In which it turns out we're just massive flag-wavers

To be printed 05/05/11.

5.15am. Alarm goes. Snooze.


5.20am. Alarm goes again. Grunt. “This is truly horrible,” I say to Jo, who is not only in my bed but has stolen all of the covers. We get up.

5.30am. Since last night, we have been playing ‘What is Kate Middleton Doing Now?’ The answer has mostly been, ‘probably on the toilet.’

5.40am. I have compiled a last-minute wedding playlist, consisting of White Wedding by Billy Idol, Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups and I’m Getting Married in the Morning, sung by Tommy Steele. Rose has put her Union Jack socks on.

5.50am. What is Kate Middleton Doing Now? “Groaning quietly while her Mum says ‘Eat a croissant! You’ll feel better! Eat a croissant!’”

6am. We have left.

7am. We are here. Picnic spot located, blankets spread, thermos out, flags acquired.

7.10am. Successful portaloo trip! There was a clean seat, ample loo roll, even hand sanitiser. Am beginning to realise that I may be better suited to massive state occasions than to music festivals. 

7.20am. Tara is unpacking the cheeseboard. They are all British cheeses, naturally. The BBC preamble is in full swing on the giant screens. “I’m surprised Fearne Cotton isn’t on this,” I say.

7.55am. I have just tried to bribe our way onto Japanese TV by offering the cameraman some homemade caramelised onion and feta tart. I was an unashamed tart-tart. It didn’t work.

8.05am. Fearne Cotton has appeared.

8.45am. The sun has made a fleeting appearance! There is blue sky, but not enough to make a pair of sailor’s trousers from. After an extensive assessment of our neighbours we’ve concluded that we definitely have the best picnic here. Nobody else has elderflower cordial, Pimm’s in a plastic Coke bottle and THREE varieties of chocolate chip brioche.

9am. A car is on the screen! A car! A posh, empty car!

9.05am. What is Kate Middleton Doing Now? “Puking.”

9.10am. More sun! Still not enough sky for sailor’s trousers but maybe a fetching gilet. Relentless sun spotting is beginning to make it feel like a Bravo family holiday.

9.15am. The Beckhams! It’s only the bloody Beckhams!

9.25am. “Rowan Williams looks like he has a laboratory under his house,” says Jo.

9.45am. Gleeful anticipation as Matt Baker is allowed to interview David Cameron again. But all on best behaviour, it would seem. Shame.

9.50am. BORIS ALERT.

9.55am. JOHN MAJOR ALERT.

9.56am. John Major alert downgraded to ‘John Major incident’.

10am. The meat is out – scotch eggs, chicken legs, sausages, made by Jo’s heroic Mum, who was up at FOUR to travel from Worthing. What is Kate Middleton Doing Now? “Having a sneaky watch of it all on the telly.”

10.05am. One of our elbows has just been on the BBC. I hope my Granny was watching.

10.10am. William and Harry have made their appearance. Rose is already crying.

10.15am. We have just yelled at a woman for standing up and blocking everyone’s view. “NO LOITERING!” we bellowed. How very British.

10.20am. William and Harry have gone off to ‘a quiet place’ in the Abbey to ‘have a chat’. We suspect they may be deciding to re-enact the last episode of Peep Show, Season 4.

10.26am. Princess Beatrice appears to have come dressed as a lobster. I am waving a flag. I never thought of myself as a flag-waver before, but it seems I am. I am waving my flag like no flag has ever been waved before.

10.30am. What Is Kate Middleton Doing Now? “Flapping her hands in front of her face, while Pippa shouts ‘STOP IT, YOU’RE GOING SHIINY.’”

10.45am. (To the tune of Guys and Dolls) And the people all said, ‘sit down! Sit down you’re blocking the queen! The people all said sit down! Sit down you’re blocking the Queen.’ Etc

10.50am. The bride! The beautiful bride is getting in her car! A collective ovary-swoon ripples across Hyde Park, Britain and The World. Rose cries some more.

10.51am. The sun has come out properly! “Can the Queen pay it to do that?”

10.59am. What is Kate Middleton Doing Now? “Shitting it.”

11am. Showtime.