I interrupt my own regularly-schedule road trip coverage to tell you about that time Kate Middleton stalked me.
(True, she’s far away and quite grainy, but it is still so clearly Kate, cheap lens and pixels be darned.)
You see, it all started innocently enough, eight days ago. We were just beginning a week-long cruise with my parents, SVV’s parents and nine other lovely folk from my hometown in Tennessee. This wasn’t for work, but purely for fun—something that has been planned for a year now (long before I found out I’d be sailing the exact route, only the opposite direction, one month from now).
As it so happens, on the very day we landed in Montreal, Kate and Will also arrived just down the road in Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day. Had I been a devoted reader of the news, I likely would have known this. But in actuality, I only found out via a flurry of Tweets (new journalism at its finest) while at the Montreal airport. (Either my generation has an unhealthy obsession with the Royals or I follow hordes of teenage British girls.) Bummer, I thought. It would have been cool to witness that whole hullabaloo. Oh well, maybe next time when I happen to be in Canada at the same time the Royals are also there on tour. Psst. Then, we boarded the ship and the Royals weren’t even blips on my radar—until the next day.
The first port we visited after departing Montreal was quaint Quebec City. Before we docked, the captain announced that Kate and Will would also be arriving in town just after us. I decided my day’s mission would be to “accidentally” run into the stylish duo. (I was only half joking.) Shannon, a member of our group who I have known for more than two decades, offered to be my partner in crime. My self-assigned task proved to be much easier than I anticipated.
(Uh, that’s no royal…unless you’re looking for the Royal Jester. In which case, he—being my Dad, trying to catch a glimpse of that temptress, Ms. Middleton, in the flesh—wears that royal hat quite nicely.)
As we were walking along the wall not half an hour into our time in Quebec City, Shannon shouted, “hey, look, there they are!” She was trying to pull my leg, but as it turned out, she was spot on. A Canadian military vessel was docked right next to our ship and out on the bow, a church service was being held. And who happened to be sitting on the front row, outside in plain sight, but the Duke and Duchess themselves.
I couldn’t believe our luck! I had stalked many a celebrity for my job with insider knowledge and tips, to no avail. So the fact that locating two of the most sought after public figures in the world could be so easy absolutely blew my mind. And yet, it was most definitely them, no questions asked. Truth be told, I almost couldn’t pick out Kate in the crowd at first—she was, after all, not looking like her usual self, seeing as she was traveling sans lavish headwear.
Will even looked over our way at one point. I’d like to think he was telepathically communication, “when is this over? Please, somebody save me from the monarchy!” I feel you, brother. I know I’m probably not in a majority here, but I actually pity Kate, too, in some respects (other than her wardrobe, of course). Many of these obligatory royal functions seem so exhaustively boring and monotonous. I don’t think I’d want to be forced to go to any of them either!
We waited and waited and waited some more for Kate and Will to get up and walk down the red carpet, but this seemed the longest church service known to man, and I’m not a very patient person—even for the royals. Even less patient than me are the 12 others with whom we were exploring Quebec City. They were itching to get going, so we decided to continue about our day and climbed up toward the Citadel.
We walked a little bit and realized from there we even had a better view of the shindig from above, so we stopped to watch the Royals once more.
[Of course, this meant we were also that much closer to the snipers, but we took our chances.]
And then, just as we were about to leave for good, miraculously there was movement! Everyone began to stand and what followed was a frenzy of handshakes and “how do you dos.”
Even from a bazillion feet away and above, Kate was radiant and smiley.
She finally retreated into the ship with some military guy, and again, we went on our merry little way, pleased as punch for what I think is likely the ultimate “celebrity sighting.”
But that was not the last we saw of the Royal Entourage. For the rest of the day, everywhere we went, Kate and Will were not far behind. This meant we ran into a whole lot of barricades and crowds of paparazzi wannabes.
We tried to get out of their path, but it mattered not: They insisted on following our every footstep!
And to add fuel to the fire, there was an anti-monarchy riot that we ran into while trying to escape Will and Kate and their posse. That was a whole other level of chaos.
My lands, it’s so difficult being pursued by the royals! Maybe I’ll shelf that desire to be Kate’s lady-in-waiting…at least for a little while.
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Very cool! Amusing too. I guess their honeymoon is over – this doesn’t look terribly relaxing!
How cool to see the royal couple, even from far. Did you carry a huge telescopic lens with you while on the road!?
Not really! I have a crap 70-300mm lens (I had a nice one but it was stolen in South Africa, wah) for wildlife shots, and that’s what I took these photos with. I wish I’d had a tripod or a more expensive lens, but hey, at least you can tell it’s definitely Kate and Will =)
*sigh* Why am I not surprised that MY countrymen stole your lens??? Hope you had insurance!
sooo cool!! 🙂 true paparazzi shots 🙂
Now, that’s the ultimate celebrity siting! Love it!!
The “snipers” looked scary… but didn’t have rifles… very disappointing!
Do you see the small, and long, piles next to each of them? Sniper on far left has a light green jacket draped over.
Yes! I recognised the rifle bag right after I posted my comment 😉 But I still find it strange that they don’t have them out. Guess they must be pretty crack shots if they can get them up and zeroed in the few second window that they’d have…. Fascinating! i got to see the Gurkhas guarding the former PMs house in Singapore, they were scary for being so incredibly calm and having a total zen vibe – could tell they were completely lethal!
Okay. I clearly need to get my eyes checked, can totally see the muzzle pointing out from under that jacket. Too many hours staring at a computer over the last 2 years 🙁
Ha, you’re right: Their weapons are not that visible! But there were some sniper guys literally just up the hill from us once we climbed higher, and all their rifles were perched and ready to fire. I took some photos of them but can’t find the memory card! Still, those snipers were so much further away than these guys pictured above that I wonder how on Earth they’d be able to see someone–and then aim and shoot–from such a distance.
Totally! Those sniper rifles are pretty incredible. Showing my ex-military geekiness here. The range on some of them is ridiculous – up to 2km!
But seriously, how freaky would it be to constantly be tailed by people with long range, highly accurate weapons? I don’t envy them at all!
Loving the paparazzi style photos of Wills and Kate! When I was still living at home in England I met most of the Royal Family including the Queen through a summer job I had, but I have yet to meet these two, and they look like so much fun!
I forgot you’ve had such cool jobs! I mean, you can totally drop “OH YEAH, BY THE WAY, I’VE MET THE QUEEN” into everyday conversation and it actually be true!
Lol, yep that job was awesome, I got to meet the Royals every year and various assorted Prime Ministers too plus there was free wine at lunch every day :0)
And thinking about it, I’ve just realized I’ve actually met the Queen twice, I must start bringing it up at parties!
You can literally spot William’s balding head from a mile away. And you are clearly a big deal to have the Royal couple stalking you! 🙂
I know! Poor sod. Harry so got the better deal in the looks department. Then again, I guess Will gets the throne (and Kate), so at least he has that going for him. 😉
Too funny! I had seen them at Wimbledon earlier that same week!
Where’s your bodyguards when you need them Kirsten?! Was SVV distracted? 🙂
Ahh forgive me for spelling your name wrong. I’ve been messaging Kirsten Alana lately!
Ha, no worries. SVV (and the rest of the males in our posse) was distracted by Kate’s gams, methinks 😉
Wow! From animal sightings to celebrity sightings… this is not your usual travel blog. (And thank goodness!)
I kind of love that! Maybe that will be my tagline if ever I redo my site 😉
Love it! All by accident, my hubby would not have had the patience to wait it out, he would have been pulling me away…thanks for the glimpse!
I don’t want to be that popular. But you on the other hand…… could have “jumped” for joy!
Sounds like a wonderful family vacation.
Oh don’t worry, I took *plenty* of jumping shots this vacation! Though in many of them it turns out I am flashing the camera (the downside of only wearing dresses), so I might have to do a little editing before posting =)
Awesomeness of forever! Love!
Wow. That is all really interesting. There’s not a lot of coverage of the anti-monarchy crowds. That darn monarchy must require a lot of money to keep running! I feel a little sorry for the royals too. It does seem tedious, boring, and limiting at times.
For the longest time we thought they were saying “USA! USA!” which was weird as we were in Canada after all. Then, we realized they were chanting something against the monarchy (which kinda sorta maybe sounds like USA) instead!
They definitely stalk you! 🙂 How cool is that.
Crap, if I had to sit through all those events I would blow my lovely, hat-wearing head off. The ONLY thing that would make it worth sitting through is knowing I got to go home and do Will.
She is gorgeous, though.
You see, I’m more of a Harry girl myself. Will in his balding glory just doesn’t do it for me.
I’m so jealous! I had to stalk their tour online and sadly not in person.
I think you might need to get a restraining order.
Oooh this is awesome! I’m jealous of your sighting, and of Kate’s closet, but definitely not of all the boring royal duties she must have.
As a fellow dress wearer myself, I think the only thing that makes me insanely jealous about Kate is her endless wardrobe of divine dresses!
I.am.so.jealous. My British half was raised very much a monarchist, so I’d love to “meet” the royals! I was so sad when I saw that they were going to be in California without me there. Because although I’ve obviously grown out of the belief that I am the perfect wife for Wills, I still firmly think that Kate and I could be BFFs.
You’re going to have to fight me for her!
I think I’m one of those peers that you describe as having an unhealthy relationship with the royals. I’m obsessed.. and I’m not even sure why. Of course, she is beautiful and I love her clothes, but she also just seems so nice. It’s the same way I feel about Rachel McAdams, I’m sure we’d be besties in no time! 🙂
We clearly have the same taste in women–McAdams, Kate…do you also adore Taylor Swift like there’s no tomorrow?!
Um, do I ever!? Bob is actually obsessed with her too. I’ll get in his car and he’ll have her album on the loudest setting. We love us some swift! 🙂
So cool! Gosh, she’s so skinny…loved her dress!!!
I wanted to give her a cheeseburger, maybe some sweet potato fries and an ice cream cone. A week of traveling with me would remedy that skinniness in a second! =)
I swear . . . only you. If it had been me, they would have arrived the day after I got there and, even if she’d been there, I wouldn’t have recognized them. Bravo to you for your awesome celeb sighting skills!
Well, it was like that the rest of the trip, truth be told. They somehow got a day ahead of us after Quebec, so every time we’d arrive in a new port, it would turn out they were just there the previous day! But at least I had my fleeting moment of watching the Royals from afar =)
This is fabulously AWESOME.
This is the celebrity sighting to trump all celebrity sightings. Wow!
Oh, wow!! That is amazing. I have been obsessed with her since the engagement. What a lovely couple!
Pretty cool. We were in Yosemite last weekend and just missed them.
Being elusive, I see. Well, it’s all about playing coy with those royals, is it not? =)
funny post! they were totally stalking you guys.
Did you ever consider a second career as a paparazzi? I think Kate looks gorgeous but I feel sorry for a girl who will be in the public eye for the rest of her life – rather be an anonymous blogger.
Soo funny! I can’t believe they followed you — don’t they know that even internet celebrities sometimes need some peace. Amazing pictures!!
These stalkers…good thing snipers were covering you!
One time I took my niece to the Santa Clause parade downtown Toronto. She cried when she realized she wasn’t allowed to run up and hug Santa… did you feel the same with the Royals?
Lucky lucky lucky!! I was in So Cal when they were there, but had not the patience to deal with the traffic, etc. I LOOOOVE Wills and Kate! Even from that far away, Kate still looks radiant.
I have inadvertently run into Ronald and Nancy Reagan in a hotel lobby in Century City, and Lloyd Bentson on a pier in Rockport, Maine. – both times without a camera. Photo stalking *fail* on all levels. Sincerely appreciate your efforts here in pursuit of public figure documentation, and highly envious of the glamkate factor 😉
I’ll bite. I’m a TMZer so I’m always a sucker for celebrity sightings and the like. How amazing to see royals! Love the series!
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