Dublin: 14 °C Friday 18 September, 2020

Diary of the Sussex Stalker: Day 1 of DailyEdge.ie Royal Watch

I’m badly sunburnt, but happy.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry 6 weeks ago.

UK GDP figures Source: Gareth Fuller

Shortly after the wedding, their first official visit abroad was announced.

The location? Ireland.

My excitement? Through the roof.

excited Source: Disney

I’ve long been a fan of the royal family.

How big a fan?

Well, upon telling one of my friends that I was going to follow the newly-wedded royals around Dublin, she was said she was happy but unsurprised that I’d booked the time off work. I was delira to inform her that in fact, no, I was not taking off days to creep on my new-found crush Meghan (and I suppose Harry), but was in fact being paid to stalk them.

I don’t follow soap operas or Love Island, but I do intensely keep up to date with the British Royal Family – now on Season 952 of their epic family drama. If I had to guess why I’m so into them, I’d probably say it’s because I was raised on the decidedly un-feminist Disney Princess movies.

beauty Source: giphy

History was also my favourite subject in school but the only women that seemed to wield power were royals like Queen Elizabeth I or Queen Victoria.

elizabeth Source: elizabeth I

That’s some outfit. Wonder what waist trainer she used?

So I meticulously planned my outfit, choosing some Wimbledon whites in the hopes of subconsciously letting Megs and Haz know that I’d be a suitable candidate to hang with them and Serena Williams.

I arrived at the press centre early. I had to go through a security checking system, just like an airport, and was given an official pass from the Department of Foreign Affairs and an itinerary of the day. Turning up early seemed to be a rookie mistake as it would be two hours before we left the centre, and then we’d be waiting at Dublin airport for their arrival for nearly three hours.

However, in hindsight, arriving early was a wise move.

I had a delicious array of lunch bags to choose from: the god tier of sandwiches being ham and cheese or basil and pesto chicken or a falafel and couscous wrap.

sandwich Source: sandwich

Those who arrived tardily were stuck with the meh tier of plain ham or the shite tier of soggy tuna.

*Disclaimer: I may or may not have gone back for a plain ham two hours later. No judgement, please.*

happy out Source: Claire Woods

The room filled up with more and more middle-aged white men and I was able to count the number of women on two hands. Chatting to one of the security people at the centre I was told that they were surprised by the intense global media presence.

After two hours, us journos and photographers (and whatever profession the Daily Mail claims to be) were herded onto a bus to be taken to Dublin airport. En route, I chatted with one of the only female journalists, who was a similar age to myself. As we passed fields with cows, a couple of the middle-aged English men shouted ‘MOOOOOOO’ and laugh heartedly.

I didn’t really understand the joke. I suppose it’s that zany type of humour that got them into the Brexit situation.

When we got to the airport, we had to enter another tight security checkpoint and display our passports. Then it was back onto the bus.

4b4f9542-60eb-45c2-a49f-9183e9eb3746 Source: Claire Woods

However, the bus didn’t move. We were told by an Irish gentleman that each bus could only escort 25 people, and that four people needed to leave the bus and hop on a bus right behind us. He asked very politely whether four of us might move on to the next bus, and that it would make no difference as the two buses would be moving at the same time to our final press destination where the plane was to land.

No one moved.

He asked again, politely, but this time, he directed his eye contact right at myself and the other ’90s kid’ female journalist who was sitting beside me. Both of us whispered to each other how un-nerving it was that we were the ones being expected to move.

Inside, I wanted to acquiesce and be helpful. But on principal, because he had looked directly at me, (at us), and had expected us as the ‘young ladies’ to make space, I chose not to move.

Eventually 4 of the middle-aged white-haired white men moved onto another bus.

Then the real waiting game began.

Time passed.

Glaciers melted, mountains formed, civilisations rose and fell, and still I was on a goddamn bus on Dublin airport’s tarmac on a blisteringly hot July day.

Finally, like a mirage, shiny black vehicles and Garda cars and motorbikes appeared behind and in front of us.

The sun was beating down, and I soon began to regret wearing a messy Meghan Markle-inspired bun as I could feel the sunburn on the back of my neck.

The excitement was palpable but I thought of my ancestors who had fought for Irish Independence with a guilty conscience.

sorry Source: claire woods

But then I thought of Eamon DeValera letting the Church take control of all of our institutions, and I thought that I’d rather worship the royals than the Pope.

About 20 minutes into DailyEdge.ie going live from the grey tarmac, a sleek, white and blue private jet plane flew down and started heading towards our motley crew.

1st of a 2 days visit from The Duke en Duchess of Sussex to Dublin Albert Nieboer / Netherlands OUT / Point de Vue OUT Source: DPA/PA Images

The plane parked, and a guy in a yellow hi-vis jacket lay a solitary rectangular blue doormat on the ground. Not exactly red carpet treatment, but better than tarmac.

Harry appeared first, much to my disappointment. I was so revved up for Meghan that I forgot that he has to go down the stairs first as he’s a Prince and she’s nothing but a lowly Duchess.

Once Harry was down a couple of steps, Meghan could be seen.

Royal visit to Dublin - Day One Source: Dominic Lipinski

She was a vision in a dark green tight-fitting midi-skirt and matching top.

The Devil might wear Prada, but the Duchess is wearing Givenchy.

Royal visit to Dublin - Day One Source: PA Wire/PA Images

I’m gushing about her, but also, green for your arrival in Ireland? Groundbreaking, as Miranda Priestly would snipe.

Royal visit to Dublin - Day One Source: Dominic Lipinski

But, in all honestly, Meghan was absolutely glowing.

Be it the dehydration or the pain from my sunburn, she really did seem to radiate a show-stopping presence.

And then they hopped into a car, and I thought that was the end of my adventure…

Can’t wait until tomorrow.

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