You can't choose your in-laws, can you?
“It’s only natural to be nervous, but trust me, Megs – today is going to be an absolute riot.”
Harry strode into Sandringham like he owned the place (because he kind of did) with his new fiancée in tow. Now, which of these great, big, bloody rooms was everybody in?
“Hello, you little tinkers,” he said poking his head around the door of one sitting room, where seven or eight small children were quietly watching the television. “Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas, Harry,” the children shouted in unison.
“Don’t you all look sweet in your World War II evacuee costumes,” said Megan. “And what’s this you’re watching? Is that uncle Charles and his doggy?”
“Nooo,” said one of the children, “it’s Wallace & Gromit. We watch it every year – it’s about a bad man who mistreats his pet.”
Megan and Harry ghosted back out of the room like you do once you’re bored of talking to children.
Harry thought that they might as well drop in on Uncle Andrew as they were passing his room, marked with a wooden name plaque that read ‘Andy’ on a piece of wood shaped like a boat.
“Errrr, hang on,” they heard when they knocked. “One second! JUST A MINUTE!” There was a frantic scurry, the sound of a glass smashing, a definite mutter of, “it’s everywhere,” and then an overly composed, “Come in.” Andrew was sat at his desk in a vest with a duvet over his legs. “Just some emails,” he said nodding at his closed Dell laptop. He promised he’d catch them up if they wanted to join everyone else in the drawing room.
As they entered the room, it was William who saw his brother first. “H BOMB!” he shouted across the hall. “BIG WILLY STYLE!” yelled Harry. They embraced as if trying to crush each other to death and then did the robot dance from Gavin & Stacey. Maybe this would be a riot, Megan was starting to think.
The whole set was there, pretty much. The level-headed Anne, swearing her head off, Charles with his upside down smile, Kate, who shot over a wide-eyed look that said, “Fuck me, I’m glad you’re here,” Edward, who seemed to still take everyone by surprise with his existence, Beatrice and Eugenie in ridiculous hats and the Queen, of course – the only person who didn’t get up to say hello. Naturally, there was no Philip, because he hates people.
Harry stooped to hug is his grandmother. Megan curtsied and said, “Merry Christmas, Your Royal Highness.”
“Now, now, Megan,” said the Queen. “We are to be family in the near future. There really is no need to be so formal. How about from now on you refer to me as… Bunty?”
Megan could tell that this was a big honour from the smile on Harry’s face and the way Kate wrinkled her nose at her.
“Maybe I could call you Bunty, too,” suggested Edward, but the Queen ignored him and so he took a dislike to Megan and attempted to undermine her for the rest of the day by tutting whenever she spoke. Things were made worse when, later, he accidently called Megan ‘Rachel’, after a role she’d played on TV. Charles nearly choked on a quail egg as the Queen called him a “daft twat” and the room roared. Philip would have enjoyed that moment, and make no mistake.
Charles got his, though, when he stood to carve the turkey. “I’ll take that, thank you very much, dear,” said the Queen, gesturing at the knife.
“But last year you said…”
“The knife please, Charles.”
The atmosphere tanked as the Queen lopped chucks rather than slices off of the massive bird.
“Don’t forget that I’m a vegetarian now, grandma,” said Eugenie.
“Yes, but you’ll have some ham, dear,” said the Queen.
“Erm, well… yes, ok, but just a little.” Too late – the slab served up was the size of her face.
As everyone tucked into a Christmas meal that was one better than Waitrose (so, Wholefoods), the Queen announced that everyone’s present was under their place mat. Except for Megan, they all knew what was coming, although they did a pretty decent job of hiding it. “I’ve got you all a little picture of me,” said the Queen, biting down a laugh. Everyone opened their envelopes to extract their ten pound notes (five, in Edward’s case) and politely laughed along with the Queen. “Seriously, though,” she said,” I thought this year I’d give you all money and then that way you can buy whatever you like. Now… let’s watch my speech.”
Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines
As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.
Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.
If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.
It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.