Saturday, February 28, 2015

Our Visit with Anne, Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace

A few weeks ago my husband and I received a very exciting invitation in the mail that instantly made me feel like a giddy little girl in a Cinderella fantasy. It was an invitation to join Anne, Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace in support of the Animal Health Trust which is a charity organisation my husband does work for. We were invited to Buckingham Palace and to meet a real life princess!!!
Anne, Princess Royal who, ahem, happens to be the Queen's only daughter is the President of the Animal Health Trust which raises funds to research animal diseases and injuries, find cures and learn how to prevent them. It's absolutely AMAZING what this charity can do for our furry family members using top of the line diagnostics and equipment. And every penny goes into more research, research that is shared with ALL veterinarians everywhere so that our pets have the very best of care when they need it. How cool is that?! If you want to learn more and even donate, check out their website here: http://www.aht.org.uk 

So, we got all dolled up and headed off to Buckingham Palace. When we arrived the changing of the guard had just begun and there were about a thousand tourists outside the gates snapping photos and watching. We got a little bit confused by the parking instructions on the invite and thought that surely we don't just drive in through the front gates, like, that would be crazy.....BUT WE DID! We asked a security guard and showed him the invitation and he actually stopped traffic and directed us straight through the gates! And even crazier, we got to park our car right in front of the actual Palace! As if we were just popping into a pal's house for tea and cookies or something. We couldn't believe it. My husband really wanted a photo of his Range Rover parked in front of Buckingham Palace so I asked a guard who very politely advised us that no photos are allowed once you're inside the gates or everyone gets in trouble. So unfortunately we don't have any personal pics from that day but luckily there was an in house photographer (Matt Leete mattleete.comto take a few snaps. 
Upon entering the palace through the Privy Purse entrance we had to leave our coats and cell phones in the cloak room before our lovely greeter lead all of us (about 50 people) up the grand staircase to the Principal Corridor for sparkling wine and juice. We mingled with the other guests for a bit but couldn't help but look all around and really take everything in. Glancing out of the big windows of the Principal Corridor we saw two stunning horse and carriages on stand-by in the courtyard waiting to whisk away whatever important ambassadors were meeting with the Queen that day. The Queen was in though we didn't get to see her. We were even allowed into one of the guest bedrooms to use the restroom. The bedroom looked as if they hadn't changed its decor since the Victorian era with a HUGE comfy bed and very ornate antique furniture and paintings. From the window you could see the front gates and the crowds behind them, that's when it really sunk in that I was actually inside!

From the Principal Corridor we moved to the Chinese Dining Room for the AHT presentation in which the Princess Royal spoke to the group about the importance of the organisation and what has been achieved so far. She was a terrific speaker with so much passion for the cause and for animals. My admiration for her definitely grew to new heights, what a woman. After the presentation we moved on to the Center Room which is has the famous balcony we've all seen newly wed royals kissing and waving from. They served us delightful little canap├ęs of smoked salmon toast, fish cakes, pesto pastry scrolls and chocolate mouse squares with gold flecks and of course, more sparkling wine. 

We were divided into groups for Anne, Princess Royal to meet and greet us. When she finally got to our group, which was the last group, I was so anxious. One of the women in our group gave me a bit of a panic because she said we MUST address her as Ma'am and nothing else. No , "lovely to meet you" or "your royal highness" just "Ma'am". I had no clue of this protocol so it suddenly made me kind of nearvous. Well, there was no need to be nearvous at all really. She was very gracious and warm and quite easy to chat with. I honestly don't know how the royals do it! Always meeting and talking to so many people in a single room with an ounce of apathy. She chatted with some of the men about golf and rugby and even threw in some jokes with my husband about him being a Welsh man that's not into rugby and doesn't know anything about Welsh Corgies. 

We somehow got onto the topic of our dogs and their genetics and she explained to us about the Animal Health Trust's genetics testing for dog breeders because there are certain genetic illnesses that need to be bred out in which I spoke to her about our dog Frances' hereditary deafness. She explained to me that in white pure bred dogs if a color hasn't been bred in after two generations then the deaf gene will keep getting passed on. Well I can now say I've learned an interesting fact personally from a royal. Whip smart, funny and very kind. Anne, Princess Royal is exactly the kind of princess you'd hope a princess to be. 

PJJ xx




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