On September 1 & 2, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit Cornwall and the Scilly Isles to meet locals and view some of the Duchy of Cornwall’s initiatives. William has decided to fly them both there in his helicopter as the children aren’t coming and it’s only a short trip. Little does he know he has left his log book, containing accounts of weird happenings, lying around in the cockpit. What will happen when Kate, who is obsessed with the Netflix show Stranger Things finds it? (And yes, this post’s title is also a pun on the MAD Blog Awards, which is judged on 16 September, as it’s fair to say I am just A LITTLE BIT excited). For fun, you can spot the classic 80s films if you like (The Thing is, you really don’t have to).
“Where are the Scillies anyway?” mutters Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to herself as she paces up and down the path leading to the helicopter pad outside Anmer Hall, waiting for William.
“Right here,” points Maria something-or-other, the nanny, “putting their hi-tops on.”
Catherine glances down into her herbaceous border to where George, 3 and Charlotte, 1, are putting their shoes on the wrong way round again. She has insisted on 80s clothing for her offspring ever since setting eyes on the marvellous, nostalgia-inducing Stranger Things aired. Will is against the show as he believes it encourages her leopard print hairband habit and has refused to let her watch the last episode until she plays Game of Thrones properly with him. She rolls her eyes and sighs. What do they pay Maria for if not to be able to understand simple questions and know right from left? Eleven would know. She ruffles her heir to make him look a bit more pudding-bowled.
William wends his way through the shrubbery, looking rugged-y, just in time to catch the question.
“They’re just off the coast of Cornwall, babe. We’re going monster surf hunting, you know.”
“Will Poldark be there?” says Kate hopefully.
“Ferris?” asks Kate, her voice wavering slightly. Ferris, whilst not exactly Poldark, is the rather handsome west country Duchy of Cornwall guide entrusted the Royal couple by the Prince of Wales. He’s devastatingly handsome and gives Will the same chills down his spine as Ben Ainslie does since the last time Kate met him and he tried some rather dodgy Dirty Dancing.
“No,” says William, curtly. “It’s his Day Off.”
He turns to Maria, who is holding one of Charlotte’s kirby grips in her teeth and battling the princess (who has heir issues). “What are you doing with the children today?”
“Well, Breakfast Club for George first, then we’re going to see The Shining.”
There is an awkward silence.
“Isn’t that rather unsuitable?” frowns Will.
Maria takes the hairclip out of her mouth. “In the library.”
“Oh, you mean the signing,” Kate says with relief, remembering that Sarah Ferguson is having a revival of her early 90s classic, Budgie the Little Helicopter. “Fine.”
William gives her a leg up into the cockpit and she settles herself into a Duchess slant. The doors close and William starts the blades. With a WHOOOMPH the helicopter lifts up into the air and within seconds, the house is far below, their little gang waving their hearts out. Kate sighs, adjusts her ear protectors and settles down into her seat to enjoy the view of her soon-to-be realm and husband at the helm.
After a few minutes, she grows restless. There is a thick cloud cover and so nothing to see particularly. She casts her eye around the inside of the helicopter, which is pleasingly shiny and knob-filled, and twiddles a few buttons.
“Don’t!” William slaps her hand away. “These things are Alien to you – leave them alone.
“What’s that?” she asks, pointing to the glove compartment beside the throttle. The corner of a rather shabby leather log book is peeping out of the top. She takes it out, opens it and begins to read what she recognises as her husband’s handwriting: August 3 – glowing lights in the…
William glances down for a millisecond and the helicopter lurches.
“Woah!” shouts Kate, holding on to the door handle for dear life. “What are you doing? I’m a very Pretty Woman! ” The helicopter takes a dive, then veers sharply to the left before straightening. Will wipes the sweat from his brow and gives a low groan.
“It wasn’t me,” he says quietly.
“What do you mean?”
With a shaking hand, Will extracts the log book from the glove compartment and hands it to her. “I didn’t want you to worry. But there’s been some Weird Science happening up here recently.”
Kate smoothes the pages. … glowing lights in the sky over London. I think they might be a signal or something. She flicks backwards. June 17 – Winona flipped today. Totally upside down. I didn’t do it. Talk about a Freaky Friday.
“Who’s Winona?” asks Kate fearfully.
Will reddens. “It’s… it’s… this is Winona.”
“Your helicopter? Why is she called that?!”
Before Will can reply, they are thrown forwards and, for a few seconds, both think the end is nigh. Terrified, Kate splutters, “get us down! Get us DOWN! NOW! I “
“But we’re not at the Scillies yet,” yells Will above the noise that is the blades whirring backwards.
“I don’t CARE!” screams Kate.
The helicopter rises quickly again and, at the same moment, a swathe of gun metal grey cloud engulfs them and they are plunged into darkness.
Will tries desperately to steady Winona but she seems to have suffered a little since the ‘drop/lifting’ incident and refuses to co-operate.
“What are we going to do?” demands Kate, but Will seems to have gone into a neutral state. In fact, he has turned around in his seat and is now facing the wall of the cockpit.
Right, she thinks. If he’s going to put his Back to the Future, it’s up to me.
With nearly the same effort as it took to push Charlotte out, Kate shoves the stubborn joystick upwards and Winona straightens out. She glances once more at the log book. August 28 – Upside down with Winona again. I don’t think she likes it.
“Now now,” soothes Kate to the helicopter. “I’m in charge now. You don’t have to go to the upside down any more. I understand. You’re safe.”
The craft seems to understand. Under Kate’s sapphire-topped left hand, the helicopter becomes smoother; more compliant. Looking at the GPS, Kate sees the Scillies are close.
“Will,” she says gently, easing her husband out of the pilot seat. “I’ll take over from here. Just Stand By Me and read the map, would you?”
The skies clear. Looking down, Kate spies the beautiful Heathers of Trusco. “We’re here,” she says calmly. “I’m going to land.”
Almost as if possessed, Kate steers Winona expertly to the landing pad. Stepping out, she takes her husband’s hand and steadies him as they walk the few steps to safety.
“Thank you,” he whispers, his voice wobbly. “I felt a right Goonie up there. How did you do that?”
“Simple,” says the Duchess, rubbing her tummy and patting her head. “I’m a mother. Now,” she demands. “Why Winona?”
Will thinks. The real reason is because he likes to ‘ride her’ but to admit it would mean silent treatment for the rest of the trip and anyway, he’s not sure this is the case after today’s flight.
“She’s a film heroine. And you remind me of her,” he says, stroking his wife’s dark hair.
“Oh.” Kate looks at him fondly. “Well. Thanks. She was very good in that Cher video. Anyway, I think you need to get her checked out,” she says. “There’s clearly a Gremlin in there or something. Now,” she says, cheering up as they walk arm in arm towards the heliport welcome office and she spies Ferris striding towards them, “it seems our guide is back at work. So let’s put a brave face on it.”
“And tonight, after our duties, let’s watch Netflix and chill, shall we?” Kate continues, giving the cameras a flash of her smile. “Do you think we could watch the final episode of my favourite series after all?”
“Maybe,” shrugs Will, thinking wistfully of his Game of Thrones. “Stranger Things…”
A little Scilly woodlouse scurries across their path. “Watch out!” hisses Will.
Kate swivels on her stiletto at the last second, and Will feels, at least, a small pride in saving his wife’s LK Bennetts from a tiny stain of Beetlejuice.