‘A day to remember’ – Meeting William and Kate
“Are you getting off here, dear?”
“I don’t know. Is this Cambridge centre?”
“It sure is. Kate and William are strolling through town just now, you know.”
“Really? I am getting off, then! Thank you.”
(British people are polite and chatty and call you ‘dear’ and ‘love’ and it’s just such a small world and Cambridge feels wonderfully accessible and familiar.)
This was about my conversation with a friendly old lady who would postpone my shopping spree in order to make the 28th of November, which was last Wednesday, ‘A day to remember’. Indeed.
Kate and William in Cambridge. ‘Souvenir edition’ did sound special. I bought one. I am gullible.
I had two full days to enjoy myself in Cambridge and coincidence had it that I was going to meet William and Kate.
They had been given the title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge by the Queen on their wedding day and arrived from Buckingham to present their newly acquired title whilst visiting the town.
Kate and William approached Market Square at sort of the same time as I.
So I made my way to meet Kate and William – only to find masses with the same intent. I didn’t have a patriotic hat nor flag nor flowers nor banners but was wearing my camera, like most fans.
New age peasants greeting the monarchy. Kate and William are actually on this picture right behind the crowd, increasing popularity ratings through ‘direct contact’ with the masses.
Many delighted and euphoric well-wishers arrived as early as 6 am to secure themselves a good place too see William and Kate up close, hoping for a handshake and a few words from the young photogenic couple. Truthfully that only goes for Kate, William is bold and not as eager to pose for fans.
People checking their snap shots of Kate and William. Media teams interview fans.
The luckiest girl apparently got a hug.
The luckiest granny. She got a handshake and a chat after which she exclaimed “I don’t ever want to take off that glove.”
I was not yet ready to move on without a souvenir picture of the king and queen to be.
Therefore I left the crowds to ask a policeman about royal plans for the day. Being told that they are going from the Guildhall to the Senate House of the University of Cambridge, where they would appear publicly again in about half an hour, I decided to join the cheery crowd to get a glimpse of the tabloid competition to Posh and Becks.
30 minutes in the cold to get 30 seconds of royalty in front of the Senate House. Paparazzi would agree, that is a totally acceptable time frame for celebrities. People don’t freeze and love their queen. We are in England.
Playing amateur paparazzi worked out rather well. Half an hour wait in the open for my exclusive pictures of Kate and William. Please appreciate the effort as I braved the wet and cold weather. It was noon and hours before I had acquired gloves and my new winter coat in Cambridge’s shopping centre.
And here we go. The gates open. First appear the Sergeant-at-Mace and the Mayor Sheila Stuart, dressed in red uniform cloak. They are wearing precious chains and he is carrying the unique and heavy ceremonial mace.
Then comes William followed by Kate.
William doesn’t give much about freezing fans and aims straight for the car.
Cambridge 12.05 am, about 5 degrees. William rubs his hands and escapes into the car with I imagine perfect climate control. Kate shows more effort and likeable fashion consciousness.
We got a modest wink from Kate but I got to pose big with the Sergeant-at-Mace shortly after the royal couple.
The role of Sergeant-at-Mace in Cambridge goes back 600 years with the first recorded in 1404.
The Sergeant-at-Mace works at the Cambridge City Council and his day-to-day task seems to be pretty laid back: ‘to provide practical support to the Mayor in her engagements and ensure that the age-old traditions associated with the mayoral role are upheld.’
This includes holding the mace for royalty and special occasions. The mace is a hand-held weapon designed to be used by a sergeant or constable, it weighs about 6 kg and is held with the crown uppermost. It is decorated with historical details.
Back to Kate. Known for her classy elegant romantic look, she was called a ‘fashion icon’ by the Cambridge News. On this day Kate was sporting her new glossy hairstyle, layered dark locks with a parted fringe. She was wearing a cream belted funnel neck coat and a printed dress by Max Mara with brown ankle boots. Kate mixes high end designer pieces with high street fashion labels which sort of makes her ‘one of us’.
This couple is definitely restoring the image of the British royal family. I am not going to buy a souvenir plate with their portraits but the coat was inspiring…
Oh and did you know? William and Kate steal.