Jayne Dawson: Things we now know

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IT’S all over then. The fun, the frivolity, the Oh-Thank-God-I Don’t-Have-To-Go-To-Work moment on those blessed Friday and Monday mornings.

It’s finished, finito, kaput, and it’s never going to happen again, or at least not for ages.

But it wasn’t in vain because important things were discovered. Here’s what we learned over the Easter/Royal bank holiday fest (Obviously I really mean what I learned, but that royal “we” habit is hard to break, isn’t it?)

Three-day weeks are fabulous. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. I could get used to them, heck, I have got used to them. But they’re not great in the build-up, or in the three days between one long weekend and the next. Those days are grim. Grimmer than anything, grimmer even than Beatrice and Eugenie’s wedding outfits – oh no, I’ve strayed into point three already.

But, anyway, the anxiety, the hyperventilating, the falling out with your colleagues, the lists, the dark moments just before dawn – they’re all worth it the day you wake up and realise it’s Friday and you don’t have to go to work, and then it’s Monday and you still don’t have to go to work...amazing.

That tradition of dressing your bridesmaid in the worst outfit you can find – there’s a reason for that. It’s called Pippa. The thing is, Kate-I-mean-Catherine looked lovely, but when you are walking down the aisle to marry your real-life prince the least you can expect is that the entire world is watching you, and not your sister’s bottom.

On the bright side, Kate-I-mean-Catherine could find that her sister integrates into her new family much more easily than she dared hope. Certainly Prince Harry seemed keen to be friendly.

Maureen Lipman is a wise woman. In moments of crisis, I used to ask myself what Vera Lynn would have done in such a situation. Now, I’m thinking of switching to Maureen. I’m basing my change of loyalty on her appearance on the Andrew Marr show when she told the jug-eared one that princesses Beatrice and Eugenie needed help.

She’s right. There is only so much rudeness that it is appropriate to throw at two bizarrely- dressed young women before you start to think it’s time for someone to have a kind word. These two need love and support and a little chat with Kate-I-mean-Catherine, not our scorn. They’re not going to have been born with the style gene are they? Look at their parents.

It is possible to be too tasteful. She looked lovely, of course she did. But didn’t you feel just a little bit cheated? Wasn’t that dress, in all its restrained elegance, just a bit...boring? I know how it must have gone in the Middleton camp: “We’re commoners, we say ‘toilet’ and ‘pleased to meet you’, we have to prove we know what good taste is,” they will have said.

And they did. The whole family looked pared-to-the-bone elegant, but really, they had no need to try so hard – the royals were no competition.

Truth to tell, I preferred Diana’s dress all those years ago. I know it was big enough to now qualify as a listed building, but I liked that. A royal bride is supposed to define an age, not look timeless.

A plastic tiara is more comfortable than a diamond tiara – though I’m not speaking from experience. I felt for Kate-I-mean-Catherine having to keep that tiara on her head all those hours, I bet she had a heck of a headache by the time she climbed into the Aston Martin. Mine, worn in a gesture of royal empathy, was super-comfy all day.

The higher your status, the less you carry. Did you notice? As the days to the wedding ticked by, Kate Etc was pictured carrying less and less. A few days before the wedding, her King’s Road outfit was a little dress and an itsy-bitsy handbag, which didn’t say “it’s such a lovely day” so much as “my chauffeur is parked round the corner”. Women spend their lives carrying things: shopping, babies, handbags containing their daily life-support systems, but Kate has given all that up. Even her wedding bouquet was tiny and by the time she set off for her weekend honeymoon, she had even given up the handbag and walked to the helicopter carrying...nothing. A normal woman wouldn’t have a clue what to do with such unexpectedly free arms. I believe Kate Etc has had lessons.

Long nails are common. Kate Etc was wearing super short ones, and we had plenty of time to notice as William rammed the wedding ring painfully over her knuckle. Kate, in fairness, didn’t flinch, in fact she was superbly calm throughout. Still, I think it was unfair – but rather amusing – of my friend to wonder what they had given her. Anyway, I think the answer was “a prince”.

Everyone can suffer a wardrobe malfunction, as my mother should have said to my father the day he decided to roll up his sleeves on the one jumper she had ever knitted, and he rolled for a long time before he realised the sleeve had detached from the shoulder and was now merely a bracelet of wool around his elbow. Kate Etc had a wardrobe malfunction the day before the wedding when she was pictured turning up at her hotel in a jacket on which the hem was falling down. Fortunately, everyone decided not to notice, which was not the case with Beatrice and Eugenie, but, like Maureen says, everyone has to stop talking about that now.

Aristocrats are above the rules. Or is that just Samantha Cameron, daughter of landed gentry? The invitation said wear a hat. Everybody wore a hat, apart from the Prime Minister’s wife, who stuck a slide in her hair instead. Why? For the love of God, why? It wasn’t her day, it was their day. Just follow the rules.

But apparently Sam doesn’t do hats. I call this an affectation. Somewhere out there, for a woman with as much money as she has, there will be a hat that suits. She should find it.

There is a new wedding day essential – a lip reader to catch those intimate words of love that pass between you and your beloved when you think no-one can hear. Does anyone else think the House of Windsor could have played a blinder here – I can’t help thinking there were an awful lot of perfect “unscripted” words of wit and warmth love and affection? Just a thought.

Finally, it’s best not to be too cynical (see above) because weddings and bank holidays are lovely.

BE CURIOUS: One of the events at a previous Be Curious festival.

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