It is revealing what different people found fascinating as they watched The Wedding.
The women vociferously approved the Understated Dress and the Royal Couple In Love.
But what of the blokes?
There’s Pippa and her obvious assets. And the Aston Martin. But two other women got a look in during the frenzy of social media which underpinned the official coverage.
If, indeed, they were women.
A humble freelancer, I watched my husband’s fascinated reaction as he clocked the fact that up there, on the altar, just yards from William and Kate, were two nuns. Probably female, to all appearances white caucasian. One short, one tall.
As a saboteur from the wickedly irreverent Sabotage Times asked, couldn’t they have found two nuns of matching height?
Phil was obsessed. Not by the two nuns per se: it is an Abbey, after all. No; he wanted to know why they had got two of the best seats in the house.
And he wasn’t the only one. Twitter was abuzz; who were they? What made them so important?
If there’s one thing I have, it’s a nose for news: and this was it. Yet I had no clout whatsoever with any press office, let alone the hallowed portals of Westminster Abbey. I felt like that reporter in ABBA: The movie who has nil chance of ever encountering his interview subjects.
But I picked up the phone. Surely, in the middle of the service, the Abbey press office would have someone answering.
They didn’t. After five minutes I was cut off.
I fired off an e mail asking who the two were: their order, their names, which prerogative let them sit there. I sent it.
Meanwhile the Internet was going nuts. Yahoo had a thread about them. Favourite theories posited they were reptilians, altar wenches and ghosts who weren’t really there.
Someone sensible identified the order as the Community of the Sisters of the Church, an Anglican order of nuns.
Still no answer from the press office. I called again; persistence is the better part of valour when you’re an insignificant cog in the media machine.
The next morning I called and left messages on the answer machines of two press contacts, and e mailed again using my nicest manners.
And we know what happens when silence reigns, don’t we? The conspiracy theorists start up.
The tall nun is not a nun at all, extemporised the UK’s Daily Mail. Observe: she is tall and upright and she’s wearing Reeboks. Could she be ninja nun? Is it a cover? The glasses cannot be for real. The Mail quotes a source which is prepared to venture that maybe these are not nuns at all. Instead, they might by MI5 agents.
Naturally. All the evidence points that way, certainly.
One hitch. Is it naive to suggest MI5 operations must be incredibly sophisticated? If I were trying to send in an agent incognito, I might pause momentarily to consider what would stick out like a sore thumb in Westminster Abbey, on the day of a future king’s wedding.
The dress code must surely include outfits whose price tags run into thousands, a nice hat, Saville Row suit and tie.
Surely the two characters most likely to show themselves up would be two Anglican nuns in Reeboks. This is hardly chameleonic attire.
But just before I close the door on the whole conspiracy theories debate, there is one thing which is bothering me.
I would understand why a humble writer like me would not engender an instant call back from an insanely busy press office.
But the story from the Daily Mail has no more information than I do. It even quoted the Yahoo low-down on the nun’s habit.
Good, national press officers are never Not There. They’re there, all right, even if they have the office duty mobile and a glass of bubbly in their hand.
I can credit that this most Christian of organisations might have the odd press officer prepared to ignore a nameless underdog.
But the blue stocking’s National Daily, the Daily Mail?
And if they haven’t come up with an identity for our two religious ladies on the third day, is the information ever going to rise again?
We wait in hope.
Picture courtesy of the Mail Online, full article here
Post written with Side View’s theme in mind: this week it was ‘Fascinator’. If you fancy joining her merry band have a look here…