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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