29 April 2011


As Kate's Rolls Royce bumped jauntily along Whitehall, she double-checked the topmost lace baubles of her gown with trembling hands. Soon she would become Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and God forbid a duchess should appear in public with an undone bauble. Without a doubt, Queen Elizabeth would have her head for that.

Hundreds of decorated veterans and poshly behatted women slid into view as Kate's car approached Westminster Abbey. Queen Elizabeth had arrived moments before - opulent yet composed in her pastel yellow skirtsuit, thought Kate. But she took a second look when she noticed Elizabeth's extreme pallor. Her paleness hadn't been that pronounced on the other times Kate met with the Queen. Elizabeth looked, frankly, green. "I do hope that's not on my account!" mused Kate to no one in particular.

Kate's hand was already on the door handle before the Rolls Royce came to a full stop. As soon as the door opened, everything rushed and blurred around her. Photographers, reporters, and adoring commoners shouted for her to look this way and that. At one point Kate heard a small scream, but when nothing else followed, she assumed her ears had invented the noise. Onward she marched into the church, past Queen Elizabeth II, who was now dabbing a floral handkerchief at the corners of her frothing mouth.

The traditional hourlong service felt like mere minutes to Kate - very nearly Catherine - because she was standing next to her husband-to-be, William. Prince William had served in the military, and although he was quite happy this morning, he had endured some rough visions indeed on the battlefield. Things he had never imagined he'd see. Things he had thought for sure Nature couldn't have allowed. But today was his wedding day, so he pushed those memories to a distant corner of his princely brain. Unfortunately, keeping those memories at a more reachable neuron might have helped when the trouble finally started.

Three minutes before the end of the service, an unmistakable growling began somewhere in the pews. A thousand instantly icy stares shot back and forth, but no one could identify the troublemaker. The growling sounded like it came from someone (or something) in a great deal of pain. Kate willed herself not to turn around to see what was causing the noise. If she had, she would've seen a rather strange side of Queen Elizabeth.

The monarch, resplendent in her (almost) 60 years of rulership, was now perched on all fours on the top of the backboard of the front-row pew. Out of respect, the wedding guests who had realized where the noise was coming from politely turned their heads away, choosing instead to whistle lightly or to twiddle their thumbs. It was Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who finally took action. "Psst!" she stage-whispered to the Queen over Charles, who sat between them. "Ye've got t' stop carryin' on as such if ye want yer grandbabe t' finish 'is right bloody weddin'!" Prince Charles shushed his squawking wife in a hopeless effort to quell the attention they were now getting. Kate wanted so badly to turn around and look, but tradition dictated against it.

It seemed that the Queen no longer cared whether her grandchild had a successful wedding. She was alternately wheezing and snarling from her watchpost on the pew, and she looked ready to pounce on someone. Her eyes blazed a sick yellow color. Her bottom lip bled where her sharp teeth rested. Her knickers were still hidden, but only by virtue of her preternaturally staunch upbringing. Suddenly, Elizabeth's greenish, slightly rotted ear perked at a noise. She whipped her head around much farther than it should have been able to twist and froze. She then leapt more than 15 meters and landed on one of the grander columns of Westminster Abbey, near where the choirboys were stationed. Her hands and feet somehow clung to the completely vertical surface with ease, although by the sound of her wheezing, it didn't seem like much of Elizabeth's body felt at ease at the moment. With a great blood-curdling howl, she jumped off the column and landed amidst the choirboys, teeth first.

The way Westminster Abbey is set up, it's difficult to see exactly what's going on in the choirboy stable. The designers of the Abbey originally believed that the choir would be better unseen, in order to better appreciate their God-gifted voices. And so, 1100 years later, the boys presently being eaten by Queen Elizabeth II were well hidden by divinely inspired architecture. Unable to see the carnage and with only a minute left in the service, the Archbishop of Canterbury decided he could finish marrying the two young Brits before things really got out of hand. Kate and William quaked where they stood until the archbishop slowly and magnificently declared them man and wife.

At that, the new marrieds turned and sprinted out of the Abbey. Pale green, frothy-mouthed choirboys were scuttling threateningly along the walls of the ancient cathedral by now, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a balcony kiss to get to. Pleased, Catherine gave her lace baubles a quick double-check as she ran down the aisle. Her head would be safe for now, at any rate!

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