Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Royal Spots

I am not particularly a celebrity watcher, and would be a bit hard pressed to recount whom I’ve seen over the years. Actors and singers, ha, I could do what they do, so it holds little sway. I have had good luck with billionaire spotting, and have had a few fascinating chats over the years. I can’t yet do what they do, but want to, so they do hold my interest. Royals though, they are literally a breed apart. No doing what they do without the right match of sperm and egg. I quite distinctly remember all my royal encounters, and a few times have even gone out of my way to see them.

Its surprisingly easy to arrange a royal encounter, especially if, like me, you’re one of those colonial types (even today I still occasionally called a colonial, with a tone of voice like its an unknown disease (always makes me laugh too, I know who's the superior one in the meeting)). Also, its rather good to be involved in good works. I don’t do that to meet royals, but it can be one of the perks of the job (so to speak). So far in my life I’ve rubbed up against her maj twice, her hubby three times, Anne once (but in very close proximity), Di twice and Chuck no less than six times. Andy I’ve seen loads of times, but he doesn’t really count does he? I did spot Will and Harry flash past in a convoy once when they were kids, but I’m not sure that counts either.

So, here are the boys top tips to royal spotting:
  1. If you are lucky and privileged enough to be a colonial there are loads of opportunities to get up close and personal. Not many people know that the embassies and high commissions get allocations of invites for things like the garden parties and royal events like Ascot. I’ve been to a garden party at Hollirood, and twice to Ascot (had to take the wife you know). Its dead easy, all you do is ask.
  2. Charity events are a prime opportunity for royal spotting. I sat no more than 8 rows away from Chuck and Di at a concert years ago (when they were still officially an item). Sometimes their attendance is advertised, but often not, especially if they’re a patron of the charity.
  3. Getting involved in a charity is a very good way of meeting royals. Not that I did (of course), but checking if a royal is a patron is a sure fire ticket to an eventual meet up. Worm your way on to a charity board and you can gaurentee a royal handshake. My right hand has touched the right hand of HRH Chuck (I still wash it though).
  4. Go to a university where one of ‘em is the honorary Chancellor. Anne handed me my slip of paper declaring me a master of the universe. Afterwards she had the very good grace to wander around the reception with a glass of champers and chat. I hit it lucky. “Oh, you ‘do’ computers? Isn’t the world changing so, and how do you keep it all in your head, and must be off now.” I’ve dined many times on that story, though I am still mystified how she has a relationship with a business school.
  5. Read the Times. I once had a bet that I could have a certified sighting of a Royal within one week (had to have a picture with both me and whomever in the frame). Tis simplicity itself. Read the Royal Circular in the times. Of a week at least one of them is off doing something public. Usually more than one of them, more than once. Get yourself there, et voila!
So, go to it. I want reports of all Royal sightings back here please.


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