The Royal visit to Blackpool yesterday set me thinking about my own regal-style encounters.
Perhaps the most impressive happened without me being aware, not that I can remember; possibly I slept through it.
My parents had taken a ferry to the Isle of Man when the Queen and Prince Philip were also visiting. Douglas was packed, so Dad decided we should wander into nearby countryside and enjoy the sunny day away from crowds. (Not sure Mum agreed but all worked out well.)
Soon we were alone strolling the lanes, except for older brother Mike running ahead and me – in a pram. Then a Rolls-Royce with outriders rounded the corner and the Queen noticed our family and waved to us with a smile. Possibly Philip was cat-napping, like me.
When older I met Princess Alexandria opening a day centre named after her here. It was funny as her hubby Angus Ogilvy was lagging behind, chatting, and got mistaken by a dinner lady for just another hanger-on.
“Hurry up,” she chided the royal, “or all your food will be gone.” He thanked her and did so.
I have also dined and chatted with a couple of governors of Hong Kong, when a colony, but they’re not in the same top bracket of course. Still, whatever you think of VIP higher-ups, I always found them refreshingly pleasant and, oddly enough, full of down-to-earth good sense.
Here our royal family are a huge tourist attraction and cause of fascination and envy throughout the world. There’s a lot of loyalty and tradition in distant places inspired by them.
What’s more I think they’re worthy of respect. In our sovereign and her consort’s case, they’ve lived long, met everyone important and been everywhere.
I’d certainly trust their experienced view far above any of our increasingly disloyal MPs, let alone – God forbid – a President Blair instead!
n For Roy’s books visit royedmonds-blackpool.com.