A Brush With Royalty

After climbing a hilly sidewalk to get to Casa Loma, we stumbled upon soldiers in uniform.

They were lined up facing the mansion, and a small crowd had begun to gather. I saw a woman in black walk solemnly into the house. Was it a funeral? An arrest? We later learned they were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, Canada’s oldest infantry regiment. Another gawker told us a princess was about to exit.

Twenty-five minutes of much of the same, and 30 pictures with different angles of much of the same, the colonel-inchief finally appeared.

Princess Alexandra, the cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and 33rd in line of succession to the British throne, emerged from the mansion in a white suit and blue scarf. The men welcomed her. She approached them, briefly speaking with each and apologizing for keeping them waiting. She addressed them casually, at least as casual as royalty could be, as if no one was watching.

I’d gotten a great spot away from the crowd and just a few feet from the guards. As soon as the princess approached the men, however, the official photographers blocked my view. My height impediment (and the fact that I’d run out of memory) restricted me from taking too many photos, so I just watched and absorbed the moment.

After addressing the men, she spoke to a spectator. She talked to the girl as if she’d seen her before, though I’m sure she was just a stranger in the crowd.

Then, with a wave, the princess was whisked away.

Minutes before the princess’s grand exit.

Cameras galore.

In height order.

Perfectly still.

Switching places.

Falling in line.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Fancy photographer in the distance.

Everyone but the princess.

Princess Alexandra.

Final salute.

Update: This post made it to WordPress’s “Freshly Pressed” list today, which the site describes as “The best of 300,828 bloggers, 278,358 new posts, 336,321 comments, & 63,502,639 words today on WordPress.com.”

So awesome. Thanks, WordPress editors!

Advertisements

24 thoughts on “A Brush With Royalty

  1. Wow, that’s intense. I love the little tiny red carpet the princess is standing on. (She’s adorable by the way – she looks like a story book grandmother.)

  2. I support the Canadian Forces.
    Nice pictures and HD video camera.
    Thanks for sharing your parade with us.
    Only 22 officers? And what is up with the Berets. I see red, green and black. Shouldn’t it be unified since you’re all Army? But I suppose its like that to identify rank from a distance.

    Remain.Simple

    • That’s actually a guard from my old Regiment. The maroon berets signifies that those soldiers are airborne paratroopers, and belong to a parachute jump company. The green is for army. There aren’t any black berets there actually, but if there were they would belong to an armoured regiment or in the navy.

  3. Great photos! I wish I had captured the same with my poor excuse for a camera on my blackberry. 🙂 I attended the reception on Saturday for HRH Princess Alexandra and she is so lovely. Very soft spoken. The occasion at Casa Loma was in honour of the Queen’s Own Rifles (QOR) 150th Birthday. Princess Alexandra is the Colonel-in-Chief of the QOR regiment in Canada. The display outside of Casa Loma is the Honour Guard. The difference in beret colour actually denotes qualification. The red berets are military police. Green berets are special ops and the Maroon berets refer to airborne. (I didn’t know either so I asked my husband.) Congrats on getting “freshly pressed”.

  4. Got a friend in Honor Guard, and I’ve personally met military police but never special ops or airborne. They are simply put it, the best.

    Thanks for the info Kristle,
    Remain.Simple

  5. Pics are great and Princess Alexandra does look charming.

    I am sure, it was fun and thrill to watch an event like this expecially if you have watched it accidentally. A lot of people would envy you.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Pingback: Poor Man’s Shia & Less Interesting Things « explore. dream. discover.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s