Did the taxpayer contribute to the ‘Royal Wedding of the North’?

24 June 2013

1:58 PM

24 June 2013

1:58 PM

Mr Steerpike is a romantic at heart and a conservative, so I like love and marriage. Yet I was irritated by one detail of the nuptials of Lady Melissa Percy and Thomas van Straubenzee (pictured), dubbed the ‘Royal Wedding of the North’ at Alnwick Castle, which took place this weekend.

It was quite a bash. Prince Harry was caught between two blondes, when his ex and latest squeeze came face to face. Prince William (who was Best Man to his childhood friend van Straubenzee) was flying solo after the heavily pregnant Duchess of Cambridge decided to stay in London lest she be forced to give birth in a northern NHS hospital. The horror, the horror! Pippa Middleton was tottering about with princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. But what caught my eye was the flypast of a Sea King search and rescue chopper; the sort, incidentally, flown by Prince William.


The Ministry of Defence has said that the helicopter was ‘returning to its base four miles away after attending an emergency in the Lake District.’ But if that’s how Sea Kings return to base, then Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, will not need to look far for more “efficiencies” following Wednesday’s comprehensive spending review. Rather than scooting by on its way back to base, the chopper was observed circling the castle for a time. MoD spinners would not comment on this element; so perhaps Mr Hammond ought to cut a few of them too, useless so-and-sos.

Doubtless the Sea King was a jolly addition to the happy day, but why should the taxpayer pick up part of the tab at the society wedding of the year? It brings out my inner Robespierre.

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Show comments
  • george

    Give the guys a break. I don’t mind if a they had a fly pass. I dont mind the few gallons of aviation fuel. For those to old to understand having a Sea King do a few turns around your wedding reception is like fuck yeah !

  • Fergus Pickering

    I wouldn’t bring your inner Robespierre out too far. You know what happened to him.

  • It

    A question: He’s got at least three layers: shirt, (possible undershirt), waistcoat, jacket. She’s got a bare throat and upper chest and bare arms, with presumably lightweight, relatively cool silk in the dress. If he’s not hot, why is she not chilly? If she is comfortably warm, why he is not feeling desperate for beachwear or anything but what he’s in? It always looks strange to me: men looking overdressed for the weather and women wearing barely anything, on these occasions. Unless, as I say, it’s the other way around.

  • It

    I like the tiara, the necklace, the castle, and the men’s attire (though I would have preferred, had it been my dress — I’ve never worn a wedding dress — a more sophisticated neckline and a less t-shirty sleeve); but I fail to see how a military helicopter enhances the romance of a wedding.

  • Vrai écossais

    To quote The Guardian (sorry) Princes William and Harry ”…are princes of Tatler: profligate and ignorant,
    they inhabit a remote Chelsea pond. Harry is known primarily for
    inheriting the jocular racism of his grandfather…William just seems desperately unhappy, an anxious sacrifice too
    befuddled by his destiny to grasp its needs or meaning. We read of
    £4,000-a-night hotel suites; of £250,000 dresses; of publicly owned
    helicopters taking detours to amuse the princes and their friends. Last
    Saturday the princes attended a wedding.This is not
    forgivable expenditure. This is the wages of unthinking entitlement and
    mindless greed.”

    Will be interesting when Betty the last dies to see who long the monarchy survives.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Profligate and ignorant! Heavens, it sounds like our Gordon.

      • Vrai écossais

        The Guardian’s words not mine. I can see their point and yours!

  • dapplegrey

    What a small minded, pointless and spiteful comment, steerpike.

    • It

      Maybe; but why does a wedding need a helicopter?

  • thanksdellingpole

    It was so nice not to see any immigrants, it was as if we got through all of this mess we’re in and out the other side in one piece.

  • fitz fitzgerald

    Oh, for God’s sake …

  • justejudexultionis

    Shame we couldn’t send in a RAF strikeforce to bomb the damn wedding – now that would have been an excellent use of taxpayers’ money. The RAF are unlikely to miss such a target given the number of Afghan wedding parties they’ve had the chance to take out (such brave men!).

    • Charles Martel

      What a sad and unfunny comment. if you really want to take your username from the Requiem Mass I suggest that instead of `just judge of revenge`, Culparubetvultusmeus (`my face reddens in guilt`, in case you`re still at school) might be more appropriate.

    • Robert Taggart

      Mm, so long as they did not destroy the Castle – that be but a building – ergo – innocent !
      It be a fine part of OUR heritage too !!

  • george

    given the MoD conspired to supply cheap, poor quality/wrong calibre ammunition to troops in Afghanistan … telling troops who complained about continual stoppages to “clean their weapons better” – I think gutting the MoD of terminally thick wasters is much higher up the priority list than slapping a couple of pilots about the head for an unofficial flypast.

    • Robert Taggart

      Agreed, but, slap them anyway !

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Don’t be a party pooper.

  • Charles Martel

    At last count (March 2012) there were 612 spin doctors employed by MOD. The fattest of these cats enjoyed a salary in 2010 in excess of £97k. If MOD can afford this lot (think of an infantry battalion) it can surely spare a few gallons of avgas to irritate the very small minded Mr Steerpike and cheer the rest of us up a bit.

  • Greenslime

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz. Gum bumping of the first order, Steerpike!