'Closet royal' gets flash frocks ready for an outing

Jacqui Frazer is polishing her curtsy

Last updated 05:00 08/04/2014
Jacqui Frazer, royals
Nick Reed/Fairfax NZ

ROYAL TIMES: Jacqui Frazer with 10-year-old daughter Clementine Frazer-Wilkins reminisce over the old articles and memorabilia of the play in which Prince Edward and Jacqui starred in 1983 at Wanganui Collegiate.

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When she parties with the Duchess of Cambridge on Saturday, it will be far from the first time that Jacqui Frazer has rubbed shoulders with royalty.

She met baby Prince William's parents while they were in New Zealand with him in 1983, the same year she was in a school play with Prince Edward.

And on Saturday she and daughter Clementine Frazer-Wilkins, 10, will be at Hospice Waikato's annual Gallagher Children's Party along with Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

"It just feels like there's a nice kind of symmetry where I met Prince William's parents when they were here when he was a baby. And now he and his wife are here with their baby and we get the opportunity to meet her," she said.

The play with Edward during his year as a housemaster at Wanganui Collegiate was a long time ago but parts of it have stuck in her memory. It was a boys' school at the time so girls from other schools were "imported" and there were many social functions during the rehearsal period when she spent time around Edward.

"He was nice. He was very English and he was funny. He had a good sense of humour.

"I was probably determined not to be star-struck and not to let him think that he was any different to anybody else."

Royalty was also among the crowd for some of the practice runs because Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited New Zealand with baby William that same year.

She met them too, but the best was yet to come.

"Before he [ Edward] left New Zealand we got invited to a farewell dance at Government House for him . . . It was exciting for a 16-year-old to go and do that."

It even warranted a shopping trip for "posh frocks" while she was in Wellington before the massive formal ball, at which the air force band performed.

Frazer has been "a bit of a closet royalist" since then and is looking forward to meeting the duchess at Hospice Waikato this weekend.

The hospice has provided support for Frazer, who has breast cancer.

Frazer and Clementine have got their best frocks ready for the party. They have been practising their curtseys and plan to give "just a little bob".

"When we met Prince Edward - and when we met Prince Charles and Princess Diana - we were sort of schooled up in the etiquette of it," Frazer said.

"This is what you have to do and this is how you curtsy and this is what you call them. It seems to be more informal now." 

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- Waikato Times


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