So i just met Her Maj, Prince Phil and da princess royal.. it was more fun than i expected.. they were pretty dull but Buckingham Palace was darn cool.. Wasn’t expecting it to be quite as palatial as it was… lots of large extremely elegantly luxurious rooms with very rich furnishings, grand chandeliers and Old Masters covering every wall.
The main ceremony was in the ball room where all the investitures and diplomatic receptions take place.. HRH’s came in and the military band who had been playing waltzes and Peter Skellern hits, struck up with the National Anthem. Ceremony was straight forward with two bigwigs from each of the 20 institutions went up to get their cycling proficiency certificates. The fun bit was the range of absurd academic gowns that were on show as all these vice-chancellors and professors paraded round in their finery.
Then we went through to the Picture Gallery for the reception where we waited in our little groups for the royals to circulate round to us. We were well fed and watered as we waited with very passable white wine and loads of lovely little canapes.. All three of Royals whizzed through our group in quick succession. Queen was very formal and careful to greet everyone but not in the least bit interested in anything. Princess Anne who is head of Uni of London was expected to be bit more engaged but mostly chatted to one professor. Phil barged into the group lunged towards a few students and started chatting to me and one other about what we did.. He was actually far more alert and cheerful than i was expecting, asked questions very about difficult it must be working with children and then asked do we even know how our minds worked.. we refrained from making the obvious retort. and within seconds he was gone.. and that was that.
But the paintings were by far the best bit.. Every wall was covered with Rubens, Van Dyke’s, Titian’s, Constables, etc. although unlike in a gallery there was rarely any way of identifying them and because they were all in this private collection it was a weird experience of going though something
resembling a national art gallery but where you did not recognise a single picture.. yet they all looked extremely famous because they were in the style of the Old Masters.. they were Old Masters..
After it was over the professors relaxed a bit. The Master of the college and our governor, Dame someone-or-other buggered off and rest of us went to very fancy fish restaurant where we ate fancy fishes at the colleges expense.
Yours by Royal Appt.,
Caspar Addyman Esq.