Since Sunday, the day before Meghan and Harry arrived in Sydney, our house has been humming. Matt is covering the royal couple for the BBC and it has all been a bit full on. Like most of the people who live in the cities they’ve visited, I had hoped I might catch a real-life glimpse of them at some point. I haven’t and probably won’t. I’m working during the days and after work, I’m running our kids around to baseball training, futsal games, helping with homework and doing those domestic things Matt and I normally share. Matt, on the other hand, has and will see the royal couple every day and by now he probably wouldn’t care if he ever sees them again.
Because the BBC’s coverage has to be 24 hours (filming during our day when Harry and Meghan are out and about and then doing live remotes during the UK day when we in Australia are having dinner and going to bed), he is part of a two crew team. He is filming with Hywel Griffith, BBC’s Australian correspondent, during the day. When their shift ends, overnight coverage is picked up by Jonny Diamond, the BBC’s Royal Correspondent and Rob Magee, the other cameraman.
To put this in context, Matt and I each work freelance and work together in our video business. Neither his or my freelance jobs are actually a big deal in our house, but whenever a friend or client hears that Matt’s involved in a high profile gig like this one, they always say I should blog about it. Actually I did start a blog on Monday night, but stopped when Matt was called to help set the live to cover Harry and Meghan’s pregnancy announcement. I stopped writing because I didn’t want to be tempted to share their news in my blog. So, I didn’t blog and Matt managed to come home once the live was set up and the second crew took over for the night. It just meant that Matt and Hywel had to leave extra early Tuesday morning to pick up the live box (whatever that is) and get cracking on their day’s work. This is how it has and will go for them until the couple leave. It definitely won’t all be a picnic and they’ll have to contend with other overworked and tired crews, each of them vying for a spot to get the best shots at every event.
It has to be said that Matt has been excited to do this work this week, not because of Harry or Meghan, but because he likes his BBC colleagues. He isn’t the least bit bothered about who they are covering. Matt has worked as a senior cameraman at the BBC for years and, like his colleagues from the BBC, they have all done this before. They’ve all met and interviewed celebrities, politicians and members of the royal family over and over again.
Our kids are used to his job and take no notice unless Matt is interviewing a famous sports figure or entertainer. They have grown up with this. It’s normal to them and I have to say that Matt and I have been together so long that it’s an interesting love / hate relationship I have with his freelance work. It is part of him and he likes this work. Honestly it isn’t as difficult to deal with when it is a few weeks of craziness a year. It’s much easier to manage when it isn’t a daily or hourly occurrence like it used to be in London. Trust me. You can only be patient so long when you can’t make any plans or when you do, everything is cancelled at the very last minute.
Still, it’s interesting work, though honestly of all the people he has interviewed, there really are only a few that I have gotten excited over. The only one I begged for an autograph was Eddie the Eagle and I asked Matt to get this for my mother. He begrudgingly did. He hates that kind of thing. I was very interested in JK Rowling when he filmed her interview with Jeremy Paxman in what she said would be her first and only interview. (She has since done quite a few more.) I never did meet her, but Matt brought me a signed book set of her first four Harry Potter books – they were all she’d written to that point and I was thrilled to receive the set. We s have kept the books. I also would have loved to have met Madonna when she controversially adopted her African son – Matt flew to NY for that one. Mostly I enjoy hearing the stories after his interviews because the person sometimes surprises by either being nicer than you expect or by being a real jerk. There’s always something and it’s always interesting. Fame affects people in different ways.
This week is different. I am not obsessed to the point of camping out to save a place, but I’d like to see what Meghan is wearing in real life and if Harry is really as handsome as he looks in magazines. I settled for asking Matt to snap a photo on his phone. After receiving a few snaps (supplied in this post), I told him not to bother. I realise now how it was silly to ask because when he is close up to them, he is filming. So a few days into their visit, the shine is starting to wear off for me, but I’m happy for everyone else who have gotten to see and meet the pair and I’m pleased that Matt has gotten to work with his friends.
In another few days when Harry and Meghan go, I’ll be faced with the dilemma of whether or not to keep the press pass. Matt will want to chuck it, so I will have to hide it. It’ll probably go the way it has in the past. I’ll keep the press pass for a short time because I’ll reason that the kids might like in future and then probably end up throwing it shortly after because something more amazing will have happened. Looking back, maybe I should have kept some of the others because some of the things were truly amazing. Is this royal visit better than any of them? Probably not, but it is fun and another cool thing that Matt has done.