British Royals / Royal Appearances / Royal Tour

Part 1. The time I chatted with Will & Kate in Hamburg

Yes! It’s true! I met and chatted with both! But first we must rewind…

In the middle of June, the royals announced a seemingly spontaneous tour of Poland and Germany. My sweet coworkers, knowing my love of royals, began emailing me and stopping by my office to alert me of the news. And after a few strokes of the keyboard, I was able to verify.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

It was true. The British were, in fact, coming! But I didn’t let myself get my hopes up too much. You see, I’ve seen the Danish royals when the visited in May of 2015, and I didn’t manage to snag so much as a wee wave. So getting to even talk to William or Kate? “Yeah right,” I thought.

And, as my father so lovingly reminds me often, “Keep your expectations low and you’ll never be disappointed.”

Armed with my father’s wisdom and the reality that Kate fans can be a bit… pushy, I wasn’t hoping for more than a photo up close.

Fast forward a few weeks to the day of…

I’m lucky in that I live near the Elbphilharmonie, one of their stops on the tour, as well as the fact that I get that generous, European amount of vacation days, and as an American who still feels guilty for taking time off, well I had more than enough left over to use a half day.

So I hoped on my bike around 12 to head that way. They were due to arrive at 2:40 p.m. As I rode down that way I couldn’t help but be a bit disgruntled with myself that I hadn’t managed much earlier. I was expecting a crowd of thousands already set up.

I was pleasantly surprised when I came upon a mere hundred, leaving me plenty of time to post up.

First, though, I’d have to strategize where to stand. So I found a news anchor who was preparing herself and asked where she was planning to get the shot. (As a journalism major, I knew she had the best insider scoop.) She was super kind and explained that the majority of the crowd was near the entrance as Kate & Will were due around 2:00p.m. to enter the concert hall… BUT(!), if I was willing to wait, and wanted a more “personal” experience, she recommended  I stand at the hardly crowded exit, as they would take time after the concert for a walkabout.

So I found a spot that, admittedly, was almost too good to be true. And I waited. My good friend met me on her lunch break and was patient enough with me to put up with my competitiveness with the crowd for a good position.

The crowd made for some grand people watching as we waited.

There was the Kate Middleton lookalike — there were many actually, and I kind of loved the amount of reporters even trying to replicate Kate’s style.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was the lady who was PISSED that the royals were even there. (Purposely cropped out.)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

There was a royal pup! IMG_6764

And the people opting for a birds-eye view… IMG_6776

Then before we knew it, was time. (Quick side note: there was a woman there determined to get the books she wrote into Kate’s hands. At first it was endearing. Then it became… intense. But her determination meant that Kate stopped and chatted with our portion of the crowd, so I guess that’s a plus!)

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate in HamburgIMG_6799Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Kate very graciously accepted the books as the woman gave her the books for George’s 4th birthday. It was very sweet actually. And Kate was so kind and patient. It is worth noting that Kate does seem rather shy. I don’t know how she managed the crowd. I was overwhelmed and no one was hollering my name or shoving things my direction. She was so graceful under pressure.

My journalism instincts must have kicked into high-gear next, as I somehow managed to catch this exchange between Kate and the girl next to me (whom I did not film for privacy reasons).

The girl told Kate how much she appreciated the work they’ve done for mental health with Heads Together (which they have done wonderfully, and something I’ve been meaning to write about on here for a while). Kate took the time to be so incredibly kind and thoughtful in her response. It was truly amazing how she managed to stay focused with many other people in the crowd.

Bravo Kate. Bravo.

IMG_6827

(A selfie! I couldn’t help but think back to this post. And I couldn’t dare ask her to pose with me. I actually became surprisingly tongue-tied upon actually meeting her!)

I was so starstruck after saying hello and shaking Kate’s hand (not captured on film, of course), that I almost nearly forgot William was coming as well.

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in Hamburg

Royal Tour Germany, July 21, 2017, Will & Kate in HamburgMeeting Wills and Kate in Hamburg

William was asking people if they spoke English, and somehow I managed to think quick and use this to my advantage. I piped up, “Greetings from America, Will!” To which he immediately came our way and shook my hand, asking, “Whereabouts in America are you from?” “Kansas!” I replied, the shock clear in my voice. “Kansas! What a beautiful spot,” he replied.

My mind was blown. I had just spoken with Prince William. THE Prince William whose name adorned my sister and my’s custom “I LOVE PRINCE WILLS” pencils throughout elementary schoool… THE Prince William whose photo I had affixed to my wall for most of my adolescence. THE Prince William whose wedding my sister and I woke up at 4 a.m. to watch. THE Prince William who is third inline to the throne. THE Prince William who will one day be the King of England.

It was clear. I had royally peaked.

Part II. soon to follow, wherein I start to get rude DMs from people across the world for my royal posts. 😉

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