March 18, 2010

The Prince and I

It has a good ring to it in a way: the Prince and I.  Actually though, it was the Prince and 200 other people and I, but hey, it's all logistics really. Today, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, came to visit the place where I work: the Vancouver 2010 Olympic security unit of the RCMP.  I'm thinking it's safe to say this now, what with the Games being over and all.  I was, until recently, cautioned against being too open about my job a couple of times but, by now, the threat of me being kidnapped and forced to disclose Olympic security information is small.  Besides, in a couple of weeks, I'll be moving to a new job as a records management person, and my three year stint with the V2010-ISU will soon fade into hazy memory.

For now though, even though the Games are done, there's still some stuff going on.  Like the Prince coming for a visit for example.  I guess with London being the next Olympic destination it makes sense for him to want to see things here and get ideas.  Possibly.  But royal visits in workplaces probably don't happen too often to too many people so it was kind of a BIG thing.  So big, in fact, that it seemed like anyone who had even the most remote connection to ever having worked in the building showed up to claim a piece of the excitement.

Me, I'm somewhat ambivalent to the royalty thing.  On the one hand, I'm hugely fascinated by European history and kings and queens figure prominently there.  Plus, I spent the first 10 years of my life in Europe, where there's a castle almost around every bend, and castles are generally associated to royalty by default so there's that sort of royal shadow on things.  But that's the thing, it seems as if that's where kings and queens belong: in history.  Not in the modern world, touring around schools and workplaces.  Seeing Prince Edward today, in his nice conservative but contemporary suit, a pleasant looking man with good teeth and quiet manner, it was hard to link him to the vibrant royal figures in history books.  Nor did I feel more than a little flutter of interest as I watched him, an arm's length away, and tried to figure out what it was that made the royal family so fascinating to so many still.  

It really makes me wonder.  What makes celebrities such a draw for so many people?  They are, after all, just people too.  What is it about the life of a Prince that seems so golden?  If I'd had the chance, that's what I'd have asked the Prince.  I would have liked to say, preferably over a glass of some good beer:  "Hey, Edward, why is the whole royal life thing so great anyway?  Don't you ever get tired of touring around and being on display?"  But then again, maybe he likes it.  

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