The Royal Wedding April 30th 2011

Dear Rowley,

Well, that went well didn’t it? Three jolly good hits on the BBC News channel and three equally barn-storming suits: a brace of Anderson & Sheppard pieces (the yellow linen on the penultimate morning and the dinner jacket to close the BBC News coverage on the day – photo enclosed sweetie) and a Huntsman that was poetry in motion. I have asked webmaster James Hamilton to get the clips on t’Internet as soon as possible tomorrow morning.

Royal Wedding day dawned and I was up at the crack with MacBook Air, Ipad and BlackBerry at the ready to do my homework as better half and I watched the lead-up to the wedding on the telly. I’d had some lovely good luck cards courtesy of my boys downstairs at Bloomsbury Towers and Edible and The Shrimp in the top floor apartment. Can’t tell you how much cards, texts etc mean when one is contemplating a big day. Anyway, what did you make of the BBC coverage?

I did promise you I’d give you the full lowdown on the Royal Wedding fashion so will be firing off several missives today with some happy snaps of the ladies who understand formal day dress and the monsters of frock that a semi-state occasion always wash-up on the shores of global media. The BBC in its infinite wisdom had decided that the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton would reflect the modern age so there were no surprises that anchor man Hew Edwards (resplendent in an Anderson & Sheppard suit for the big day) was forced to read out countless Twitters and Emails from the great unwashed saying much the same thing: either ‘we’re here for Diana’, ‘Kayt looked laaavly’ or ‘to the guillotine with the lot of them’.

Now you know me Rowley, I am always satisfied with my lot when invited to do telly. The Royal Wedding broadcast on the BBC was always going to include a cast of thousands and I was aware that I’d got three good bites of the cherry over 48-hours. I think I bit as deeply as was possible and wouldn’t say I was bitter about the fashion coverage live at the wedding ceremony but – in the words of Madonna’s immortal tome to jealousy, spite and hubris She’s Not Me – ‘I know I can do it better’. What was terribly disappointing was the lack of synch between coverage and what was actually being shown on the telly.

If we saw close-ups of Elton John, David Furnish, Mario Testino and the Beckhams (he with a spiffy quiff and she with a face like a slapped arse) once we saw them a thousand times. Was this BBC policy to only point cameras at people that they THINK people at home want to see? The poor minor royals didn’t get a look in let alone the foreign royals who are always such good value. Mind you, we did get a few glimpses of the great international royal families who were name-checked but allowed to walk down the aisle of Westminster Abbey without further comment. ‘Ah’, back to the Beckhams and Elton John’s dodgy barnet’. Mind you, we have to thank the Lord for small mercies. Boris Johnson combed his hair and David Cameron wore a morning coat: quite right too.

I think people at home wanted to know who was who, who wore what and whether in the commentators’ eminent opinion they looked gorgeous or gruesome? My favourite spot bar none was the Sultan of Brueni’s wife. At first glance, we thought she was his diamond mine. Mrs Moussaieff was right, she couldn’t help herself in trying to outdo the Queen by wearing two gob-stoppers of D-Flawless white diamonds suspended from a pendant as large as a cheer-leader’s pom-poms. The King of Tonga – a dead ringer for Mohamed al Fayed – looked rather grand in his Gieves & Hawkes morning tails.

Seeing the King reminded me of his grandmother Queen Salote who attended the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and charmed the crowds by riding in an open carriage with a diminutive chap next to her despite it raining cats and dogs. As the rather rotund Queen Salote’s carriage drove past Noel Coward in the crowd, his ‘companion’ asked who was sitting next to her. ‘Her lunch?’ asked the Master inquisitively? I always love to see the Queen of Denmark looking delightfully dotty in her reading glasses. She’s a demon at decoupage apparently. Princess Letizia of Spain looked terribly pretty in pink with a hat perfectly shaped for a carriage ride. So it was something of a pity all the minor British royals and the Euro party had to travel to the Abbey in what looked like coaches Easy Jet lay on to get you the five miles down the tarmac to your plane.

The BBC News channel studio was on the ground floor of the media compound. So much to tell about the backstage shenanigans and the attempts by each guest to upstage the others and get as much airtime as possible but that’s for my next letter. Suffice to say, when my turns came I had the chance to let the Royal Ascot fox out of the box when being interviewed by Emily Maitlis whose eyes were out on stalks when I was the first commentator to actually criticise the fashion. There’s more darling, there’s lots more…