Friday 16 November 2018

This Man's Life: Echoes of Churchill up on the rooftop restaurant of the Marker

The rooftop of the Marker Hotel
The rooftop of the Marker Hotel
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

We went to the zoo last Saturday afternoon. I thought I was getting away from the royal wedding. My wife had other ideas. She was, it transpired, following it on a live feed on her phone.

As our four-month-old son in my arms saw a baby elephant for the first time, my wife was showing me the live television images of Prince Charles walking yer wan Meghan Markle down the aisle of St George's Chapel. As our three-and-a-half-year-old daughter was cooing over the seals being fed, my wonderful wife was able to tell me in beautiful tones that this was not the first time that Chuckie had walked a bride down the aisle on her wedding day: that rotter Chuckie, who had done the dirty on poor Diana, had walked Mountbatten heiress Alexandra Knatchbull down the aisle at her wedding to Thomas Hooper in 2016.

Despite all this, we had a great day in the Phoenix Park. It was such a gorgeous sunny day that we went for tea in the sunshine on the hipster rooftop restaurant of the award-wining Marker Hotel on Grand Canal Square. Charlie Sheil, the general manager, has done a fabulous job. Coverage of the royal wedding was still on mobile phones everywhere, even at 200ft above the ground. Apropos of the never-ending royal shindig across the sea in Windsor, I suddenly felt like Churchill after the British Army's triumph over Rommel's Afrika Korps at El Alamein in November 1942, when he cautioned thus: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

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