Dear Prince Andrew,
It was a lovely wedding earlier today, wasn't it? The stuff of fairytales and dreams: a lovely commoner marries her handsome prince. I had those kinds of dreams a long time ago, Andrew, back when your forehead and my waist were both significantly smaller. In my fantasies, it was you, not your nephew, who broke with royal tradition and married outside the aristocracy.
And so you should have, because I would have put a stop to those hideous outfits your daughters wore to the wedding. I would have looked into it weeks ago and shrieked in horror when I was shown those getups.
I'd have put my maribou-slipper-shod commoner foot down and said to the girls that under no circumstances were they going to their cousin's wedding looking like a can-can girl from a cheap belle epoque musical revue and a consumptive Dress Barn manager circa 1993. They would have wailed "MOM!" and I would have followed up with "And furthermore, I don't care if those forehead protruberances are by Philip Treacy, they make you look like you're being attacked by monsters."
At which point, they would have flounced off in a huff and I would have said "That's right. You go back to your apartments and think about it. Call me when you get to the east wing of the castle so I know you made it all right." Then, you and I would have gone back to our morning tea and toast.
Later that day, I would have taken the girls shopping and explained the difference between "dated" and "vintage," and between "costume" and "edgy." This morning, I would have checked to make sure that Beatrice was not applying her makeup with a palette knife again.
Don't think I couldn't have made all that happen, Andrew. I come from stern stuff. My mother can still shut me up with one glance of the hairy eyeball, and not only am I forty-seven years old, I'm also a lot bigger than she is.
Clearly, the Duchess of York did not do any of this. She is probably, as I type, sitting on a beach topless somewhere while holding a drink with an umbrella in it. I, on the other hand, would have been by your side throughout the festivities, wearing something subtly fabulous by Chanel. Because Chanel is my everything, Andrew. It could have been you and Chanel, but alas, we all make mistakes when we're young and foolish.