Dublin: 6 °C Friday 25 September, 2020

Diary of the Sussex Stalker: The story of how I nearly got kicked out of the President's gaff because of a sandwich

Ham and Cheese sambos are worth risking your life for.

DAY TWO OF #RoyalWatch and when I presented at the press centre for 7am, I had to go through the whole rigmarole of an airport-esque security check again.

Behind me I heard grumbles from some of the others that there was no food. Upon gaining entry, I headed straight for the buffet table where a bountiful breakfast feast awaited me, as I suspected it would.

We waited around to be loaded on to the bus and I found that today there were more female journalists and photographers to chat to.

When our bus arrived, we were given another lunch bag. I managed to get the god tier of ham and cheese, thank f*ck. Wouldn’t want to be waiting around all day with only a soggy tuna to look forward to.

I’d never been to Áras an Uachtaráin so as the bus pulled up to Ireland’s White House, I felt a tinge of excitement.

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock on state visit in Ireland Source: Gouhier Nicolas

As a self-professed window perv, I was dying to catch an inside glimpse of Miggeldy Higgens’ gaff.

I was not disappointed. The entrance was marble, and I’d imagine that Kris Jenner would definitely steal it given half a chance.

Source: Entertainment Tonight/YouTube

We were directed down a corridor of lush forest-green carpet, and entered the State Reception Room, with more gorgeous green carpet, creamy-gold walls, cold marble everything, and gilded gold items sprinkled around the room.

Oh, and there was turf in the fireplace.

The President should extend an invite to Jay-Z and Beyoncé to use the room and his gaff as their next video setting. I mean, the Louvre is cool and all, but does it have turf? Don’t think so.

jay zSource: Jane Barlow/PA Archive/PA Images

As I was carrying make-up, a notebook, pens, two phones (like some sort of drug dealer), chargers, portable chargers and of course a pain au chocolate wrapped in tissues in my bag, I'd no room for my sandwich lunchbag. Feeling like a bit of numpty carrying around my precious lunchbag, I found a beautiful table to lay it on and prayed that no one would steal it when my back was turned.

sa Source: Claire Woods

Then I nosied around the room a bit and found that poor Miggeldy's garden was looking a lil worse for wear. It had been three weeks without rain.

hose Source: claire woods

Back to the waiting game. Time passed quicker with the lovely female journalists to talk to.

Then suddenly a silence fell over the room and there was an electric pent-up energy buzzing all around: it felt like were were waiting to jump out at a surprise birthday.

Quietly, the President and his wife Sabina slipped out of a side door.

awaiting Source: Claire Woods

Down the corridor we had arrived, we could hear murmuring and knew that Megs and Harry would be arriving at any moment.

megs Source: Claire Woods

And then the moment I had been waiting for... a handshake between Meghan and Miggeldy.

handshake Source: Claire Woods


Later, there was much debate amongst some journalists about what colour Meghan's dress was.

It felt like 2015  all over again...

Untitled-12 Source: Wired

...Except that in 2018 Barack Obama wasn't President and children as young as one were separated from their families at the southern US border, so there's probably more important things to discuss than stone grey versus taupe.


Meghan and Harry were invited to sign President Higgin's book, and then were whisked away into another room.

I was thankful to discover my sandwich where I had left it.

Realising that I had loads of photos of people I would never know in Áras an Uachtaráin, but none of myself, I decided to ask a nice security man to take a pic of me in the entrance hallway.

sandwich Source: Claire Woods

I took an Instagram poll to see if I should attempt to get a selfie of me with my sandwich (who I later called Wilson after Tom Hanks' football buddy in Castaway) and Meghan. As expected, it was a resounding yes, and I went about trying to give the people what they wanted.

I asked a Danish photographer I'd earlier made friends with if I could use his stool so I could get a good angle of Meghan coming out of the entrance hall. I practised my angles, not wanting to look like a complete thumb.

Then I had a little bit of a hairy moment... MY SANDWICH WAS ALMOST CONFISCATED.

Up on my stool, there I was happy as Larry when suddenly a man nearly as tall as me on my stool came over and said:

You're not going to take a picture of you with that sandwich are you?


no Source: giphy

I managed to stutter out "no, no, ehhh... no, of course not."

But what could I do? The DailyEdge.ie poll had spoken.

I debated whether I could be thrown out of the grounds and press pool for taking a ham and cheese sandwich selfie with Meghan in the background, and in the end thought 'f**k it, it would make a good pre-drinks story'.

Which, of course, is no way to live your life, but #YOLO #Millenial #WeAreAllGoingToDieOneDay


So I waited with bated breath for Meghan to come out the door and waited to be tackled to the ground by the British Secret Service.

Meghan, Miggedly, Sabina and Meghan's hubby finally came out the door and I raised my sandwich up...

I felt like the Statue of Liberty holding a Lunchbag of Freedom.

sannnnn Source: Claire Woods

I hope that Michael Collins was laughing in his grave.

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