There were two and a half million people unemployed, there were people rioting in the streets in big cities up and down the country. Members of the IRA were on hunger strike in Irish prisons. Britain was in turmoil. Violence was everywhere. What could we do? Thatcher had to bend the Queen’s ear to get just the right solution. “Your Charles isn’t getting any younger, is he dear.” She said “How old is he now? 32? 33? You need to get him married off before he gets too old to have any kiddies, and too ugly to get a decent looking bride for himself. Find him someone young, and pretty… and docile.” When Thatcher was doing the persuasion, it took someone with a bit more about her than the Queen to resist her arguments, so they got that Diana Spencer, and turned her into the Fairytale Princess who captured the Nation’s Hearts. Poor Lass. She was only 19.
And her stepmother was Barbara Cartland’s Daughter an’all. If anyone understood about romance, it would be her. He might not have been much to look at, old Charles, but that seemed beside the point at the time. She had landed a better catch than I had with my Raymond, a better catch than any lass I knew.
It was a clever trick, and Thatcher, she knew it. And she had dragged the Queen along with her. It ruddy worked on me. I was totally drawn in. Hypnotised I was. It was all I wanted to hear about. And I wasn’t the only one. Thatcher could have done anything that summer. She could have agreed to let the Americans put a load of nuclear warheads in rural Berkshire and hardly anyone would have batted an eyelid. Even if she had given the police rubber bullets, CSS Gas, water cannons, and ruddy tanks to drive in preparation for a civil war, most people would have been more interested in what Diana’s wedding dress was going to look like. I know that I was. More fool me. More fool all of us.
Any road. It was a lovely day. Charles got dressed up like a clean shaven Captain Birdseye with a chest full of medals, and Diana looked radiant in a white dress with all flowers and stuff down the front. My Raymond refused to watch it. Miserable so and so. Me and My Sister Pearl went around to April May’s and watched it on her big Bush Tricolour that our Cyril had got her. My hanky was soaked by the end of it.
We didn’t know that it was doomed to failure and a tragic end any more than the Queen did. Thatcher didn’t ruddy care any road. She would destroy any number of lives to get her own ruddy way. But poor Diana. She couldn’t help being born into a family of toffee nosed upper class twits. She couldn’t really be blamed for getting herself married into another one. She was so young! If she had been much younger Charles would be facing questions from the operation Yewtree squad right now! But by the time she knew her own mind it was too ruddy late.
By the way. She would be celebrating her 53rd birthday this week, had she lived.
Auntie Doris’s Top Pop chart explosion of 1981: “Under Your Thumb” by Godley and Creme. They released “Wedding Bells” in the same year. Both very nice songs for a pair of long haired hippies. I wonder if Charles and Diana used to listen to either of them?