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Paper Monitor

12:21 UK time, Monday, 4 June 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's a day where one half expects to read: In other news, the continent of Africa has disappeared, Elvis has been found living in New Zealand and nuclear war has been declared by the US.

Yes, on Jubilee+2 there isn't much in the papers apart from the Queen's flotilla. And rarely has there been such consensus amongst hacks. To paraphrase - such a jolly day that even the rain couldn't stop the plucky Brits eating pork pies and holding umbrellas. "Drip Drip Hooray" as the Sun splash - erm, sorry - has it.

Or as Andrew Billen puts it in the Times: "You had to be by the Thames to get the full soaked-to-the-skin, can't-see-a-thing frustration of the pageant as well as its but-I-wouldn't-have-missed-it for-world payoff."

It takes an eagle eye to find any chinks in the newspapers' consensus. But look carefully and there were a couple of debates raging. First, was Kate's red dress a) an act of treachery? or b) modest and respectful?

Arguing the case for the guillotine was Amanda Platell in the Daily Mail who called the Sarah Burton design "as striking as it was inappropriate." The fact that Kim Kardashian and Tulisa Contostavlos had previously worn sleeveless versions should have warned her off, she tutted. This was the Queen's day and yet "the Duchess of Cambridge opted for a scarlet dress so bold and bright it just screamed: 'Look at me!'"

Paper Monitor - which doesn't always know its Burton from its Burton's if you follow - then read Times fashion editor Laura Craik describe Kate's dress as "traditional rather than triumphant" and "a modest choice that tactfully allowed the Queen to shine." All very confusing.

And what of the other disagreement bubbling beneath the newsprint? Well, just how happy was the Queen? In the Sun she "beams with delight". The Mail noted her "beaming smile". And the Daily Telegraph said she "smiled on through the cold and wet". Michael White in the Guardian described her as "severe mistress of the rare but radiant smile".

Meanwhile Billen, the Times' TV critic, contrasted the live commentary with the pictures that viewers saw. "Frequently they told us that the Queen was 'thoroughly engaged' and enjoying every moment. Frequently we cut to her looking glum and sniffing."

It was left to Danny Baker, whose tweet the Times repeated, to pour - more - cold water on proceedings. "The BBC coverage of this river fiasco has been simply ridiculous. The Queen looks like she knows it too."

Paper Monitor would like to make clear that it has no idea what the Queen was thinking.

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