You know what it’s like. There’s going to be a wedding in the family and you all try to figure out the best date and venue.
The respective parents have to be consulted. No good holding a wedding if mum and dad can’t be there to give speeches and weep into paper tissues. Then there are brothers and sisters. (“You can’t get married in August – I’ll be in Peru on my gap year.”) Granny says she doesn’t want the wedding held in bad weather. The venue the couple want isn’t available in July.
And so it goes on.
If you think organising an ordinary wedding is enough of a hassle, take a look at the people who need to be consulted before the wedding day of Kate Middleton and Prince William can even be decided. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it gives the general idea!
Gran and Granddad. The Queen and Prince Philip.
The Queen’s diary is planned years in advance so her courtiers will have been busy shunting events around to try and suit Kate and William’s choice of wedding day. Philip, popularly referred to in England as Phil the Greek, is about to be 90 years old and has decided to ditch most of his royal engagements so his diary should be relatively free for 2011.
Dad and his wife. Prince Charles and Camilla.
Charles will pick up quite a bit of the bill for the wedding and is said to be trying to force William to let his own former valet, Michael Fawcett, do the wedding planning. Fawcett organised Charles’ wedding to divorcee Camilla Parker-Bowles (generally disliked by the British public for continuing to sleep with Charles after he married the young Princess Diana.) (Charles is still pretty unpopular for the same reason.)
Charles has all sorts of engagements in his diary, many relating to his businesses, such as Duchy Originals. Camilla who has been called “the laziest woman in England” should have less trouble finding a free day in her diary for 2011.
Brother. Prince Harry.
William’s brother Harry has a slightly schizophrenic public persona. He’s not sure whether he’s Good Boy or Bad Bloke. Consequently he splits his time between trotting around in Africa supporting charities his mother Princess Diana would have approved of, or falling drunk and disorderly out of west London nightclubs at 3 in the morning supporting not even himself. William will want to check that Harry will be around in London on the big day and not trekking across a game reserve in Kenya.
Is the Lord Chamberlain. You know how we Brits (still) go in for archaic titles and job descriptions. The Lord Chamberlain is the top dog in the Royal Household – apart from the royals obviously – and he gets to organise royal events like garden parties at Buckingham Palace and weddings. He’ll have plenty to say about the way the event is organised and which date chosen.
The Metropolitan police.
They’ll have to make lots of cops available, especially if the venue is Westminster Abbey. The Abbey is right next door to the Houses of Parliament and House of Lords. Protests against the government spending cuts are always possible.
The British Army.
Will have to be on standby. The royal wedding, with the queen and heads of state attending, is clearly a possible terrorist target.
The Royal Air Force
Kate has been much criticised for never having worked in her 30 years. “Waity Katy”, people said, is just holding out for a wedding ring from Wills. Prince William, though, does have a job. He’s a search and rescue pilot in Wales and his RAF colleagues might organise a celebratory fly-over on his wedding day.
Barak Obama and Michelle
Obama must be a pretty busy man. Like the British Prime Minister, he has a crisis-ridden economy to run. His aides will have let the Palace know when he is, and isn’t, available in 2011.
European Heads of State.
So far only the French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been suggested as a possible European invitee. When he last came to London, Sarkozy brought his ex-top model, pop singer wife, Carla Bruni, with him. It was noticeable that in press photos Prince Charles looked very happy to see Carla. So perhaps Palace aides will be asked to check that the Sarkozys are free before William’s wedding date is fixed.
After everyone’s had their say and juggled their free dates and impossible dates, the British royal wedding of 2011 will be announced. And then the real, mammoth planning effort will get underway.