‘One day your prince will come.’ Really? Actually, yes. Mine came!! When I announced that I’d be supporting the Soldiering On charity at the Invictus Games, the first question most people asked was “Will you meet Prince Harry?” Having met Prince William without make-up and hair in a scrunchie (me, not him), I was somewhat hoping to make a better impression on his brother. After all, this could be my last chance to marry a prince….
Well, he did come – and I missed him! Realising that it was going to be a long evening, I’d stopped to pick up a slice of lemon drizzle cake in John Lewis, and that ten minutes cost me my chance to become a princess. He stopped by the Soldiering On stand and chatted with Dennis, posed for a photo and politely refused to buy a raffle ticket. Weird, thought he’d like to win a Triumph Bonneville motorbike, but there you go… no flying down the M4 like a bat out of hell for this man.
More important than royalty, spending five hours with clients, one obviously hopes to impress – or at least not look a complete idiot. It was cold, that’s my defence. Dennis had bought me a glass of red wine to warm me up as we walked around the Olympic Park handing out charity freebies. (I blame him for what happened next…)
As the opening ceremony started, I held the wine in my left hand with camera poised in my right, aimed towards the royal audience and the big screen, snapping away for Twitter. “Quick!” yelled Tal, waving at the Red Arrows soaring overhead… (I blame him for what happened next…)
Actually I can’t blame anyone else… As I raised my camera I forgot about the wine and elegantly (not) tipped the whole glass over myself!! It splashed off my face and down the inside of my clothes, staining a branded sweatshirt that I’d borrowed from someone else, ruining a new, very nice cream lace bra, soaking my skin and settling in a claret puddle on my white converse (left foot only!) – ruined!! But how they all laughed!
This story of my own stupidity can’t detract from the seriousness of the games – if that’s the right word. Serious because it highlights the horrendous injuries sustained by so many of the people fighting for our – and world – safety. Yet inspiring and so full charm, team solidarity and comradeship; fun, exciting and totally motivating,
I stood at the front of the stage for Harry’s closing speech on Sunday, and heard him congratulate all the competitors before foo Fighters stormed the stage. He thanked everyone involved in executing the event, and I was proud to be a teeny tiny part of that. What a wonderful experience.
As Wednesday’s ceremony drew to a close, I raised my Merlot-stained face to the sky and closed my eyes as a million pieces of gold ticker tape fluttered over me like angels. I guess if you stop searching for a pot of gold it can sweetly land on you right when you least expect it. But then, isn’t that the story of life…?
I only recently found out that Neil Diamond wrote these words: ‘I’d have thought that with time thoughts of you would leave my head. I was wrong, and I find, just one thing makes me forget.’ I don’t turn to red, red wine to forget; I prefer to remember everything with clarity than claret! And these past few days at Invictus with Soldiering On certainly won’t be forgotten!