NEWS
20/05/2018 13:30 BST | Updated 20/05/2018 13:46 BST

I Read The Sunday Express's 128-Page Royal Wedding Special So You Don't Have To

Be a journalist, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

On my way to the newsagent this morning to buy the Sunday Express’s 128-page Royal Wedding special a bizarre thing happened - a cat wearing a tiara stopped in front of me, looked up and said in Princess Diana’s voice: “So in love!”

A clever marketing ploy or are previous front pages of the paper right and my aversion to curry/tea/coffee/sudoku/mushrooms really is raising my risk of dementia?

Undeterred I press on and I’m soon £1.50 lighter but 128-pages of “souvenir”-grade reportage better off. I make a coffee (fights cancerAlzheimer’s, diabetes and stroke) and settle in.

But a quick flick through the weighty tome reveals I’ve been misled - expecting 128 pages of Royal Wedding coverage I’m left sorely wanting - shockingly, only 50 pages are dedicated to the event with the other 78 covering distinctly non-wedding related issues such as the “truth” about smart meters and an exclusive revealing that “Spiritual healing ‘works’” although the fact that of the three words, “works” is the one in inverted commas suggests it actually doesn’t.

Regardless, 50 pages is still an impressive number to fill - how are they going to do it?

I lose a little more faith as pages 3 and 5 are taken up by the happy couple descending six steps in almost exactly the same pose. Checking pictures from yesterday, there are 21 steps outside St George’s Chapel meaning as many as four of the 50 remaining could be stepping filler.

Thankfully the Express delivers and we’re instead treated to a lip reader’s interpretation of what the happy couple said to each other (although the memory I’m choosing to keep is the now debunked version where Harry apparently said to his wife-to-be “I’m shitting it”).

Moving on, we are treated to the to-be-expected double-page spreads dedicated to Prince George (so smart!), Princess Charlotte (best foot forward!) and Prince William (happy and excited!) but then things take a rather sinister turn when it comes to Her Maj. “You’re one of us now, Meghan...”. I’m sure they meant it in a nice way.

Express
Bit creepy.

Following this are four pages dedicated to the lesser royals whose faces you recognise but names you can’t remember.

There’s the two sisters, one of whom is called Eugenie but you’re not quite sure which, and you’ve never actually said it out loud so have no idea how it’s pronounced. Camilla’s son (wasn’t he a celebrity chef?) who is either squinting in the sun or nursing a massive hangover and the one with the ginger hair who made that weird cameo on an episode of Friends once.

By page 33 the Express sub-editors are clearly struggling and have resorted to 80s power ballad song titles and barely complete sentences. 

Express

There’s still 17 pages to go so I’m going to level with you - if you watched the wedding yesterday then you know the rest. If you watched it and loved it then maybe, just maybe, you’ll want to drop £1.50 on what is undeniably comprehensive coverage. You could even send off the coupons (page 93) and get a free (£19.99 RRP) commemorative plate to remember the occasion.

Then when it arrives you could pack it in the commemorative issue and place it in your loft until the pages turn a bit yellow and your plate might be worth a few bob more.

But if you didn’t watch it yesterday then you’ll more than likely be very happy going the rest of your life not knowing any of this. I’d go so far as to say you’re wasting your time reading this, and should go outside or something. I mean, it’s a really nice day. 

UPDATE: The first draft of this piece ended here but apparently summarising the entire final 17 pages doesn’t fulfil the assignment.

So there’s some more about the actual wedding ceremony, something about rings, yada, yada yada... and then the celeb section.

There’s Victoria Beckham, walking proof that you can’t buy smiles, George Clooney, who magnificently managed to match his suit exactly to his beard, and my personal favourite, James Blunt.

Whether you’re a fan of his music or not, the man runs the funniest Twitter account on the planet.

But I digress.

Pages 40-41 are a veritable spread of injustice as it becomes apparent Dave Henson endured being injured in Afghanistan just to have his picture placed next to a far bigger one of a grinning James Corden.

Express

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the entire thing is that the Express takes 45 pages before featuring a picture of Princess Diana. Yes, really. Although the solemnity of the occasion is somewhat dampened by the reception menu mock-up featuring a clip-art style scroll background. 

Express

Then there’s just enough time for a page or two on Harry and Meghan exiting the festivities which begs the question - is it still drink-driving if its on royal property?

If you came here looking for a serious review then I’m very sorry - there’s a reason I booked yesterday off work weeks ago.