I had the best time this past weekend. You see, it was the weekend of the much hyped Royal Wedding of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales & the newly proclaimed Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, at Westminster Abbey. Prince William – or Willy, as he prefers me to call him – is really a very down-to-earth guy (but a horrible bluffer at strip poker, I found out this weekend). Willie, Kate and I had so much fun all day long. Not wanting to steal any of their thunder, I tried to stay in the background as much as possible. After all the day was about them, not me.

You may be asking yourself, how did I get invited to the Royal Wedding when even President Obama failed to make the guest list. Obama was axed from the list when during his visit last year with the Queen he casually quipped “what is it with Prince Charles’ ears?” The Queen is not known for her sense of humor. As for me, Willy and I go way back. He was a promising student of mine when I taught Honors’ Latin at the prestigious all-boys’ Eton School in Windsor, back in the mid-1990’s. He was also a gifted attacker on the Oxford polo team I coached for two seasons.

So we have kept in touch ever since. I would like to think my glowing letter of recommendation was one of the reasons the young prince was able to get into the Royal Air Force College despite his mediocre GPA. I guess I have always been a bit of a mentor to the young lad.

To be honest, it was a thrill just to be invited to the shindig this weekend. I’m so glad I decided to hang out with the Royal Couple and 1900 of their closest friends, many of whom, I confess I only knew in passing before this weekend. Just before Willy left Buckingham Palace en route to Westminster Abbey for the wedding, I was able to steal a few minutes alone with England’s future king to give him some advice about the keys to a happy marriage, the importance of calcium in his diet, and which team to put his money on in the upcoming British soccer season (I told him Manchester United was vastly overrated). I also offered up a timely suggestion about what to do if Camilla Parker-Bowles tried to make a scene at the wedding. That home wrecker. I also taught Kate how to do the perfect royal wave. She hadn’t a clue.

The wedding processional was lovely – marred only by a brief scuffle involving a drunken wedding crasher who somehow got past security and began screaming about the End of Days. Fortunately, Buckingham Palace guards were able to wrestle Glenn Beck to the ground before the Royal Couple entered the sanctuary. The only other awkward moment came when the Prince and his blushing bride kissed. I just wish someone had told me that blowing into a vuvuzela horn was considered to be an inappropriate celebratory gesture at a royal wedding. I’ll never make that mistake again next month at the wedding of the Crown Prince of Denmark. (Note to self: Bring the bagpipes instead.)

After the wedding came the traditional fairy tale carriage ride back to Buckingham Palace for the reception. So you can imagine my surprise when the Duchess of Cambridge insisted I accompany them back to the palace in the royal carriage. You probably won’t see me in most of the photos, as I was slouched on the floor until we were well out of view of the paparazzi, out of respect for the newlyweds. In the carriage ride, I heard Kate mention something about how Queen Elizabeth can be such a “bloody uptight bugger” (that’s a direct quote) because she nixed her plans to break into a food fight when they sliced the wedding cake. Such a bore, that Queen Liz can be.

At the reception, I was seated at Table 4 between Sir Elton John and King Harald V of Norway. (Harald spoke impeccable English. His English was stronger than my Norwegian, I must admit.) Also sitting at our table was Prince Albert of Monaco, and oddly enough, Snooki of the reality series Jersey Shore. Seems Kate is a big fan of the show.

Despite the impressive company at my table, I mused about how nice it would have been to be seated at Table 3. Bono and Sir Paul McCartney were there, sitting right next to the Viscount of Essex. I don’t need to tell you how big a fan I am of the Viscount of Essex.

The food was sumptuous, if a tad bit pretentious for my American palate. If I ate one more smoked salmon pâté or brie-stuffed truffle, I thought was going to explode. New this year was the late addition of Cheese Nachos as an appetizer. (That was my idea, although Kate nixed my other idea about lime Jell-O shots.) And as a wedding souvenir, everybody received matching William and Kate heirloom PEZ Dispensers. These will look smashing next to my Charles and Diana salt and pepper shakers, I must say.

No sooner than I had finished licking my fourth helping of carrot cake off my custom-made Prince & Duchess commemorative dessert plate, the Royal Couple was hurriedly swept away, bound for their exotic honeymoon. Their destination was kept under close wraps for months. Personally, I had my heart set on Euro-Disney. In the end, they opted for tour of the historic sites of Jordan and Syria – apparently they have not been reading the papers lately. Of course, they pleaded with me to join them on their romantic getaway, but I decided to let them have some alone time. Besides, as I said, I really had my heart set on Euro-Disney’s It’s a Small World ride.

I wish the couple only the best. I hope they like the wedding gift I bought them – a matching set of electric tooth brushes in the likenesses of William and Kate, which I found on eBay. Very tasteful – and practical. If that doesn’t get them to anoint me Duke of Lancashire or at least Earl of Suffolk, I don’t know what will.

Well, I must go. I don’t want to be late for my fox hunt with Sir Elton and Sting in the countryside of Wales. I just hope they didn’t invite Christian Bale this time. He loves to show off his Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Rather tacky, if you ask me. Well, I must be off. Tally ho!

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2011

Share This