Dateline 29th April 2011... The Church of West Minster
Posh Totty Miss Katie Griptight-Thynne is at the Glaring Hotel getting ready for her big day. Today, the little girl from the Shires (no, not the shopping centre in Trowbridge) will marry her 'prince', well, he's not really a prince except to her, but he is an Honourable. Her mother, Mrs Caroline Griptight-Thynne, is quaffing champagne whilst barking orders at the staff. As an ex-stewardess on the Stena Line ferry from Dover to Calais, who happened to marry well, she's often guilty of being more royal than the Royals, as her husband Mick is oft to say, smiling benignly.
Katie stands in front of the full length mirror while her dress designers fusses around her.
"Oh bluddy hell Mummy, why didn't you let me get my boobs done? I barely fill this dress" she wailed, plumping up her chest as best she could.
"Oh for heavens sake Katie, must we go through all this again. You'd end up looking like something out of a girl band and we all know that none of them have managed to land an 'Honorable'" She barges Katie out of the way and admires herself in front of the mirror. "God I still have great legs. The Stena Stunner they used to call me you know"
Katie smiled weakly. If she'd heard the story once, she'd heard it a hundred times.
The door from the bedroom opened and in sashayed Poppy, Katie's younger sister. " How do I look" she asked, smugly knowing full well that she looked gorgeous in her full length column gown.
"Oh effing hell Poppy, you look better than me. I knew I should have insisted on that big meringue dress"
Poppy turned to check out her rear view. "Does my bum look big in this?" she asked, already knowing the answer
"Oh yah, Poppy, it's bloody ginormous!"
"Oh come on Waitie, don't be like that". Poppy gave her sister a smug look
"Mummeeeeeee, tell her not to call me that. I HATE it"
"Come on girls," Mrs Griptight-Thynne said in the same voice she'd used with them since they were tiny "Play nicely. We all know it took Wait...er.. Katie years to find get Bills down the aisle but you don't need to rub it in"
A sharp rap on the door heralded the arrival of the father of the bride. He stopped for a moment at the door, taking in the three women in his life, well that's if you didn't include Dolly., the elderly labrador he'd had for years. "My word gels, you look stunning. Are we ready for the off then? Don't want the Hon Bills to have time to change his mind"He guffawed loudly to himself, completely oblivious to the blank stares of everyone else in the rooom.
"Or for his bluddy stepmother to persuade him that we are too common" murmured Mrs Griptight-Thynne through gritted teeth herself only two generations from Bodgit and Scarper Plumbing and Heating Ltd.
The stretch Hummer that the Hon Bills had chosen for the wedding car purred quietly outside the hotel. Katie sighed and wished to god he'd never joined the Territorial Army. Thought he was bluddy Napoleon now.
"But Bills, darling, can't we just have a nice limo?" she had asked"Well, these are austere times for the proles" he had told her, "don't want to seem too profligate"
Sighing deeply, she clambered in, hampered by the twenty foot train that her designer had thought would finish off her gown so nicely. "Oh daddy do try not to stand on it" she said as her father planted his size 10 right on top of it.
The Hummer set off followed by the attendant's car chock full of relatives of Bills and his parents who were doing the honours of bridesmaid and pages.... all ten of them, the youngest, Lady Petunia White-Van Cutmeup was only 4. She winced slightly as she saw the two page boys. She's suggested to Bills that they might look quite dashing in military uniform but desert combat dress wasn't quite what she had in mind. Poor Poppy having to manage that lot. Thank goodness she'd be captain of the lacrosse team at Marlborough. That should stand her in good stead.
They arrived at the church of West Minster to find a group of rather bemused looking Japanese tourists waving Union flags half heartedly.
"What on earth are they doing here?" Katie whispered to her father. "Lord only knows because I don't think they do". A chill breeze hit her as she climbed out of the Hummer. "Oh arse!" she groaned as her nipples stood out like organ stops. "I told Mummy to get me some of those Gel Petals from John Lewis." The photographer snapped away as Katie tried to hide her embarrassment behind her ridiculously small bouquet.
The organ burst into life playing an almost note-perfect rendition of a trumpet voluntary. "Come on Katie, time to go" said her father, taking her hand. The doors of the church swung open to reveal 20 people crammed into the bridegroom's side and 200 on hers. What the.... ! There was the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker.
"My bluddy mother" thought Katie, "Just because I'm marrying an Honourable she's acting like the lady of the manor.... and after she told me I couldn't invite Petronella and Tarquin too" She fixed a smile on her face as they set off down the aisle. She felt a rush of affection for Bills as the sun came out, sending the multi-coloured reflections of the stained glass windows bouncing of his balding pate, a stark contrast to the thick head of ginger hair sported by his brother, the Honorable Hal. Where did that ginger hair come from?
She smiled to left and right, nodding to those she didn't know (most of them) and beaming at the odd familiar face. Bills's family seemed to be involved in some sort of 'Ridiculous Hat' competition. There was one that looked like a giant popodom, Tara's looked like a satellite dish, probably so she could pick up'Horse and Country' if she got bored and OH.....MY......GOD..... what the hell were the Car Crash Couture cousins wearing this time? One looked like a giant Roman candle, the other like a cross between Rudolf (as in the reindeer) and a tellytubby with a bad spray tan. Better keep them out of the wedding photos.
Bills's choice of wedding attire was almost as big a secret as her dress. She'd hoped for a morning suit but he'd come in his TA uniform with a borrowed sash to spice it up a bit. Viscount Hal, on the other hand, who was a real soldier, looked resplendent in his ceremonial dress uniform, even though he did look like he had had a tangle with a few hundred yards of gold rope. Maybe she could fix him up with Poppy. Now there's a thought.
As she approached the altar steps Bills turned and smiled. OK, perhaps he wasn't the greatest looker in the land but she didn't care. He was her Bills.... and in any case, the old Earl was knocking on now so he was bound to peg it soon. And you never know, Hal could run off with a Muslim or something and then Bills would get the title. She'd be the Countess of Nether Wallop. God, mother would have a field day on that one!
As Bills took her hand she had a fleeting thought for the other couple getting married that day and hoped that they would be just as happy as she was.
Any similarities to any person living,dead or recently married is purlely unintentional . Did I get that right?
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