Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Royal Visit aka Guess Who Shook Hands With a Prince?

Busy week last week in St Andrews. For anyone following the news (or fascinated with all things royal, as my friends back in the States seem to be), Wills and Kate were to make a lovely visit back to St Andrews to kick off the 600th anniversary campaign, as William is the patron of the campaign.

This meant that the school and town needed to make appropriate security precautions. I did NOT realize that this meant that I would have to see K-9 units and mobile CCTV vans and cops on bikes all over town for an entire week, as well as entire buildings of classrooms shut down to clear out a week in advance.

Seriously, when Obama comes to a town there's less prep.

But it all culminated on Friday's visit, with a opening celebration at St Salvator's Quad. Which, as you might imagine of an ancient university is not a huge quad. So, there would be a ballot for the 300 student seats and 90 faculty/staff seats available.

Over 4,500 people applied for these tickets. That's over half the university population.

Bam! Look who ended up with one. Oh yeah. Along with regulations on dress code, since spelling it out for university students on what is and is not appropriate to be seen on tv in at a program with royals involved is common wherever you are.

And while photography was expressly forbidden (and I actually heeded this warning since, as a guest in this country, I'm a little less keen to bend rules than I am in the States -- I don't care to be tossed out of the country Fresh Prince style) I decided to just leave my camera at my flat. This will come back to bite me later in the story, btw. But if you'd like to see what went down, they have a video link up on the BBC News - Scotland page.

Now, this would've been just as cool, but they also blocked off all of North Street so that should Will and Kate wish to wander the street and say hi to the lowly folk, they could. People had been queuing up since 7am, which... I'm sorry, is a bit ridiculous. But then, this is coming from someone who had a ticket for a close seat.

When we were trying to exit the quad, I ended up following the crowd out of the wrong exit and got stuck in front of Younger Hall blocked in by barricades. Which was fine, I'd be able to eventually get out. So I positioned myself behind a bunch of adorable little school boys because they were short and it meant that I'd get to see what was going on, as I am in no ways tall.

I figured they would be walking down the other direction of the road because that's where people had been lining up. I'm foolish to discount the appeal of coming to talk to adorable 8 year old school boys. So of course, one Prince William makes his way to the school boys, which since I'm right there behind them, I get to shake his hand too. It was really nice -- he asked me what I was studying (International Relations) before the girls behind me jumped in with 'Biology!' and he kind of chuckled before saying we were brave for picking those courses and moving along down the line.

He's a lot taller than I thought he was *lol*

But of course, the kicker in all of this is that my camera was sitting on my bed the entire time. The cool thing happens, and my camera is sitting on my bed.

Now that we've shaken hands and are totally BFF, I'm going to insist on seeing a wedding invitation in the post.


  1. Hey Rebecca,
    I didn't realize you were in Scotland! How Cool! I saw HRH's visit to St. Andrews on TV the other morning. Too bad I wasn't looking for you in the crowd! And I do hope you get that wedding invite... it seems you have good luck with acquiring tickets! =) Have a great time and keep posting!
    your OLD SA,
    Suzanne (Parker) Miller

  2. @Suz -- Suzanne! Yes, I'm in Scotland for the year doing my Masters! I'm thrilled you found this :)