I can’t quite remember what I was doing, aged seven, on the day that Charles and Diana got married, but it certainly didn’t involve a street party or house party or any sort of party for that matter. I suspect my mum and dad saw it as an excuse to stay in, have a big meal and get a spot of gardening done.
The main thing I recall is that BBC1 had cleared its schedule and there were cartoons on as early as 7.15, something confirmed a few years ago when I bought a copy of the Royal Wedding edition of the Radio Times off eBay. I’m not sure if this says more about me or my mum and dad, but as a result, I am determined to make Friday a day that the children never forget. And so too should all parents, regardless of your views on the Royal Family or how the economy is going to suffer because of the extra bank holiday (it isn’t, Daily Mail readers, it really isn’t – how can such a paper complain about this on one page and then be offering a souvenir Wills and Kate pull-out supplement the next, I don’t know).
This Friday is more than just a special occasion – it is history in the making. It’s a moment that we will be able to say that we were there to witness one day when William becomes King and he and Kate are watching their own grandchildren get married. It would be shameful to deny your children this.
Unfortunately my two kids are off school with tummy upsets – school rules dictate that you should keep them off for two days afterwards – so they’re going to miss the build-up that all their classmates will have. This means the wife and I will have to work extra hard to make the day special for them.
Indeed there’s a lot planned. A big screen at the sailing club down the road, then there’s a special spread on at the local pub, followed by a street party in a nearby village, ours being on too much of a main road to close.
Ironically, my mum and dad have also invited us over for lunch. Hmm, surely they must just have some gardening to do.
In short, we have no excuse not to enjoy a special day. We have already got our six-year-old daughter a T-shirt with a Union Jack heart on it (just three pounds from Asda) and she’s already excitedly talking about what we’re doing for the wedding. It’s just our four-year-old lad we’ve got to work on.
The other day in Asda I did show him all the bunting and regalia on sale, including a quite dreadful mug also for three pounds (save it for the T-shirt). I explained who the two people were in the rather grainy picture and how one day they will be king and queen. He seemed vaguely interested and so I will keep mentioning it at appropriate moments so he knows what all the fuss is about. And hopefully he will remember the day almost as much as he remembers going to Lapland.
If all else fails, I notice BBC2 have cleared their schedules and are showing The Pink Panther Show at 6.45. Maybe I’ll get up with him and watch that before all the pomp and ceremony begins.
Well, best to cover all bases, eh?