Saturday, 23 April 2011
The impending nuptials, aka The Royal Wedding, Catherine and William makes me very glad I downsized in 2009 from the family home just round the corner from Raffles, a nightclub frequented by the royal princes and their entourage. One morning I came out of my front door and found one of Harry's loafers in the gutter where he had dropped it leaping into a car to escape the attentions of the press. Catherine - Kate as she was then - lived just round the other corner, in Old Church St where my son in law Jim used to bump into Woody Allen as Woody went off to work on his latest film and Jim walked Flo the family cairn terrier. That part of Chelsea was exactly where Henry VIII used to row up river to, to visit his friend Thomas More. The square where we lived was part of Thomas More's garden, and in the southwest corner of the square was Richard II's house, brought stone by stone from the City when it was in danger of being demolished. That house became for a time part of an ugly modern building housing the University Women's Institute, then passed into the hands of a city tycoon nicknamed Pretty Boy who incorporated it into a magnificent replica of a Tudor mansion. Chris Nolan, our pianist at the April 16 Love and Marriage book event, used to play in the famous Long Bar at Raffles hotel in Singapore.