The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge
My sincerest apologies for not giving you any pictures…phones and cameras were forbidden and I was not going to be the one to break protocol. But you can find pictures of the Royal Couple on plenty of websites, she, in her “maja” green Diane Von Furstenburg dress. And did you see any TV coverage, a helicopter view of the Consulate garden perhaps?
Where do I start, except to say I was a giddy little school girl anticipating meeting the future King & Queen of England!
After two checks of ID on the cordoned off street, and being held back by police while the motorcade brought the Royal Couple to the Consulate, we were introduced to the Consulate General, Dame Barbara Hay, then ushered into the garden.
The garden, full of roses and bougainvillea, had about 12 high cocktail tables with white linens and small, elegant rose centerpieces. Champagne was offered and people were assigned to the different tables to which the Royals would come over but not necessarily both of them. The tables were named like they were at their wedding reception except with LA names as “Hollywood” and “Wilshire”. Appetizer plates were passed all evening with British delights, listed in the LA Times: “cheese, leek and onion mini quiche; chicken and mushroom bouchees; chipolata sausages; “devils on horseback” (bacon-wrapped prunes); endive with smoke salmon tartare; figs with goat cheese and prosciutto; Parmesan scallion crostini with pear; Stilton tartlets with apricot chutney; Welsh rarebit; and Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and horseradish sauce.”
The British Ambassador introduced and welcomed the couple, where I noticed the Duke and Duchess stood very close to each other with their arms touching. Governor Brown also gave a welcome, followed by some words from Dame Barbara Hay.
The dignitaries, which my husband and I were fortunate to be included, were lined up in what I call a reverse reception line, where the Duke and Duchess walked down the line together to meet those guests.
How warm, personable and confident they both were! The Duke looks to have gotten a bit sunburned as his cheeks were quite red. Taller even in person and more handsome than pictured, he greeted us with genuine warmth. The Duke, of course, has been groomed for this sort of life from day one but the Duchess, though probably schooled the last year or so, seemed to have a knack for greetings, small talk, business talk and conviviality. The warm smile, expressive eyes and confidence are even more prominent in person. Her Royal Highness is definitely tall and thin, and carries herself like a, well, like a queen. How is it that she looks so comfortable in such high heels and her heels don’t seem to sink into the grass like so many of us were having trouble with? She was wearing the simple but elegant gold charm bracelet that Camilla gave her, and had a small clutch purse that she carried the whole time. I was able to get a quick glimpse of the engagement ring that was Diana’s, which I have admired ever since Diana wore it! I said that I hoped she would see some of the Hollywood stars that were on her list of must sees. She told us that she really hadn’t watched too many “films” and that it wasn’t until she was going with the Duke that she started to watch “films.”
Unfortunately, there were some people who didn’t get to meet either of the Royals, as at a precise time, they were whisked upstairs so that they could have some rest and dinner. And then, on to another hectic day for them in Santa Barbara and back to Hollywood.
With the guests of honor gone, it was time to leave, with a warm farewell from Dame Barbara.
Long live the Duke & Duchess, and long live the good relations between the US and the UK!
That night, I was still a giddy little girl who fell asleep, dreaming of Dukes and Duchesses. I will be beaming for days…