The Royal Wedding

Is there a party going on somewhere?

Can you tell what it is yet?

I managed to take this picture after throwing myself over a hedge into Green Park, walking to the far corner where the eight-foot security fence turned into an eight-foot piece of wire-mesh and shooting over the heads of about a hundred other gawpers, flag-wavers and security guards.

The picture is of a procession, after it has processed. In the background is Buckingham Palace, from the side and slightly behind. It was sort of like watching a play from the wings: I got to see the actors trooping off and a bit of the stage set. That’s all.

And I wasn’t alone. There were thousands fenced into Green Park with me and thousands more not even being allowed into Green Park (as we weren’t, hence the hedge-jumping). The best view any of us could hope for was in Tesco’s, where they were showing the coverage on TV screens.


We were a security risk.

The Royal Wedding was sadly not an opportunity for the people of Great Britain and friends from all over the world to come together and have a big party.

It was an opportunity for the police to cordon us, obstruct us and – even – to raid our homes in pre-emptive anti-protest strikes. Several social centres were raided the night before the Royal Wedding, including the Ratstar social centre in Camberwell.

But the people who were hurt most by this clamp-down (I didn’t care) were the very people who Kate and William would have liked to have seen lining the streets.

We saw young families trooping around the perimeter of the Green Park fence, forlornly asking the security guards, ‘when is the gate going to open?’ and getting only a terse shake of the head in response. There were children peering through tiny screw-holes in the fence, looking at the vast expanse of park on the other side – and seeing only a thin ribbon of spectators there to enjoy the show. Even at that patch of wire-mesh fencing we were told, ‘the only thing you can do from here is exit.’

Not even all those who camped overnight managed to get in.

This family saw nothing:


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David Charles is co-writer of BBC radio sitcom Foiled. He also writes for The Bike Project, Thighs of Steel, and the Elevate Festival. He blogs at

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