My Chelsea Pensioner friend telephoned me last week to tell me about a function he was attending in the Hospital grounds that evening ~ something to do with an elephant charity and a whole load of 'elephants'. He said that Princesses Beatrice & Eugenie would be attending and that he was hoping to be able to speak to them. Now, you may very well be wondering where I am going with this, but do bear with me.
Back in 2005, I took a group of 25 teenage girls on a tour of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea and that is how I met my CP friend, as he was our guide. He loves to tell people that he was expecting a coach full of Prep School boys! Anyway, my girls absolutely loved him and got me to ask the Head if we could 'adopt' him. Which the school duly did and he became a fixture at Harvest Festival, Christmas Dinner & Disco, and the like. Beatrice attended our school as a day girl initially, but when she came into board at 14 I was her Housemistress. (If you're interested, I found her to be a lovely young lady, although she wasn't adverse to using her connections to her advantage ... Would it be alright if I went out to tea at Granny's?) She became Head Girl in 2006 and escorted my CP friend throughout Harvest Festival that year, which thrilled him no end.Back in the present day, I was delighted when my friend called again later that night to tell me that not only had Beatrice remembered his name, she had also asked about me and that my DS had become the subject of a short conversation. Apparently he even had the photo of DS trying on his Scarlet in his pocket, in case the opportunity arose to show her. It didn't.
Great photo, though, isn't it? I showed it to DS, who said, "Grandad P with pretty ladies!"
Photo credit: Press Association.