Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Royal visit

When I'm away on business Karen and I talk on the phone pretty much daily, and mostly we tell each other how we're doing, what we've been up to and so on.

This trip was a bit different. Right from my first call home from Salt Lake City Karen was acting all mysterious, saying things like, "There's something special going on on Friday", and , "There's something even cooler happening on Sunday, and it might be on TV". And when I pressed her for more information I met a wall of silence - obviously M has trained her well! If only I'd been there in person - I could have used my notorious Tickle Torture to extract the truth. But - on the phone from half way around the world - I've got nothing much to threaten her with so I just have to put up with the secrecy and trust that she'll fill me in when the time is right.

Well, all can now be revealed. As you may have seen on the news Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall paid a three-day visit to the Kingdom (while I wasn't there!), and needless to say Karen, as Vice Consul, was involved in some of the official engagements.

The Friday thing: the Royal couple visited an expat residential compound, and Karen and the children were among the Embassy contingent invited to attend. Charles and Camilla came in to the "meet 'n' greet" room and split up; Charles doing one side and Camilla the other, and Karen and the children were on the Camilla side. Camilla asked the children how they were getting on at school (FYI Camilla, you really don't want to ask Elliot that question when you have a helicopter to catch).

So on my Friday call to Karen I get updated on the visit, and I feel very proud of them, but a bit jealous because I missed out on the excitement.

"End how lawng has your brother been a long-haired layabout?"

The Sunday thing: Karen IS MANAGING a visit by The Duchess to the Multinational School. She has to keep the press at bay, make sure Camilla gets around all the planned exhibits and meets the children, and that she gets away on time to rendezvous with Charles so that they can go on to their next engagement on time.

There's Karen - secret agent-style in the background wearing sunglasses. The blonde lady next to her is the Ambassador's wife, Lady Bridget Cowper-Coles

I still can't believe the total transformation our lives have undergone in the last three months. Living here is not easy but with things like this going on one can never say it's boring. I'll think twice before I go away next time!

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