George Has A Think
His mum and dad thought he was in bed, asleep, and it was his nanny’s night off, so George was able to slip from under his quilt, and stand, ever so quietly at the door of his bedroom, and listen to what they were saying.
At first it was just quite boring stuff, about who was doing what next week, what they were wearing, that kind of thing. But then he heard his name being mentioned, and he listened very carefully.
“You know Wills, I’m a bit worried about George.”
“I know. He’s had quite a lot to cope with over the last few months. He seemed to be ok, about Louis and everything, but this wedding’s been hectic. There just seemed to be so much confusion over it all, and it kind of passed on to George, and Charlotte too I think.”
“He seems to like Louis. That fact that he’s a boy helps, although I shouldn’t really say that, I know. He spends a lot of time staring into the cot, watching him sleep.”
“He told me he wanted him to grow up quickly so that he could play with him. I suppose it’s the type of thing a child might say,” his mum said, “but Charlotte’s really annoying him. I think he’s quite tired after school, but Charlotte wants him to play.”
Then dad said, “I think the wedding’s finished him off. In fact, I think it’s finished us all off. You’d have thought the week before it would have been a bit calmer, but what a carry on! It’s no wonder the kids were all over the place. We never really knew what was going to happen one day to the next. Will he arrive, will he not? Will that blasted half – sister say something else to upset everybody?”
‘Or will that half- brother write another letter, and send it via the press. At first, I felt sorry for everyone, but by the time the daddy had decided he wasn’t coming, I was just fed up with it all. The wedding went fine, unusual, but fine. So that was something. The kids did really well at that.”
“Yes, except when George had to wear the coat. He loved wearing long trousers, but somebody made the mistake of calling the coat a frock coat! Well that was it! He was having none of it. What a tantrum! Screaming, shouting, kicking even. I thought my Grandpapa Philip was going to pass out when he heard him. At least the coat stayed in one piece,” said dad.
“Maybe we should ease up a bit on him. It’s been hectic enough for us, but he’s a future King, and the cameras find him eventually.”
“I suppose so. I guess when you look at the wedding photo, the one with us all in it, and he’s grinning from ear to ear? Well he is the most important one there, apart from Great Granny of course.”
“Maybe a holiday or at least a few days out would be the answer? What if I took him, just me and him? A theme park of something?” said Mum.
George had been feeling quite sleepy up until his mum said that. He listened for another minute. He wasn’t sure what a theme park was, but it could be quite a good thing.
“Well don’t take him to Thorpe Park. That’s where me and Harry went with mum, and we were photographed non-stop. And George hates getting his hair wet. Take him somewhere a bit quieter. A bit drier. Maybe he could wear his frock coat,” and his mum and dad burst out laughing.
George stomped back to bed. He hated it when people laughed and he didn’t know why. He threw back the covers, climbed in and stared at the ceiling, thinking.
He quite liked Louis, but he was a bit small still. And why was he born on a day that had George’s name in it? St. George’s Day. Confusing. George really wanted Louis to grow so they could play with trains and stuff. George liked trains. His Great Granny had one. She travelled on it sometimes.
George thought a bit more about his toys. Every so often, George’s nanny gave him dolls to play with, and she gave Charlotte his trains. Quite frankly this confused them both. His dad had told him that when he and his uncle were growing up there were things called boys’ toys and girls’ toys but now a lot of people saw that as being old fashioned, wrong even. Boys and girls could play with whatever they wanted. Fair enough thought George, but he wanted to play with the trains and Charlotte wanted her dolls. So why couldn’t they just get on with it? Louis had a rattle, and a couple of things hanging from his cot. Quite boring actually. George thought he might chuck in a train for him. He might quite like that.
Charlotte was being a real pain. She’d learned to wave at people now, and she just never stopped. George had actually seen her waving at herself in front of the mirror, smiling! She was so annoying! And she always wanted to play with him. He just wanted a bit of peace. School was ok, but having to do all that work, then play with Charlotte, well he was fed up with everything.
It was going to be the summer holidays soon. Maybe mum was going to take him to the park thing then. He supposed Albert would come too. Eventually Albert had told him that he was his bodyguard. He only pretended to work in the school but really he was there to protect George from bad people. George had done a bit about the body in school, but he couldn’t work out why Albert only protected his body. What about his head? He’d asked Tristram, his friend at school, if he had a bodyguard or a headguard even. At first Tristram said he didn’t know, but next day he’d told George that his mum said that George had a bodyguard because he was so important, but if Tristram wanted one, she’d ask dad to see if they had enough money to buy one. Tristram told George that he expected to have a bodyguard soon, because they always had enough money!
George began to think about being important. Tristram’s mum had said he was important. So did Dad. Why was he the most important person in the wedding photograph? Surely the most important person was Sparkle, although that wasn’t going to be her name any more. No, she was going to be the Duchex of Sussess and the somebody of Dumb Barton. George wondered who or what Dumb Barton was! He’d seen a movie with the word Dumb in it, but Sparkle wasn’t in it as far as he knew. Why was George the important one? He’d need to find out. His Grandpapa had said something about a crown and a throne. But Great Granny had those! It was all a bit confusing. He’d ask Albert. He seemed to talk sense sometimes.
George thought about his uncle getting married to Sparkle. When she was walking in the church, George thought she’d got mixed up, because she met his Grandpapa and he started walking with her. George had thought THEY were going to get married! But apparently Grandpapa just met Sparkle for a chat on the way to his uncle. Which was nice really.
Just before the wedding a lot of the adults kept whispering behind their hands as though something was wrong, and the people who worked in the Palace offices were running about mad, talking about emails and photos and letters. And there was something about an operation. George wondered what that was, but he forgot to ask.
The day before the wedding they’d gone to church and he’d practiced walking behind Sparkle. That was fine. There were another few children there, and Charlotte. But next day… well next day he was not happy indeed. He’d liked wearing the long trousers although they were a bit scratchy, but somebody called his coat a frock coat! And Charlotte was wearing a frock! He didn’t care that he had to play with dolls sometimes, but he drew the line at the frock coat. He hated it! He hated the frock word! He’d tried a bit of a tantrum. In fact, it was a huge tantrum. It was so huge that Great Grandpapa Philip had shaken his stick at him, told him to be quiet. George had expected daddy to give him one of his “I’ve had enough of this,” looks. But he never. Instead he gave his, “I’ve had enough of this,” look to Grandpapa Philip, and told him to go away. And he did. So George tried tantrumming a bit harder, but it was no use, the frock thingy had to stay on. Dad did eventually tell him it was a soldier’s coat, but he couldn’t get the word ‘frock’ out of his mind.
Just as George closed his eyes, he thought of everything that had happened since he was four: he’d started school, his mum had had had Louis, Charlotte had learned to wave, and there was the Sparkle wedding. Maybe they’d go the park thingy before his birthday. And he really wanted a go on Great Granny’s train.
It was his birthday in a few weeks, well in a couple of months He was going to be five, and he was probably going to be even more important, whatever it meant. Maybe they could change the St. George’s Day thing to his own birthday. Louis wouldn’t mind. And maybe Tristram’s bodyguard would play with Albert at playtime…and with that he fell asleep.