Talk about royally messing things up, Hal managed it in spades all because of syphilis he'd acquired at an early age that prevented him from being a successful parent. Not that he didn't try hard in that respect. He ignored almost everything else and succeeded in losing all the overseas possessions and bankrupting the country, even after stripping the old church bare and looting evrything lootable. And in the process alienating just about everyone of importance in Europe and destroying the entire English line of monarchy for after his final daughter died, the throne passed first to the Scots and then when they died out, to the Germans.
So just why is he considered the most iconic king of England?
Naturally my family's progeny has none of these traits starting from a complete lack of noble blood and moving on ticking no boxes at all from there.
So when the first of the male line, Rupert, said he was to get wed, Viv and I were all over it. Sadly Alex and Ali couldn't make it but we'd join the throng assembling in Redditch just outside Birmingham with a happy welcoming smile.
Neither of us had been to the Midlands so expected endless 'Dark Satanic Mills' as reported in that finest of English songs, Jerusalem. However we were pleasantly surprised to find rolling hills and lovely countryside even though everyone had an accent like Jasper Carrott.
|The other side of the family at Swizzle time|
|Breakfast and a forced smile|
Fortunately his best man and best friend arrived around that point so the family were able to let someone else give moral support and went our own ways for the moment.
Around midday we began to re-assemble this time dressed up to the nines. The groom's party wore tails and all looked very handsome indeed.
The drive to St Leonard's church was short and what a lovely church it was. A lovely garden setting that would have been even lovelier had all the blossoms been out but it's been a lousy winter here so everything is a little late in coming to bloom.
The church itself was old with wooden beams inside and held the assembled throng quite comfortably. Given our family numbers we were grateful for Rupert's mum Gilly's larger sized family to pad out our side of the church. Rachel's side (the bride) was full though so it was a pretty decent throng that waited expectantly for the bride to arrive.
Rachel was only fashionably late -- 8 minutes according to my camera -- and the pastor drove through the service entertainingly and engagingly. Gabs did a lovely reading whilst Zophia stood as witness but the newly weds were the real stars of the show looking beautiful and handsome in turn.
|The newly weds -- Mr & Mrs Melvin!!|
The reception centre was in a small village called Southam some 40 minutes drive away so we'd found a B&B nearby and got a lift back to the hall called Warwick House. There were about 70 attendees in all and included in the package was something called "Dove Release" -- the hall released a couple of white doves from Rupert and Rachel's grasp, hopefully they were homing pigeons!
After that excitement and the mass photo taking, it was dinner, drinks and dancing time. Speeches came from Rachel's father Martin, Rupert and his best man. All were fun and well presented.
Next after more dancing was the cake cutting -- a lovely, but huge cake with different cake varietals at each level. I liked the fruit cake in particular.
Then more dancing and snack time with a hog roast -- visions of Indy's Bermuda hogge!