The Day Buttons
– Duchess of Cornwall.
Warning ladies, this is a dog blog – so if you are not partial to our furry little four legged friends, I would leave this blog here and now, before you shake your head in horror at this very trivial tale!
(Buttons – My scruffy old dog!)
There are some days in life when one wakes up with no idea of what events will unfold. Sometimes these events are horrific, other times sad, sometimes joyful and other times just outright odd. This is an account of a very odd event.
It was Thursday the 14th of June. The day started as always with Buttons and I trotting off to work. The sun shone for the first time in weeks, so after our first customer who had popped in for a fitting left, Buttons and I headed out for a brisk walk along the Thames. We had 2 hours before a young lady was coming in to have her wedding dress designed.
Buttons was full of enthusiasm so as always ran through as many mud puddles as possible, rolled in some smelly muck of an indescribable nature and all in all became a complete mess. We both felt jolly good being out in the sun with the wind whistling through our hair. As we headed back to work, we stopped off at the local butcher, a friendly fellow who knows my dogs well and who always keeps a special bag of assorted hip, knee and back bones which he saws up for Buttons and me to collect whenever we are passing by. Armed with a particularly mammoth bag of these gory bones, and feeling particularly ebullient from our invigorating walk we rounded the corner near our studio to find a little crowd gathering outside the church across the road.
Intrigued as to what was going on I inquired and discovered that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall was due to arrive at any moment to view the Jubilee Flower Show that was within. Well now, given the opportunity to view Camilla up close and personal aroused my curiosity so I decided I may as well join the few spectators who had gathered, and check her out.
Buttons was rather whiffy, or maybe it was the slight abattoir smell emanating from the plastic bag – whatever it was we attracted the attention of the security men. They looked at Buttons with suspicion, obviously trying to think of some reason or another to move her on. In a very serious voice the head man inquired as to whether my dog would become excitable when the Duchess of Cornwall arrived. I replied with an equally authoritative voice that, unless Camilla had recently turned into a cat or a squirrel, there was very little chance of Buttons becoming excited in the least. He was not amused and walked off with an air of exasperation. Obviously he had drawn the short straw when it came to the morning's security jobs. A few old ladies with zimmer frames, a smelly dog and a couple of classrooms of local primary kids posed no threat whatsoever. His face gave it all away – he was dreaming of guarding the Duchess of Cambridge who evoked far more interest and passion with all sorts of excitement likely to take place. A dull day indeed for him.
Camilla arrived, slid out of the car and headed straight for the old dears with the zimmer frames. They were overjoyed and enthusiastically shook hands and passed pleasantries, when all of a sudden it happened. The lady standing next to me started jumping up and down, yelling out for Camilla to come and shake her hand. I looked at her in horror – willing her to either shut up or disappear, but before I knew it Camilla turned and came over to this most exuberant woman. They shook hands whilst that sinking feeling washed over me that like it or not, I was next. Juggling the bag of bones and Buttons' dog leash I emptied my hand enough to politely shake and say hello, she smiled and scratched Buttons on the head inquiring as to what her name was.
(Camilla – The Duchess of Cornwall meeting and greeting in Barnes)
“This is Buttons” I replied, looking down at my mud covered, terribly smelly dog.
“ Well, hello Buttons”, said the Duchess of Cornwall and continued to give Buttons a jolly good scratch. Looking back at me, she somewhat mumbled, “ Well I had better head into the church to see the flowers” and with that Camilla was off chatting to the school children as she went.
(One of the displays in St Mary's Church – a horse covered in grass!)
I was overcome with this incredible desire to burst out laughing. The situation was worthy of bad comedy. I was only glad that the bones had not tumbled out in the muddle and that Buttons had not decided to jump on her with filthy paws. We had somehow got through intact!
(Buttons at the scene of the excitement!)
And as for Camilla, well her cornflower coloured suit was lovely – well cut and obviously hand sewn, she was most unassuming and pleasant and had the air of someone who would really rather avoid such fuss. I could see she would much rather sneak into the church unnoticed to have a look at the displays within.
(One of the displays in the church – Apparently this a floral version of the Queen's Coronation Dress – Great imagination needed! )
Buttons and I dashed back to work – a little late. Buttons happily collapsing on the terrace to gnaw on one of those delicious bones, completely unaware of the little odd event that had come our way.
And so it was that the day continued and little does she know that despite the mud and putrid odour she is one of the few scruffy labradoodles that have had the honour of having their head scratched by the future Queen of England!
( A royal Banquet – I wonder how many dogs are hiding under the table cloth? – I've heard it has happened on a number of occasions.)
For those of you who are planning on meeting the royals in a more formal, civilised fashion we have a number of lovely dresses you would look truly super in!
P.S You may be happy to know that after work, Buttons had a bath, so that in the event that we happen upon any more royals she will not smell like Paddy McGinty's goat!