Escape the Royal Wedding!
No doubt you’ll have discovered by now that, wherever in the world you are, it’s impossible to escape the royal ruddy wedding (apparently on Pitchup.com too, but bear with us). I’m on holiday in a far distant land at the moment, and picked up a copy of a British paper in a pub while eating my fry-up – the resulting noise of disgust I made that even here in Asia I am still subjected to a front page about 'Wills''s stag party had the poor waitress running over in concern that I’d choked on my over-crispy bacon. Kate’s dress, WillsnKate’s honeymoon, comparisons with Diana...like many people I don’t care so much about the wedding itself, but about the fact that there is no escaping from it.
And it’s not just me being curmudgeonly and cynical – reports from travel agents say that bookings on foreign holidays for April have doubled this year, while the number of people looking for holidays during the royal wedding has gone up by over 200%. One travel agency has added an extra 100,000 breaks to its brochures to cover the demand, and a budget airline says its bookings have gone up by 65%.
But not everyone can flee the country over the royal wedding weekend, so kudos and what I think should be the Pitchup.com Camping Initiative of the Decade Award to the Welsh group Balchder Cymru, which is holding an 'Escape the Wedding Camp' weekend from Thursday April 28 until Sunday May 1. I’m sure you’ll be able to spend the Monday Bank Holiday somewhere in the area in quiet bliss too.
'We are giving people an opportunity to escape the razzle dazzle and media hype that will take place when the wedding takes place,' says a sensible member of Balchder Cywru, Adam Phillips, who adds that, 'Not everyone will be celebrating this wedding because the taxpayer is footing the bill during a time of recession and cutbacks.' And because it’s making me lose the will to live as well, although I don’t expect that to be front page news.
The Escape the Wedding Camp site is described as riverside camping, 'with loos, showers and hot and cold water', and will be based at Llwyngwern Farm, a campsite near The Centre for Alternative Technology at Pantperthog. It’s owned by one Ralph Beaumont, who, while not being fervently anti-royal himself, is happy to provide a haven for those who are sick sore and tired of the royal wedding and want to escape it. ‘My wife once met the Duke of Edinburgh several years ago,’ Mr Beaumont said. ‘When he found out that my wife was French [he] told her: “You used to chop our heads off.”’ Oh, Philip, you jokester.
And what do Clarence House think of this proposed (hee) snub? ‘Other people are allowed to spend their time any way they want,’ a spokeswoman sniffed. ‘We basically wouldn’t want to comment.’ A strange comment from a PR office that’s spent the last interminable months briefing papers and TV news on every aspect of the forthcoming yawnsome nuptials, but then, we wouldn’t want to comment...
Elsewhere around the country, a pub in York is holding an Anti Royal Wedding Party on April 29 to provide respite for those further north – make a weekend of it and check out Pitchup.com to see our dozens of sites in York. The Fulford Arms is even introducing a swear box to be imposed on anyone who mentions the wedding, the royal family or the bride and groom, with all proceeds going to charity. That’ll make a start on the honeymoon fund then.