Poor old Princess Beatrice.
Well, she's neither poor nor old, but it seems she can't get a break. The elder daughter of the, ahem, 'troubled' Prince Andrew and, er, 'ever colourful' Fergie watched her little sister Eugenie's sumptuous, excessive wedding last year with a rictus smile, relayed on TV complete with carriages, adoring crowds, marquees, celebrities and hundreds of gushing guests.
She was then on the rebound from a decade-long dead-end romance and met her now fiancé, Italian count Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, at said nuptials and things were finally looking up.
So far so happy, but it's been a series of unfortunate events ever since, and now Bea may well have to get married with five people in the room (including the bride and groom), no cameras, no carriage ride, no reception and no queen. The new strict guidelines from the UK government amid the Covid-19 lockdown must be both adhered to, and seen to be adhered to, by members of the royal family. Her Maj has even withdrawn her gracious offer of Buck House for the afters.
What a gawping treat we'll miss. We've become used to the old royal shenanigans, given they seem to spend half their time over here these days.
That her fiancé's two-year-old son was to be best man was the least of the delicacies. Prince Andrew would be seen in public for the first time since the scandal over his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein; Fergie, having held herself back with immense fortitude last time around, might finally go off the rails, and we'd find out whether her favourite cousin, the now exiled Prince Harry, would make a brief return with the out-of-favour Meghan by his side. She hijacked Eugenie's wedding by announcing her own pregnancy at it (WHO DOES THAT?!).
We'll have to make do with gossip instead.
Penneys from heaven for wedding planners
I'm in the market for a bit of a wedding myself (later in the year, but at the moment, who knows?), and I already have the reputation of being cash-conscious, or as my radio-dad Ivan Yates persists in calling me, the 'Queen of Mean'. This is a compliment, since wasting money is anathema to me.
So I'm delighted that Primark has launched a bridal range for the bits and bobs that seem to migrate from the 'nice to have' list to 'it'll completely ruin the day if we don't' list, such as white flip flops (for the ladies bathroom basket, dontcha know?), floral coronets, and a range of undergarments starting at two quid. Who said I wasn't a cheap date? Sadly, they're only available in the UK, but if we can't rely on good old Penneys in these dark days, then what's left?
Food for thought about going out for dinner
Going out anywhere is a fraught exercise these days. You're mentally measuring two metres (a car length, two small children or, as the rugby head in our house says, "a James Ryan, but not quite a Devin Toner") to try to avoid everyone.
We decided after isolating for the last week, spending most of the days just cooking/working/sleeping and going only slightly stir crazy, that we could probably do with a few hours 'out'.
We did a quick check of nearby restaurants still open, operating social distancing guidelines, in which to grab a bite.
You want to support local business (and we do, a lot, in the normal run of things), but in the end we wondered would we be too self-conscious if we did? Perhaps our dining out should wait.
We got a takeaway under cloak and dagger instead.