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The next day

Nell: Have you seen the Daily Growl?

Me: No.

Nell: Jeremy just brought me the papers and there’s a photo of me at the wedding on the front page claiming Idris was giving me the eye.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: It’s put me off my toast and marmalade.

Me: Anyway, how did it go?

Nell: The service went well, apart from a few hiccups. Mutley got lost and ended up next to the Duke of Edinburgh at the front of the chapel. Fortunately we found him in time.

Me: Gosh.

Nell: Poppy decided to join in the fanfare from her seat and nearly gave Victoria Beckham a heart attack.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: David offered his hat to Prince Edward thinking he was an usher and Harriet had hysterics because a horse ate her circlet. But otherwise we were fine.

Me: Did the reception go well?

Nell: Excellent bowl food, my suggestion, so easy to eat and a lovely lemon and elderflower sponge. None of that dangerous fruit cake.

Me: It’s only dangerous to dogs.

Nell: Exactly. Fortunately Sir Elton didn’t mind David joining in at the end of his song. Just youthful exuberance as I said to the Clooneys. Didn’t Amal look lovely? I’m not sure we needed Harriet’s dancing but once she starts she is difficult to stop. I blame that Mumford. Or was it his son?

Me: What about the evening?

Nell: The evening was private.

Me: I know but it’s me you are talking to.

Nell: Meghan was perfect. Harry can’t keep his eyes off her. Just as it should be.

Me: What about you? Did you dance?

Nell: I may have done.

Me: Who with?

Nell: Never you mind. I need to check suitcases as James is collecting us in an hour.

Me: Tell me.

Nell: Enough. Get off the phone. I’ve packing to do and David has stolen my handbag.

Me: Ok. Sorry.

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The Morning of the Wedding

Nell: This has to be a quick call. I’m not supposed to have a phone.

Me: Yes. Thank you for the photo. You look amazing and so sparkly.

Nell: Too over the top? Her Majesty insisted I borrow them. They are quite heavy to be honest.

Me: Where are the others?

Nell: Following on in a second carriage. David got his hat stuck in the door.

Me: Oh no!

Nell: Poppy can hardly move in that suit of armour so they lifted her in. Thank goodness for Harriet. She wanted to come with me but I thought it best if she travelled with the others.

Me: And Mutley?

Nell: Mutley got egg all down the front of his dinner jacket. I told him to change after he had eaten his breakfast but he wouldn’t listen.

Me: Oh dear.

Nell: There I was in my tiara sponging the egg off his jacket when the carriage arrived.

Me: So you had to leave them?

Nell: Yes. The Duke couldn’t be left waiting. I shall be glad when we arrive. There is only so much waving one can do.

Me: It all looks wonderful. So many flags. So many happy faces.

Nell: The weather is marvellous here. Poppy is going to be dreadfully hot in her armour.

Me: Did you get the chance to talk to Meghan?

Nell: Yes, she is in safe hands with the Prince of Wales walking her down the aisle. David is on stand by. We will probably have to mend his hat again but I have gaffer tape in my handbag.

Me: So where will you be?

Nell: I’ve promised Harry to keep an eye on Meghan. I will be around. We are nearly there now so my phone has to go back in my handbag.

Me: If you can call me later, please do. I will be looking out for you. Are you doing any more interviews?

Nell: I had to turn down the BBC today unfortunately as I am needed at the chapel but we recorded an in depth interview yesterday. David and Harriet were a huge hit with the Press on their walkabout and Poppy has been offered her own talk show in the United States.

Me: And Mutley?

Nell: He couldn’t hear the questions but people seem to love him. He will be singing later, of course.

Me: During the ceremony?

Nell: Don’t be ridiculous. At the evening reception. It’s worrying enough that Poppy is playing the fanfare.

Me: She is?

Nell: Enough talk. I’ve arrived and Idris Elba is waving at me. Chat later.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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The Day Before The Wedding

Me: How are you all?

Nell: Could you put it down there, please?

Me: What?

Nell: I was just talking to Jeremy, our butler. He’s brought my Earl Grey. Thank you, Jeremy. David and Harriet will have the barley water. Shortbread would be lovely.

Me: They are certainly looking after you.

Nell: Did you get the photo? I was outside St. George’s Chapel. Windsor is awfully busy. I met some delightful Americans.

Me: Yes, lovely. How was the journey?

Nell: The picnic was excellent and a welcome distraction. We were followed by a group of greyhounds from the Daily Growl in a fast car. Racy lot. James managed to lose them.

Me: I bet the puppies loved that.

Nell: I’m afraid all this attention has gone to their heads. People keep asking for selfies. I think it’s David’s hat.

Me: Did you manage to see Harry and Meghan?

Nell: Yes, we shared a delicious jug of Pimms. Harriet was a little shy and David really wasn’t. He tried to hug them. So embarrassing.

Me: Oh dear. Were Poppy and Mutley ok?

Nell: Poppy had far too much to drink and talked sword fighting with Harry and Mutley reminisced with Meghan about his time in the United States.

Me: I didn’t know Mutley had been there.

Nell: Oh yes, he toured for a while with his swing band.

Me: Gosh.

Nell: Anyway, mobile phones are not allowed in the chapel so I will probably call you from the carriage tomorrow.

Me: The carriage?

Nell: Yes, it might be a little noisy.

Me: How exciting.

Nell: Now what have you done?

Me: Who me?

Nell: No. The puppies were practising waving and David has just knocked over a statue.

Me: Oh no!

Nell: Mutley says to tell you he is fine and his hat will cover the bump.

Me: What bump?

Nell: Harriet, don’t walk through the barley water, dear, you are treading it into the carpet. Can someone call Jeremy?

Me: Oh dear. It was just an accident. I’m sure Dave is awfully sorry.

Nell: David is not sorry he is scoffing the shortbread. Poppy, put the trumpet away, please, and help. I must go.

Me: But Nell, I’ve got so many questions.

Nell: They’ll have to wait. I’ve got so much to do before my audience with The Queen. You wouldn’t want me to be late now would you?

Me: Of course not. Sorry.

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Off to Windsor

Nell: Thank Heavens for Boo Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Me: Don’t you mean Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall?

Nell: No. Who is he?

Me: A famous chef.

Nell: I don’t think Boo Fearnley-Whittingstall is a chef but he might be able to cook. Is Hugh a labrador?

Me: No.

Nell: Well, Boo is one of the Berkshire Fearnley-Whittingstall labradors and has offered me a suite of rooms at Barkington Towers near Windsor Castle. He is a friend of Samuel of Oxbury’s. There is plenty of room so the puppies can come with me to the wedding.

Me: Who is Samuel of Oxbury?

Nell: My brother-in-law. David and Harriet’s father. Do keep up.

Me: What about Poppy and Mutley?

Nell: There is room for them, too.

Me: How kind.

Nell: Yes. David will share with Mutley and Poppy with Harriet. I need my own room, of course. I am hoping Meghan and her mother will visit and we need privacy.

Me: Of course. That colour is lovely on you, by the way.

Nell: Yes, it’s flattering to the fur and can be used as a shawl in case of inclement weather.

Me: Very practical.

Me: When do you leave?

Nell: The chauffeur is collecting us fairly soon as there is a wedding rehearsal later. David still thinks he is walking Meghan down the aisle. He is bringing his hat.

Me: Bless him.

Nell: We will need to take a picnic as it’s quite a long journey and the puppies will be hungry. Could you make some sandwiches? A selection of ham, cheese and smoked salmon will do. No cucumber. I think Poppy made some scones but no jam, or cream. We don’t want to get it on the Bentley.

Me: Of course. Are you all packed?

Nell: Yes. A suitcase each but Poppy’s is rather large.

Me: Are you worried she has packed her sword?

Nell: Worse. She wants to take her trumpet. She seems to think Harry would enjoy a fanfare.

Me: There will definitely be a fanfare so she could join in, I suppose.

Nell: Are you insane? You will be suggesting Mutley sings Love and Marriage next.

Me: What a lovely idea.

Nell: Good grief. Now where is my mobile charger?

Me: Over there. You will be wanting to keep in touch with the royal couple, I suppose.

Nell: Yes, but mainly I want to keep in touch with you. Silly. Did David just walk past with my handbag? I will wallop that animal.

Me: I will miss you.

Nell: Don’t be soppy. It’s only a few days. Now go and make the sandwiches and can you do me a flask of Earl Grey, please?

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Best Dog

Me: Oh my goodness. Harriet is in a dreadful mood.

Nell: Just ignore her. Teenage strop.

Me: Why?

Nell: She says if David is walking Meghan down the aisle she should be allowed to stand next to Harry.

Me: William is doing that. She can’t be best man for so many reasons.

Nell: I told her and she says she could be Best Dog. It’s ridiculous. We all know who Best Dog is and it’s not young Harriet.

Me: Is David walking Meghan down the aisle then?

Nell: I despair of you sometimes. I really do. No, he is not. Meghan’s mother will be stepping in. If the puppies accompany me, and it is a big if, then they will be part of my entourage.

Me: I knew you were going

Nell: Of course I am going.

Me: Are you sure you don’t need me to come with you?

Nell: I’m staying with friends near Windsor and the chauffeur will drive me so I will be fine but thank you.

Me: What about Poppy and Mutley?

Nell: Harry wants them there too, but I’m not sure. Poppy wants to go as St. George and the Mutt wants to wear his DJ. The invitation doesn’t mention either of those two options.

Me: What are you wearing?

Nell: After much discussion I’ve decided fur is best. My own of course.

Me: Naturally. And the hat?

Nell: Philip Treacy begged me to wear one of his but they are awfully large. I don’t want to upstage the bride.

Me: No. That wouldn’t do.

Nell: I shall go over it with Meghan this afternoon. She has exquisite taste.

Me: Maybe something with stars and stripes as she is American?

Nell: What on earth are you talking about? I am a British labrador of pedigree Oxfordshire stock? If there is a flag to be flown it will be the Union Jack. Meghan knows that. I’m her British adviser. Good grief you’ll be expecting me to wave pom poms next.

Me: Poppy would be ever so good at that.

Nell: Don’t start.

Me: Sorry.

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Worried about Meghan


Nell: Put my phone down immediately.

Me: I thought it just rang.

Nell: No. You were snooping. You are getting as bad as those farm dogs.

Me: That’s a bit harsh.

Nell: I’m very worried about Meghan. All this fuss with her father not coming to the wedding

Me: Oh dear. Is there anything we can do?

Nell: David wants to walk her down the aisle. He’s mended his top hat with some of Kev’s gaffer tape and found a bow tie.

Me: Bless him.

Nell: He looks more like the Artful Dodger to be honest but it might make her smile. I’ve sent her a photo.

Me: Good.

Nell: Poppy is baking. She always does that in times of stress. A slice of Victoria sandwich is always welcome, however, so I am not complaining.

Me: I agree.

Nell: I might call Ralph.

Me: Who is he?

Nell: He is a she. Ralph and Russo.

Me: Labradors?

Nell: No, Tamara and Michael are a lovely couple who design clothes.

Me: Do you mean they are the ones?

Nell: I don’t know what you are talking about.

Me: The wedding dress?

Nell: I couldn’t possibly say. They owned Cannes this year though.

Me: Gosh. The circles you move in.

Nell: They are Australians you know. I was telling them that I get my accessories from Australia.

Me: Yes, you do. Collars and leads.

Nell: Now, where is my handbag? If David has taken it again he is in big trouble.

Me: I don’t know.

Nell: I may have to nip up to London, by the way.

Me: Would you like me to drive you?

Nell: No need. The chauffeur will collect me. Nice man.

Me: Of course. Sorry.

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Big Plans

Me: What are the puppies doing?

Nell: Practising their bearing skills and waiting for Tony. I gave them a sock. David tends to pull.

Me: Well, he is a lot bigger than Harriet.

Nell: I knew this was a bad idea.

Me: What are they going to be bearing?

Nell: Don’t ask. They all embarrassed me yesterday you know.

Me: What happened?

Nell: I was busy Skyping Harry and Meghan when David arrived in a top hat.

Me: A top hat!

Nell: Harriet was only wearing my circlet of flowers thank goodness. Meghan thought they were darlings. Her words.

Me: Where did he get it from?

Nell: My hat lady. She brought over a selection for me to try on and I can only think David charmed his way into a top hat. So then he proceeded to charm Meghan too.

Me: Oh dear. I hope Harry didn’t mind.

Nell: Oh no. He and Harriet hit it off immediately. Same name and similar hair.

Me: Yes.

Nell: It was all going surprisingly well until Poppy walked in with the sword.

Me: I thought it had been confiscated.

Nell: The wretched animal found it and was wearing her St. George’s outfit too.

Me: Oh no!

Nell: I apologised but fortunately they found it entertaining.

Me: What a relief.

Nell: It was, until Mutley started singing. I mean don’t get me wrong. He used to be able to give a fine rendition of “My Way” but since his hearing went he can go off tune.

Me: Were they shocked?

Nell: Not at all. They started dancing.

Me: How lovely of them.

Nell: The puppies joined in and then Poppy started swinging her sword.

Me: Oh no!

Nell: And the next moment she had cut the top off David’s hat.

Me: That’s hilarious.

Nell: Fortunately they thought so too. They were crying with laughter.

Me: I bet they were.

Nell: I had to put a stop to it all.

Me: You did?

Nell: Health and Safety. It could have been David’s head. That sword is going to a charity shop.

Me: Very wise.

Nell: Now the puppies are convinced that they should be the ring bearers.

Me: They would be perfect.

Nell: Don’t be ridiculous. Meghan has enough problems on her plate with that half brother of hers trying to wangle an invitation. I’ve had her on the phone twice already today.

Me: Perhaps the puppies could carry her flowers? Not the bridal bouquet obviously. That would be too risky.

Nell: Risky? Next you’ll be suggesting that Poppy and her sword stand next to Harry.

Me: Now that is risky.

Nell: Enough. My phone’s ringing again.

Me: Yes. Sorry.

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Eurovision

Me: Harriet looks awfully tired today.

Nell: I told her Eurovision goes on until late but she and David wouldn’t listen.

Me: What did you think?

Nell: I was deeply shocked when someone jumped on stage during the UK’s performance. She did well to recover. There is no need for such bad behaviour. Poor girl.

Me: Yes. Hardly any points for us again though.

Nell: It was all about staging this year. Poppy’s favourite won. Mad woman from Israel with Princess Leia hair but I appreciated the homage to Bj√∂rk who is a favourite of mine.

Me: Now that surprises me.

Nell: Harriet liked Germany. A nice red headed boy with a sweet song. Ed doesn’t need to worry, though.

Me: And Dave?

Nell: David was captivated by a sparkly woman from Cyprus with big hair. He keeps singing Fuego. She came second.

Me: Did Mutley watch?

Nell: Well, he can’t hear so he slept through most of it.

Me: What about you?

Nell: There were some rather attractive bearded Vikings stamping their feet who caught my eye.

Me: So it was an enjoyable evening?

Nell: Yes. Poppy and I took a sip of our drink any time anything nautical was mentioned so I am feeling a little fragile. Portugal has a lot of sea.

Me: How did your Skype call with the royal couple go?

Nell: It’s this afternoon. Harry and Meghan have asked to meet the puppies and I need time to teach them the correct way to behave in front of royalty.

Me: Curtseying must be hard with four legs.

Nell: Labradors do not curtsey. We bow. The front legs are lowered while the back legs remain standing.

Me: Of course. Sorry.

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Invitations

Me: I know you are busy, Nell, but do you have time for a chat?

Nell: I was trying to rest. Who has taken my phone? It was charging.

Me: Are you expecting a call?

Nell: Not particularly. It was probably Harriet as she is fielding calls for me at the moment.

Me: I could do that.

Nell: I don’t think so. What did you want to discuss?

Me: I was just thinking about wedding invitations. Just randomly. You know how it is.

Nell: What a surprise.

Me: Well, you know the way they write your name on the invitation plus one if you haven’t got a one?

Nell: Do they?

Me: Yes. And I wondered if you had a plus one who you would take?

Nell: If you haven’t got a one why would they write plus one?

Me: Well, you might have a one but they don’t know who it is.

Nell: If you are referring to the Royal Wedding you are barking up the wrong tree.

Me: Why?

Nell: Harry and Meghan know everyone they are inviting and it’s not you.

Me: I know that.

Nell: The invitations have gone out and there are only 600 of them.

Me: It’s just I know they are inviting members of the public.

Nell: Yes. I completely agreed with them when they asked my advice. It is their wedding and their decision.

Me: They asked your advice?

Nell: Yes. People do, you know. I told them Theresa would understand but I wasn’t sure about Donald. But then nobody is.

Me: Don’t you think you should get your phone back from Harriet? I mean, they might call.

Nell: No need.

Me: Are you sure?

Nell: Yes, we aren’t Skyping until later.

Me: Will it be this evening then?

Nell: Of course not. It’s the Eurovision Song Contest. I’m not going to miss Graham Norton.

Me: Yes, sorry.

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Warning bark

Me: What on earth happened at the pub yesterday?

Nell: Kev and I were enjoying a quiet drink when he spotted a suspicious Border Terrier hovering behind me. I hadn’t noticed it because I was trying to decide between the steak, or the fish.

Me: Oh dear. Why was it suspicious?

Nell: It was wearing sunglasses and taking photos on its iPhone. I think the Daily Growl is behind this. Everything points to their underhand tactics.

Me: What a nuisance. Maybe it was just a tourist. They usually wear sunglasses.

Nell: No. Poppy saw it walking the fields with the farm dogs a few days ago. She has an excellent pair of binoculars.

Me: But Poppy wasn’t at the pub.

Nell: Kev sent her a photo. David was all for rushing round but that wouldn’t have helped.

Me: What did you do?

Nell: We ignored it for a while but then I decided a warning bark would be best.

Me: Your warning bark is awfully loud, Nell.

Nell: It did the trick. The Border Terrier bolted and I was able to enjoy my dinner in peace.

Me: I’m not sure everyone appreciated your warning bark.

Nell: True, Kev wasn’t best pleased but it had to be done. As I was saying to Harry and Meghan the last time we spoke. You cannot let the paparazzi rule your lives.

Me: Harry and Meghan? I didn’t know they knew you.

Nell: There’s a lot you don’t know. And don’t start fishing for details of the wedding plans. My lips are sealed.

Me: Ok, sorry.