Desperate to see the royals
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would see Wills and Kate in person.
The closest I thought I would ever get was my life-sized cutout.
But there they were, no more than two metres away. Waving right at me.
Well, when I say right at me, I was hard up against the barrier railings with 100-plus people, but still, it was pretty much aimed at me.
The moment I heard the duke and duchess were coming to New Zealand, I knew I would have to see them. No matter what.
I knew it was going to be ruthless, I knew I would have to be prepared. Desperate times, desperate measures.
I drove to Christchurch on Sunday. That night I did a "recce" of Latimer Square, searching for the best spot.
I also knew I would need something to attract their attention. A small child would have been prime, but I settled on a small DIY bouquet of flowers picked from my great aunt's garden.
The next dilemma was my outfit. What does one wear while meeting the future king and queen?
I opted for navy blue over my red coat - very fortunate as it would have been terribly awkward wearing the same as Catherine.
I was ready. I was excited. I was very cold.
At 9.30am there were already a surprising number of people lining the streets, but I was early enough to get a great spot right at the front.
I quickly made friends with the other early birds around me.
There were two mums who had just dropped their kids off at school. Both couldn't wait to meet Wills. Then there was a mother and two kids who got the day off school. They, too, had brought small presents for the royal couple.
As time went by more people started to gather and the excitement built.
We made friends with a lovely police officer who was giving us updates on the couple's whereabouts.
Then at 11.20, the police cars came around the corner. The crowd erupted with cheers and out of the white van popped Kate and Wills.
We watched with eager eyes as they spoke to families of those who had died in the 2011 earthquake. But really all anyone was talking about was Kate's outfit.
My heart was aflutter, my hands were shaking, the moment to see them was almost here.
I tried to take photos, but got so swept up in the moment they were so blurry I gave up and enjoyed waving and looking at the royals with my own eyes.
It was fabulous.
Photos do not do them justice, they are perfection.
In a flash it was over. They were ushered right by. A wash of disappointment went over the crowd. I, however, was euphoric.
Catherine's lady-in-waiting came up to me and asked to take my flowers, promising to get them to her, so that's something.
I couldn't let that be the end of my adventure. I sprinted around the block to get another look as they walked out of the cathedral. And then I sprinted further down again, pushing through crowds to watch them play a game of cricket.
You could say I drove two hours and waited in the freezing cold for nearly three hours just for a wave. Which I did. But it was 100 per cent worth it.
- The Timaru Herald
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