Whilst, in Part I, I found it hard to be inspired by a rather flat dog walk, back at Anmer Hall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is preparing for a deadly dull visit to Hayward Tyler nuclear engineers this Wednesday. It is Sunday evening and George is playing up. He has become obsessed with keeping his genitalia clean and has, over the last week, been clogging up the en-suite with large amounts of loo roll (known as ‘beauchamping‘). William, out of sympathy for his wife (who deals with most of the overflow) ordered a box of gin from the UK’s #1 subscription club, Craft Gin Club as a surprise. She is enjoying August’s delicious drinks while she tries to get to grips with her notes around her powerful nuclear family.
“George has really gone to town this time,” sighs William as he enters the bedroom with his hands full of soggy white (quilted) tissue. “I just don’t understand why he feels the need to wipe so thoroughly.”
Kate sips her Blue Bottle gin and slimline tonic – she has already passed the Fever Tree full fat version to Maria – and tries to focus on the Hayward Tyler Centre of Excellence brochure in front of her. “I don’t know, babe,” she says, looking strained. “I’m more worried about Wednesday’s visit. I’m fine with the children’s mental health bits but when it comes to this,” she waves the pamphlet forlornly, “I mean, how can I look interested? Global centre of design for the Boiler Circulating Pump”, she reads despairingly. “And it’s in LUTON.”
“Come on, Kate,” says Will somewhat tetchily. “How do you think I feel? I have to feign interest AND pretend I don’t mind no-one cares about my genes. Which, let’s be honest, are far better calibre than yours.”
“WHAT?” Kate chokes on her drink.
“Jeans. As in denim.”
“Oh.” Kate falls quiet. He’s right. The thing that made the trip to Portsmouth most bearable (apart from the lovely Ben Ainslie) was her skinnies with ‘towering’ nude pumps win. Will must have felt properly de-throned.
“I know,” she soothes, offering him the last of the G&T flavoured popcorn and running her finger around the edge of her glass. “We could play a little game.”
“Oh yes,” says Will, shaking his freshly washed hands.
“Don’t dry them on the duvet. Use the heir dryer.”
He reaches for the towel and they grin at each other, enjoying their secret in-joke.
Kate continues. “Babe, we’re so good at private games,” she lets out a low laugh, “so let’s see how many cocktail names we can fit into the visit when we’re walking round chatting. But,” she says, gimlet-eyed, “they must contain gin.”
“Oh, I like it,” enthuses Will, holding up the small bottle of dry vermouth. “Is this nice, by the way?”
“It’s ok,” Kate shrugs. “I slipped some to Maria earlier because she looks like the walking dead. I think Shouty’s kept her up for the last three nights. She likes it; says it’s a real corpse reviver.”
“I wish you wouldn’t call Charlotte that,” frowns William.
“What?” yells George from the corridor, before hurtling into the bedroom. He is wearing his sister’s new ‘first walker’ goatskin shoes on his hands.
“Why are you wearing Shouty’s pumps?” asks Kate seriously, striding over to her son. She reaches out to remove them but George grabs them back. “I need them!” he protests. “My willy needs handling with care!”
“George!” says Will, sternly. “Your penis does NOT need to be handled with kid gloves… or indeed at all. It is YOUR penis, and after you have weed, a simple wash is fine. Now stop being so silly, or I won’t take you to aviation tomorrow.”
This clinches it for George, who loves flying lessons with his Daddy. He retreats, head bowed, towards the door. “Mummy?” he turns, tentatively.
Kate has abandoned her power speech and started to read the Dragon’s Den article in her Ginned magazine. She doesn’t really want to be distracted.
“Tomorrow, can I play with Martin? I just… I really like him.”
“I thought you were going to play with Tom Collins?”
George pouts. “Tom’s a bully. He always has to have the last word.”
“OK,” Kate relents.
“Come on,” says Will heartily. “Back to bed. You’ve got your nice newly decorated room to go to sleep in, remember?” Since turning three, George has had an ‘obsession’ with neon green spray paint. At Maria’s request, his bedroom has been painted in Apricot Passion to try to quell his propensity for angry outbursts.
“You’re the bee’s knees,” says Kate to Will gratefully. “When I’ve finished Ginned, I’ll settle down with another one of these,” she wobbles her glass with pleasure, “and really crib up on pistons in time for Wednesday.”
“You’d better,” says Will, with a twinkle.
“What’s a piston?” pipes George, poking his round little face into the doorway. “Is it a bit like…” he reaches towards his groin.
“George!” says Kate fiercely, brandishing her fist in his direction with mock fury. “Go to bed!” He scampers away.
“Honestly,” she mutters under her breath, shaking the last of the popcorn into her left hand, being careful to avoid any sapphire smearage. “I’d never actually punch him but sometimes that boy is a total mother’s ruin.”
She slides a laptop out of her dressing table top drawer and fires it up. She Googles ‘cocktails’ and starts to plan a little word sneak to liven up Wednesday’s trip. “Now,” she muses to herself. “Where do I be-gin?”
Disclaimer: I was provided with a box from Craft Gin Club in return for a story review. Craft Gin Club is the #1 subscription club for gin lovers and recently acquired funding and backing from Sarah Willingham of Dragon’s Den. Visit www.craftginclub.co.uk to find out more.