Cleverness is not wisdom.

~ Euripides ~

The Royals Came Today

November 8th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 17 secs

There’s nothing like a royal visit.

Some of the British Royals flew in today. Not to our house, but close enough. It was a flying visit of seven hours to enjoy a quick glimpse of historic Richmond, and parts around Hobart, including Salamanca Place.

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, must be heartily sick of the whiff of fresh paint, loud crowds, and cameras continuously flashing. Yet, they were suitably gracious and, it seemed to me, that they were actually having a good time.

Royal families the world over are something of a novelty these days. Because they harken back to earlier, more traditional times, royals symbolize something that isn’t obtainable from politicians, rock stars, or media celebrities.

Though I’m not much of a monarchist, I can see the good deeds done by many royals and it’s impressive.  Making it their career to serve their people by supporting charities, businesses, and a host of other good causes, they fill a vital niche. Forget any suggestion about monarchy being the idle rich. Modern royals are exceedingly busy.

When I picked up my son from school, I didn’t mean to go and see the royal visit. But, when we saw the entourage pass, complete with police on motorbikes, and flag fluttering cars, I got kind of curious.

So my youngest and I went, waiting amongst a good-natured crowd for half an hour until the motorcade with Prince Charles suddenly turned up. I’ve never seen any of the Royal Family before. So, I was more curious to experience the spectacle. And I have to say it was good.

An intimate crowd of a few hundred people was delighted to greet our royal guest. Even though the heavens broke open and the rain started falling, the event had a distinctly friendly feel. Most of all, I was struck with just how delighted everyone looked.

Aside from Prince Charles visiting a sheep property where he threw a fleece in their shearing shed, the Royal couple was busy. Taking in some local sights, they enjoyed some local fare, admired some art, and talked with lots of locals and eager dignitaries.

Though tightly scheduled, our royal visitors looked composed and relaxed (which may well be a Tasmanian thing). Being small and pretty friendly, visitors often remark how they can feel the pressure lifting off their shoulders when they arrive.

Regardless, we are glad Prince Charles and Camilla came. A royal visit to Tasmania is a rare thing indeed. Then again, “Our Mares” (otherwise known as the Danish Princess Mary, married to Crown Prince Frederik) who comes from Tasmania, does make a trip home now and then to see her regular rellies. So really, I guess we’re spoilt for royalty.

If your country doesn’t have a royal family, that’s okay. In a funny kind of way, most royals are a little like venerated grandparents (who seem like they’d readily accept everyone else’s kids as well). Meaning, you could probably “adopt a royal” with no obligations.

But apart from all the important purposes they serve, one thing struck me today as a wonderful fringe benefit. Whenever royals come to town, everyone feels happy, and that proves they’re doing something right.

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