Cambridge's royalists excited

VIV POSSELT
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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"I just love it. I'm so excited."

Judith Robinson, of Cambridge, is a true royalist.

She remembers her mother also being an avid fan - that's where her love of anything royal stems from.

"A china cabinet was the centrepiece that housed my mother's royal collection," Robinson said.

As a child growing up in Christchurch, Robinson has many royalty memories. "Every time the royals went to Christchurch, we went. We watched all the movies about Queen Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953, about Princess Anne's wedding in 1992, everything."

And, when her mother died, Robinson carried on the collection.

It's a "legacy of sorts" within her family, of magazines, newspapers, photos, flags and anything else to do with the royals.

One of her prized possessions is a 1953 issue of The Weekly News, which covered the Queen's coronation in 1953.

"I'm a royalist through and through. I know all about them. I actually won that 1953 issue in a quiz about the royals."

On two visits to Britain, Robinson has, quite naturally, "done everything royal".

"My husband, Graeme, took me 20 years ago - I just love it."

Robinson, who was a schoolteacher in Cambridge for many years and is patron of the Cambridge Repertory Society, said close friends Sara Young and Colin Morley help perpetuate her ever-growing collection. "They regularly bring me everthing from England when it's first out - anything to do with the royals."

Robinson also watches television coverage of royal milestones, such as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

She described the royal couple's visit to Cambridge this weekend as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

"I was terribly excited when they were given that title of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and I'm very much looking forward to their visit. "On the day, I'll be there with my flags in the front row."

Meanwhile, the visit of the royal couple has brought memories flooding back for fellow Cambridge resident John Gould.

He recalls being just 6 or 7 years old, and a fairly new kid on the block at Cambridge Primary School when the Queen and Prince Philip dropped in on the town in January 1954.

"We had just come out from England. After spending a couple of years in Te Awamutu; we came to settle in Cambridge. I remember there being such excitement at the royal visit - and all of us at school were swept up in it.

"We were all given flags - little Union Jacks - to hold. I remember marching up the main street towards the square, holding our flags."

Gould said a group of the youngsters was lined up on the main steps at the corner of Victoria Square. From there, they were able to watch as the big car carrying the royal couple passed by.

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"It was an open-topped car - we could easily see them sitting in the back. I clearly remember seeing the Queen's hat, and noticing that both her and Prince Philip were waving to the crowds."

The day will stay with him forever, he said. The clamour, the crowds - all the yelling and screaming in support of the royal visitors are etched into his memory.

And, although many of his classmates who shared that special day with him are no longer around, he knows all too well how youngsters lining up on Saturday to view Prince William and his wife will remember the occasion for years to come.

"It really is great cause for celebration."

- Waikato Times

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