Wednesday 23 July 1986

…ROYAL WEDDING of Andrew (Duke of York) Windsor
and Sarah (now Duchess of York) Ferguson.
Everything went all right except the Princess got the Prince’s name
muddled up in the vows.
Watched TV from 9am to 6pm for the coverage.
Nine hours of TV!…

Despite my enthusiasm for this schedule-scuttling event, it seems I wasn’t up to watch such Breakfast Time special features as ‘Soon To Be Princess’ at 7.08am precisely, ‘The Abbey Awakes’ at 7.30am and ‘Across The Seas’ at 8.30am, wherein HMS Brazen “joins with a deck party in honour of their former shipmate”.

Hmm, perhaps I didn’t much after all.

The first thing I definitely saw was the slot at 9.05am entitled Dummer Delighted. Valerie Singleton and John Stapleton would have welcomed me and, by this point, a fair few million others, to the bride’s home village in Hampshire, before handing over to the colonies (in the shape of the Falklands) for some live starch-collared trans-continental bonhomie.

And on it went. Like it or loathe it, I stuck with it. David Dimbleby namechecking the guests arriving at the Abbey; Selina Scott cooing outside Buckingham Palace; Mike Smith out and about among well-wishers in The Mall; Sophie Hicks, “fashion editor”, talking about hats.

My diary implies that I also watched the film the Beeb slung out in between the kiss and the honeymoon departure: Living Free.

This seems a very feeble choice in retrospect, but was presumably chosen by virtue of its content being open to the least amount of misinterpretation or sly insinuation whatsoever.

After all, what possible symbolism was there in a film about a group of lazy, regal-looking beasts who spent their entire lives pawing each other while ferociously guarding their own property and warning off all outsiders with bizarre ritualistic flummery?

My nine hours of continuous viewing continued with Wacky Races, So You Want To Be Top and John Craven’s Newsround, climaxing with – gah- Heidi, whose total turgid televised exploits laid end-to-end would only just fall short of the entire length of Andrew and Fergie’s subsequent nuptials.

At which point my dad got home from work and told me to turn the TV off.

HRH and "Miss" Ferguson

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