I was honoured (and staggered) to be invited to officially open the village fete in Kirtlington, north Oxfordshire, on 23 June 2018. Here’s what I said to the collection of slightly mystified punters who happened to be around at 1.00 pm.
Good afternoon to you all.
Earlier this year, at a meeting of the Kirtlington Annual Fete Committee, an angel descended from heaven. ‘If you want to make shedloads of money for village organisations at the 2018 fete,’ this angel told the committee members, ‘arrange to get it opened by a person from a Berkshire family called Middleton, and who now has a very strong connection with The Royals.’
Almost everyone on the committee understood what had to be done: phone Kensington Palace pronto and book the Duchess of Cambridge. Unfortunately one committee member, Tony Summerfield, had other ideas.
‘No,’ Tony insisted, ‘the angel meant someone else entirely! The person I’m thinking of not only comes from Berkshire and goes by the name of Middleton, he is a lifelong supporter of Reading FC – popularly known as The Royals! It’s got to be Haydn Middleton!’
‘Haydn Who?’ the rest of the committee chorused.
But Tony was not to be out-argued – so here today you see standing before you not the fragrant mother-of-three who is married to our future king, but me. I can only apologise for this catastrophic error on Tony Summerfield’s part, and beg you all to spend as much money as you possibly can, to spare his blushes even further.
What more can I say?
My partner moved heaven and earth to stop me from dressing up as the Duchess of Cambridge and attempting to impersonate her. ‘You can’t hope to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Kirtlington,’ she pointed out. ‘They would surely spot within a couple of minutes that you’re not actually a woman?’
So, being a wordsmith by trade, I have taken the initial letters of the two words Annual Fete, and come up with ‘Ten Reasons to Love Kirtlington’. Okay, are you ready for them? You can give a little cheer after each one, should you feel so moved. Here goes…
[There followed a brief ten-point passage, the details of which would frankly be too arcane for a general readership.]
So that’s it from me. All I can really say – as Gareth Southgate keeps telling the England boys to such good effect out in Russia – is this: ‘Get out there and enjoy yourselves!’
And remember, every last penny you spend makes it less likely that at the end of the day Tony Summerfield will be lynched by the rest of the Fete Committee for failing to bring the Duchess of Cambridge to Kirtlington. In other words: Spend at Least a Fiver and Save Tony Summerfield!
I now declare this fete officially open. Have a wonderful day!