Monday, May 17, 2010

A Memory for Monday (with The Queen)

As a child, growing up in England, my dad worked for Thames Television, which, while at its prime was one of the top three channels offered in England.

As an adult now, I hear my dad tell lots of fascinating stories from working in television, and the different jobs he worked on.  But you know how it is as a kid?  All you know is that your dad goes to work and that's about that.  (Although, it was very cool as a kid to occasionally see my dad's name on the television credits at the end of the television show we were watching...)

There is one job however, that my dad worked on that I will never forget . . .
It was April 1986.
I was 11 years old.

April 21, 1986, was Queen Elizabeth II's 60th birthday.  Of course her birthday was celebrated in a big way.  (Good for her!) And Thames Television was going to be there to broadcast the celebrations.
For some reason, kind of last minute, my dad invited me to go to work with him that day.  What excitement!  First of all, I was getting the day off school.  Secondly, I was going to London...to quite possibly see The Queen.

It was very exciting when a few minutes later, my friend Matthew James, appeared at my garden gate to meet me to walk to school and I enthusiastically announced to him,

"I'm not coming to school today.  I'm going to London to see The Queen."
"Could you give this letter to the teacher, please?"

I remember distinctly, the letter read, "Please excuse Tiffany from school today, she is going to London with her dad."  (My mother ignored my pleas to write, "... She is going to London to visit The Queen.")

So, that April day, twenty four years ago, I spent the day in Covent Garden (London) with my dad. Among other things, I watched the Royal Ballet practice, browsed a flea market, received a new t-shirt, and sat in some type of rig amidst television controls reading 'The Secret Diary of Ann Frank.'  I was anxiously awaiting the hour that I would see Queen Elizabeth II.

Before long, the awaited hour arrived.  The Queen was momentarily to arrive in the plaza.  And, I had a front row view standing behind the barricade.   From the sound roundabout us, I knew I was mere seconds from seeing The Queen.  I was so excited, I had butterflies in my tummy.  I was about to see THE QUEEN!

When suddenly, what do you know?  The police started removing the barricades and instructing the children carrying flowers for The Queen to come forward.  The children would personally be able to hand the flowers to the queen. 

Except.
I didn't have any flowers.  

What kind of parent doesn't buy flowers for their child to give to The Queen?  Especially on THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY!? And most certainly, if it means a personal handshake with The Queen of England!?

I have no suitable answer to these questions.

If you are interested, you can read an article herePlease note the paragraph that reads:

"Before the program....Elizabeth will walk about the plazza, meeting people and shaking hands, a practice she began so she could have a closer, more personal contact with her subjects."

Guess my dad wasn't too bothered about The Queen having closer, more personal contact with ME.

Oh well. I love my dad.
Always have.
Always will.
Even if I never got to meet the queen.

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