What Does One Wear to Buckingham Palace?


Well, the moment is drawing tantalisingly close. We're off to a garden party at the palace.



We get ready for a garden party at Buckingham Palace

It's been a bit of a week. A week where matters other than trotting off to London to eat cucumber sandwiches in the Queen's garden have pushed to the fore.


One of those weeks where you aren't sure how you will get through them. There have been a few tears.

Preparing and delivering a talk to a group of SENCOs, offering online support to someone in need, saddened at the loss of a young woman I knew and wondering how her family will cope, pre-teen tantrums, school exams, voting, finishing Natty's homework about Grandma's teddy, reeling at a some online insensitivity, sorting out book reviews, making preparations for my Mum's 70th birthday, planning travel to various trips to conferences in the weeks ahead, chasing my tail.

And in all of that I have felt a rising pride at the invitation sitting in its envelope in the box along with my new wedge-heeled shoes. (That was the first tip that someone gave me when I opened the invitation by the way: Wear wedges or you will sink into the lawn, never to be seen again.)

But by the same token, I feel a fraud. There are so many many bloggers, nurses, doing what I do. So many parents who are passionate about changing the world for their children and others. So many doing enormous amounts for charity.

Then feeling like a fraud made way for feeling little afraid. 
Will I make a buffoon of myself at Buckingham Palace? Will I get cucumber stuck between my teeth, trip over the aforementioned wedges in front of Her Madge, or forget something vital like my passport to prove who I am to get in...? *dashes off to find passport* Will it rain and I'll end up with a soggy hat clinging to my head like a drowned bird?

I don't do hats. Well, I have a lovely collection of bright knitted affairs and rather lovely beanies that reside in a basket by the front door. But unless you are The Edge you can't get away with that type of headwear at a royal function can you.


Beanie hats are OK when you are The Edge from U2


So, I decided that perhaps a fascinator might be the least obtrusive option. I ordered a couple, just to see what on earth they looked like, and to pick the best of the bunch.

They arrived and when I opened the first box I jumped back in fright. A black and brown curve was springing out of the packaging like a snake. It reminded me of the time I had stumbled on an adder in an overgrown garden as a child. So that feathered pillbox number was out. Definitely out.



Not the scary snake hat!

The simple curly feathery black one it was to be.


Girl's Worlds make good fascinator holders


Oh heck. The untamed grey locks!
Cue an emergency appointment with the hair doctor. Cut and coloured and thinned and tamed. Tick.

House/dog/hen sitter arranged. Tick.

Someone to take and collect the children from school. Tick.

Nails tidied and painted a respectable neutral shade. Tick.

I didn't need to worry about what to wear. I have my trusty steed in the wardrobe. The jacket that has taken me to weddings and Christenings and No.10 and everywhere in between. The investment Armani piece that cost an arm and a leg years and years ago. It will be perfect for tea with the Queen...

...Blast! A few extra pounds have meant that my smartest jacket won't do up. Even moving the button an inch didn't work. It all seems to be blossom, so I shan't complain.

Outfit B it is then.

And if Natty has taught me something, it's that things generally work out the way they are supposed to. Outfit B is exactly what I am meant to wear... once I work out what that is.




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