Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Sian Lloyd faces chill winds in this domestic storm

Inviting trouble: Sian Lloyd
Inviting trouble: Sian Lloyd

Despite consistently being described in media reports as a "weather girl", Sian Lloyd is 55-years-old and, safe to say, has been in "weather woman" territory for quite some time now. At the weekend she was also at the centre of a minor domestic storm, winds gusting to chilly from the direction of a lavish garden marquee.

Sian had been due to attend the wedding of her husband's daughter Suzanne Ashman to Euan Blair (son of Tony and Cherie) until she was mysteriously disinvited to the bash at the last minute.

This was a wedding which had everything. A beautiful bride, her groom, a quartet of bridesmaids, a former PM, a former soap star (Cherie's da Tony Booth), Cherie herself and endless paparazzi snapping away like a shoal of piranha let loose in an Essex jacuzzi.

It was a bad one to miss.

Why was Sian excluded? In one report she opines that it may have had something to do with her views on the Iraq war (she was anti). But it's also reported she has had a difficult relationship with her stepdaughter's mother, the ex Mrs Ashman.

Weighing up the two possibilities, most of us would assume it more likely conflict on the home front rather than Sian's questioning of the legitimacy of military intervention in the Middle East that lies behind the disinvite.

But why then, was she invited in the first place? What happened in the interim?

That we don't know but what we do know (from sources close to Sian) is that she nobly insisted her husband should attend his daughter's wedding even if she herself was not on the guest list.

She is also pictured emerging alone from a restaurant on the day when she had, reportedly, joined friends to toast the happy couple.

"Lonely figure," one caption reads. Lonely, that is, apart from the photographer.

The role of stepmother at a wedding can be a tricky one. But the general rule of thumb for all wedding guests is that on the bride's big day, whatever your own issues you try not to ruin it for the girl.

In fairness Sian didn't actually ruin the Blair bash. (She could have turned up flashing the original invite, creating a scene). And anyway, since she wasn't a wedding guest, why should she even care?

She should care because this is her stepdaughter – her husband's girl.

And if relations between them were blustery before the wedding think of the turbulence once the bride and the former Mrs Ashman review all those pics of glum-but-brave Sian in her jeans and martyred smile, dominating coverage of the nuptials.

Would it have been more dignified to have lain low on the day and said nothing?

Making a major deal of the disinvite will have ratcheted up tensions within the extended family circle.

And Sian's problem now is that this will not be the last of those potentially difficult family occasions. In the years ahead, her husband torn between loyalty to his wife and to his daughter, will be in an unenviable position.

The outlook, to coin a phrase, is stormy.

Ms Lloyd may feel that she got her retaliation in over the wedding snub. (She has some previous in this area – after former partner Lembit Opik moved on to a Cheeky Girl she had a not very pleasant blast back at him in the papers).

In this instance however, keeping out of the spotlight might well have served her – and especially her husband – better in the long run. Sian may be forever the weather "girl". But she's a big girl now.Would it have been more dignified to have lain low on the day of the wedding and said nothing?

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