Thursday, 19 June 2008

Holding it in for the Queen

I've had so many emails asking me for my story about "bumping into" Prince Phillip that I've decided to spill the beans. Much easier to do it on the blog than answer everyone individually. Well ...

... several years ago I worked for a large cancer research organisation and every year we had an annual conference. One year it was in Birmingham and as the Scottish contingent were waiting for our return flight at the aforementioned airport, two of us decided to pay a visit to the ladies'!

A burly polisman (police officer for non Scots) stood outside the loos with his arms folded across his chest and when I tried to enter, simply said "no". "What do you mean 'no'?" I enquired to which he simply replied "no". "Do you mean that I can't go to the loo?" I asked (thinking you better not bloody well mean that because I'm going whether you like it or not - I'm always braver in thought than in action!). "Correct" was the informative response. His communication skills were not great it has to be said. Indeed, I was very tempted to start a new line of questioning to ascertain whether or not it was actually ME he was talking to seeing as his eyes were fixed straight ahead of him. I decided against. I also couldn't be bothered asking him why because drawing teeth is not my idea of fun. Instead ... and here's the bit that's actually relevant to the story ...

Instead I moaned to my friend about how there had better be other loos we could use and, as we started to look for them, she spotted something. "There's your reason Anne" she called over and indicated toward someone who looked very like the Queen heading toward us followed by a posse of terribly genteeel elderly ladies tiptoeing eagerly behind.

"WHAT?" said I, in what turned out to be just a touch too loud a voice "I can't go to the loo so that THAT unelected billionairre who can well afford to have someone carry her own posh portaloo behind her, doesn't have to bump into one of her peasants?".

"Oh hello" interjected a soft male voice "do you come here often?" - bit of an odd thing to say outside the ladies' loo at the airport but yes, you've guessed it. Good old Prince Philip had bounded on ahead of the wife and had been standing behind me throughout the conversation.


He proceeded to tell us that a new wing had been added to the airport and they were doing the official opening but I wasn't listening that closely - partly because I was still desperate for the loo but mainly because I was blushing with embarrassment (yes, it does happen)! As I said yesterday in my piece about the monarchy, I believe we should all be treated equally and that includes them so I was pretty discomfited that I'd been so disrespectful to the man's wife. Anyway that was that really except to say that she never even looked in the direction of the ladies' loo!

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