Yes, that’s me sitting between the Prince of Wales and Princess Anne in 1970. Here’s the story of my Royal Visit.
During July1970, the Royal Family visited Manitoba to celebrate our Centennial of becoming a Canadian province. Our Queen and her family travelled through all of Manitoba. The “royal kids” made a two-hour visit to the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg to spend time with people their own age.
A few students were selected to host the royals and I was one of them. It was an informal visit where the Prince and Princess could meet and talk to students, see some short physical education demonstrations, and enjoy a barbecue.
As I recall, Prince Charles arrived by car and his sister flew in by helicopter in early afternoon. All of our plans were thrown into disarray by the wet rainy weather. All our activities had to be moved indoors at Taché Hall, including the barbecue.
I also remember struggling to help the royal pair down a very muddy bank of the Red River as they departed by boat around 2 p.m.
My mother was so proud of my Royal Visit. She must have shown this picture to everyone in Winnipeg. And, I guess I was kind of proud, as well. While I was never able to get this close to the Queen, I did see her in person during her sod turning of the Drake Building at U of M in 1984. I was back doing my MBA at the time. I took my mother along for the visit that time.
My Royal Visit – Bloody Hot Dogs
Our lunch was a selection of fruit and barbecued hot dogs. Funny story. It seems someone had convinced the tour planners that Prince Charles liked hot dogs. So, everywhere they went, guess what? Bloody hot dogs again, he sighed.
And, when the royals visited Camp David a few days later, guess what President Nixon served? More hot dogs!
Here is a picture of the Royal Family leaving Winnipeg to fly to Washington.
So, I was able to spend two hours with the future King Charles III. A day to remember. Thanks for the University of Alumni Journal to memorializing my Royal Visit in print.
Neat story, John! I never did get up and close with Charles or Anne, but had several close encounters with the Queen over the years…Toronto (as an Air Cadet), and Victoria (with my 2 year old daughter on my shoulders).
It was an interesting day indeed.