CARDINAL Sean Brady, Primate of All-Ireland, has been given the nod to attend the nuptials of Wills and Kate inside Westminster Abbey today.
As a special treat, TheJournal.ie‘s regular columnist and spiritual guide, (Not) Cardinal Brady, agreed to liveblog EXCLUSIVELY for us from (just outside) the Abbey.
And so it begins…
10.46 - Have been in the church with Father Lawlor (my plus one) for two hours now. It is all very exciting, but I really need to go wee wee.
10.48 - I tell Father Lawlor I really need to go wee wee and I ask him where the toilets are.
“You can’t,” he says “George Michael is in there.”
I don’t know what this means but Michael Barrymore, who is sitting two seats away from us, suddenly perks up.
10.49 - Father Lawlor is eating a packet of Maltesers in the church. But it’s okay, it’s Anglican. They are much more relaxed than we are.
10.51 - We are sitting right beside Elton John and David Furnish. Father Lawlor is offering them Maltesers.
Elton John doesn’t seem interested (which is just as well, he could do with losing a bit of weight) but David Furnish is beating into the Maltesers with great gusto.
10.52 - Father Lawlor asks David Furnish “Did you bring the baby?”
David Furnish points at Elton “What do you think?” he replies. Both David Furnish and Father Lawlor laugh.
Elton sighs heavily. I roll my eyes in sympathy with him.
10.57 - George Michael is back from the toilets. He sits beside me and winks. I can hear from the screams outside that Kate Middleton is arriving. I can’t go anywhere. I will just have to hold it.
10.58 - George Michael asks Michael Barrymore what he is doing here.
Michael Barrymore shows him a wedding invitation with the words “Syrian Ambassador” scribbled out.
11.02 - Oh, the excitement. Glad I took my blood pressure tablets.
11.04 - Everyone agrees that the dress is only lovely.
11.04 - Father Lawlor says “You could fit a small regiment under that train.”
11.11 - David Furnish and Father Lawlor are still laughing. There are Malteser crumbs everywhere. Some of the people sitting nearby are asking them to shush. I edge away from them, but it means edging nearer George Michael.
11.17 - I see Jeremy Cun-HUNT! Hunt! Jeremy Hunt is here. (phew)
11.17 - I spot George Osborne in the congregation. Remember I met him outside. Make mental note to check I still have my wallet.
11.19 - Mr and Mrs David Beckham are sitting in front of us. Mrs Beckham has just turned the missal the right way up for David. Bless.
11.20 - Rowan Williams. Those clothes do nothing for him.
11.20 - Father Lawlor is sobbing. Lord help me.
11.21 - Mr Bean is here! He is hilarious. I wonder if he will re-enact his inept vicar scene from Three Weddings and a Funeral…
11.22 - Father Lawlor nudges me. “Amy Huberman is here,” he says. I try not to look interested, but I can see her out of the corner of my eye. She is all on her own. But I am not bothered.
11.23 - I try to catch Amy Huberman’s eye.
11.24 - Amy Huberman is waving at me!!
11.24 - I wave back at Amy Huberman!!
11.24 - Amy Huberman is actually waving at someone standing behind me. I do the pretending I was waving at somebody else thing.
11.25 - Father Lawlor asks me who I was waving at. I tell him I was waving at the guest from the Zoroastrian Church.
11.26 - Oh great, now I have to explain Zoroastrianism to David Beckham.
11.27 - Willing this young gentlemen on in his reading. This is like the King’s Speech.
11.28 - Well done. Colin Firth is only in the ha’penny place.
11.29 - Elton, George Michael and Father Lawlor are singing along to the hymn. One of them is out of tune. I am not saying which one.
11.29 - Although it might be the person with orange hair.
11.29 - Although I have been told it is not ACTUAL hair.
11.31 - Michael Barrymore cannot sit still. He is worse than a child at Christmas Day Mass.
11.32 - Choooooon, as they say.
11.34 - That is a scarf the Bishop of London is wearing. That is so not a vestment of any kind.
11.35 - Security have just spotted Michael Barrymore.
11.37 - Michael Barrymore does a funny walk out of the church. Aided by two burly security men. “Awoight! Awoight!”
11.39 - Bishop of London is using a microphone. I wouldn’t use a microphone. I wouldn’t need to. I’m just saying.
11.40 - Making small talk with George Michael. I wish he would stop saying “Sweetheart.”
11.41 - “It’s Cardinal Sweetheart to you,” I say. Flustered now.
11.42 - Father Lawlor referring to the pointy bits on Mrs Beckham’s hat: “I wonder how many radio stations she can get on that.”
11.44 - It had to happen. Someone here has the same outfit as me! Disgusted now.
11.45 - Father Lawlor and I are saying our version of the Our Father and WE get the funny looks.
11.47 - Father Lawlor: “Doesn’t Guy Ritchie look so buff?”
11.48 - Nearly finished. It went on very long. This must be how lay people feel.
11.50 - Am not sure, but I think I just heard somebody called David Cameron a Jeremy Hunt.
11.51 - Elton has a “I am thinking about wedding cake” look in his eyes.
11.53 - Come on. Come on. I still need to go wee wee.
11.53 - Isn’t the Queen only brilliant? (sudden urge to buy a canary when I get home)
11.56 - Sting isn’t here. I am very disappointed. I have all his albums. Including the ones he did with the lanky American fellow and the short grumpy fellow. I even have the rubbishy jazz inspired ones.
12.01 - Father Lawlor using the Royal wave to wave at the Queen.
Make mental not to bring Father Lawlor as my plus one to the next royal wedding.
12.04 - A short nun and a tall nun. Tut tut. Lack of ceremonial symmetry there.
12.06 - I know you can’t see at home, but Michael Barrymore has sneaked back inside under her train.
12.10 - Oh great. A mad rush, and now the queue for the toilets is nearly out the door.
12.12 - Stuck in the queue between David Cameron and Ed Milliband. This is awkward.
12.16 - Father Lawlor still eating Maltesers.
“That was brilliant. We are so coming to the next one,” he says. I say nothing.
George Michael winks at me. This is going to be a long reception.