Katie Real Bride Blogger After Meeting Prince Charles
Katie, 33, is in PR, while her ex-soldier H2B Ultimate Hero (UH), 38, is a close protection bodyguard. She will be sharing her wedding diary with us in the countdown to her big day on April 30, 2011.
So brides, I went to the palace and met the prince. I really did my research on this one – it was one evening I had to get right, and on so many other evening dos I have got it totally wrong: I once turned up to a summer garden party sporting a rock-chick look.
I knew having a backless dress I needed a spray tan to cancel out the pastiness. I wasn’t too hot on the idea of pitching up to the palace streaky and smelling like biscuits though, and I knew the orange look wasn’t going to work against the red carpets of St James’s Palace, so I booked an aromatherapy spray-tan at Cucumba.
My therapist, Toshie, mixed a blend of two tones to get the perfect bronze for me and the most lush aromatherapy scent. For the first time, I looked like I would if I was naturally tanned, and I didn’t smell like a biscuit factory – massive bonus. The heavens were looking down on me – I had enough confidence to pull off what might be a borderline revealing gown for a prince.
I had already booked a make-up artist/hair stylist from Candy and Bloom Candy and Bloom to come to my aid. It was going to take a serious professional to turn around the state of my face – thankfully my stylist Steph worked her magic on me. The team do weddings too, and it was actually great wedding training!
To match my Grecian gown, Steph created a really cool side plait with a bit of height at the crown, and to match the jewels of the dress she created a bronzy gold eye and a really amazing red lip. UH was worried red lippy might make me look too much like a harlot for Charles, but weirdly Steph applied it so well that it lasted all night.
After accidentally stumbling across the most gorgeous Mikey red beaded bracelet to match my dress for the royal do, I discovered they have a dedicated wedding section on their site that I totally love, so I got my bridesmaids’ earrings and bracelets from them while I was there, and that was it – I was ready to go, a commoner on my way to the palace.
I knew I was on to a winner when I got ushered into the cloakroom, took off my coat and the usher said: ‘Now that is a dress’.
I was a total fish out of water in a sea of very conservative and ridiculously rich people. Weaving through the crowd, I bumped into Patrick Stewart and Jeremy Irons (!) who looked rather dashing in their tuxedos.
When HRH arrived, I was shocked to discover that he isn’t all that tall. I missed my opportunity to request the use of the royal aircraft to ferry my guests to my wedding in Norfolk though, as I got into an engrossing conversation with Sadie Frost about our love of yoga and how we both need to manage our stress levels better.
The dining room was everything you would imagine it to be – the tables were intricately decorated with a slight Christmas feel. I was sat exactly three people away from Prince Charles, which was bizarre. Everybody in the room seemed to know about royal protocol except me, and a few on my table at £10,000 per head had clearly been to the palace before.
Before you gasp, I didn’t pay for my seat, it was paid for for me – I was only there four hours, that’s £2,500 per hour! But it all goes to charity, so they must have raised a lot on the night.
HRH is a great speaker, and quite funny – he made a crack about being the product of 1500 years of breeding. Every time he stands up though, you have to stand too. We were chatting on our table, attempting to predict the winner of this year’s X Factor, when he stood up to exit the room – we dropped everything, stood up, and HRH greeted me and the girl next to me as he walked past!
The crazy thing is, she had kicked off her very high, painful shoes under the table during dinner, so she ended up greeting HRH Prince Charles, the future king, barefoot. What a relief there was someone else in a more awkward situation than me for a change!
Towards the end of the night, I took mine and Sadie’s place cards along with the menu as a keepsake. I’d ordered one of the waiters over to HRH’s chair, and asked him to discreetly lift Prince Charles’ place card too, but he came back and said it was missing – clearly another commoner had had the same idea. My grandmothers would have loved that.
The night was a great distraction from Hero absence, but now it’s over it has dawned on me just how sad I feel. I am spending Christmas in Norfolk with mother and brother of UH, and we are stuffing wedding invitation envelopes without the Hero. I registered for our gift lists alone, and have to go to the cathedral wedding-information evening solo.
I am so proud of the UH though – he has a really important job, and is really needed out there. But I also feel slightly like Bridget Jones in the first film, when she eats all the ice cream to the backdrop of All By Myself by Jamie O’Neal.
The only benefit of doing the gift list alone is that I got to put those ultra-glam chandeliers on the list.
It is becoming really real now brides – four months will fly. I really had better get on to toning my upper arms…
Read Katie’s wedding diary week 21 (and find links to earlier weeks) here.
Check out her wedding diary week 22 here…
…Or read week 23 here…