Put Out More Flags April 2011

Dear Rowley,

In tearing haste, here’s the promised picture of the BBC Compound outside Buckingham Palace where I did the Royal Wedding preview earlier this morning and whence I will return tomorrow between 4pm and 9pm  to report on royal wedding fashions after the service tomorrow. The media set-up around the Palace and the Abbey makes you proud to be British as does the Mall dressed in its best Union Flags.

Perhaps more questionable are the rather special people who have been camping out along the wedding procession route for days on end. One lady on BBC News this morning was holding a Cavalier King Charles spaniel called Camilla sporting a diamante tiara. I’m sure the Duchess would be thrilled with her namesake. Another lot from Toronto said they had to be there ‘for Diana’.  Jilly Cooper made me laugh last night when she said her county set knew the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles were an item again because their dogs greeted each other so effusively at the polo.

Remember to set your Sky + box tonight for The Making of a Royal Wedding on TLC (a Discovery channel). Savile Row gets a marvellous ‘shout out’ as they say on t’Internet and I did some filming at the Savoy and on the Row about preparations for the regal nuptials. I bumped into Angela Buttolph, editor of Grazia’s online operation, outside the BBC compound this morning. I think her money is still on Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen making ‘the dress’. I am hedging between Sophie Cranston’s Libelula label and Jazzy Conran who has been noted by his absence in all the press speculation.

My old university mucker Gill Wilson from the Spun Gold TV production company called to say the editors have just cut the final episode of How To Nab A Prince (airing next Wednesday at 8pm on Sky Living). We shot it in antique jeweller Bentley & Skinner and apparently it all went rather well. If you aren’t in to watch it live, I’ll get the tapes sent over and pop the best bits on my website if you can bear to fire-up your Apple. Speaking of Apple, I rather injudiciously spilt a glass of fizz on my MacBook Pro last December. The devils took two months to declare it dead on arrival.

Fortunately, Apple also signed a paper to say as much. So when Gail in Capri (the dry cleaner not the island) suggested I send it to her Mac Doctor, I leapt at the chance. They fixed the ‘fault’ in half an hour. I swear computer geeks are the dodgy mechanics de nos jours. They can charge what they like or chin-scratch then say it would be cheaper to drop another grand on a new model. Bounders and rotten scoundrels all! The trouble is, you go into the Apple Store primed like Medea to make a drama out of a crisis and get faced with a phalanx of good looking children smiling serenely at you like Jehovah’s Witnesses and one just doesn’t have the heart to twist the knife.

I also enclose a snap by my friend Guy ‘Dashing Tweeds’ Hills taken in Huntsman’s basement on the Row for the website of Budd the Shirt Makers who Huntsman has just acquired. Not easy to photograph boxer shorts in an amusing fashion is it? So Huntsman’s head girl Poppy Charles came-up with this rather entertaining shot of the Huntsman Cock. Isn’t it a hoot? When I was at Huntsman for the annual Tweed Run picnic, a customer cut his finger and when one of the front-of-house boys went to the first aid box they found it contained what is colloquially known at sea as a rubber Johnnie. Only on Savile Row.

Did I tell you in my last letter I had a bit of a pre-wedding blue? Isn’t it terrible when you find yourself furiously stabbing your IPod to find Judy Garland’ rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone behind closed shutters at Bloomsbury Towers and making a mental note to put it on the list for your St George’s Mayfair memorial service? Actually, I’ve found a cracker for my memorial. It is the Cher ballad from Burlesque entitled You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me. It would make me smile to think of less appropriate lyrics for a memorial such as ‘I am down but I’ll get up again’ or ‘times are hard but I was built tough, I’m going to show you all what I’m made of’. Then you’d get a lookalike to leap out of the casket. Until next time…