to Barrington Court.  They were as ever accompanied by the splendid "Lord" Darren Wilkins and his ever present camera.
We were supposed to get changed on the top floor of the keep at Hedingham, but to be honest I wasn't sure my knees could manage to drag me and the enormous costume up that many stairs, so as the Roses disappeared off to their lofty perch, I chickened out and went into the deserted cafe on the 1st floor and got changed in there instead.  We were soon all Tudored-Up and ready for action, and just in time as well as the first guests were already arriving.  We greeted them outside the keep and ushered them up to the cafe where soft drinks were being served.  Some of the Tudor Roses got a little over-excited by the extremely muscular and buff paramedics on duty that day, but I blame the heat personally.  The groom and best man arrived and looked fine in their Tudor costumes, so we positioned ourselves in the main hall on the 2nd floor and awaited the arrival of the bride.  The hall was darkened and lit purely by candle-light and looked stunningly atmospheric.  With everyone seated news filtered up that the bride was here.  I was positioned at the front of the hall and armed with my Tudor recorder as I had been requested to serenade the bride in.  She seemed a bit taken aback by my rendition of the "Hawaii Five-O" theme, but perked up a little when I launched into a growl cornet version of "It Must Be Jelly 'Cause Jam Don't Shake Like That".  Of course I didn't, I had been asked to play "Greensleeves", so I did and it was either bloody awful or lovely as it reduced Louise to tears.  I also played during the signing of the register, and then it was time for photos outside the castle.  Myself and the Tudor Roses then made a run for it as we had to drive the 30+ miles to Harlow and the reception hotel, to be there ready for when the guests arrived.  This involved not getting changed out of the Tudor clothes and driving fully Henry'd up, which garnered me one or two odd looks from other drivers.
The Reception meal was delightful, and there were little gifts for all the Tudor Roses and myself.  I did my announcements for the arrival of the Bride and Groom, and then also did the announcement for the speeches. That was the end of the meal and tables were soon being moved as it was time for the evening dance to begin.  But I had an early start in the morning for an appearance at the Nonsuch Awareness Day near Epsom in Surrey in the morning.  So after getting changed and making my many goodbyes I drove down to Kent and an evening with my lovely Shelley.  Heaven!  Louise and Jason's wedding was really memorable and great fun - I wish them a long and happy marriage!

The King at the Nonsuch Awareness Day with a piece of impressive machinery in his hands.

Shelley very kindly offered to drive me and Sir Owen over to the Nonsuch Awareness Day, which was lovely!  I was going to go into great detail about Nonsuch Palace and it's history, but I would be here all day - the best I can suggest is you click on this link and read all about it there!  Better still go out and buy one of XTC's finest albums which is called "Nonsuch" and has a very nice wood carving of the palace on the cover.  Andy Partridge's bank manager will thank you profusely.
I was once more joined by the Tudor Roses, this time Lady Emma and Lady Erica, and the inevitable Lord Wilkins.  We had a fine time walking round the stalls and chatting to the various stall holders.  There was a fine mixture of craftsmen, associations, armed forces, BMX riders and charities there, and in the scorching weather there was a very good turn out - estimates put it at about 2,000 people, which was magnificent.  Shelley, Owen and I took great delight in watching the BMX riders doing their stunts and then laughing like drains when they fell off.  Very childish but tremendous fun. Lady Erica enjoyed herself enormously with the soldiers from the local TA, with their great big transporter - saucy thing.  All in all it was a fun day, a little too warm for my liking, but fun to be with the Roses and a delight to be with my Shelley.  It was also good to see the Tudor Roses showing the historical dancers there how to do it properly.  A big shout out to Leanne Pickard who organised the whole thing and did a fabulous job.  Well done!

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