Yesterday, I received a totally unexpected invitation to a teatime event today with Prince Charles along with about 250 others.
I had to do some urgent personal 'renovation' such as getting my hair cut. It was long overdue. So I went to this event in a dark, hot basement and spent my whole time trying to stay out of his pathway. Then, suddenly he moved in my direction and I found myself seamlessly moved into his path by his equerry (assistant).
So I found myself with the heir to the throne (and descendant of many kings and queens) shaking his offered hand - but not kissing it, and not saying "your Royal Highness" which seemed utterly out of place. My strong sense of history completely left me: here was simply another person making a real effort. I told him about changing consumer behaviour. We chatted for a short time about that.
Prince Charles is very nice, rather red in the face, exactly as he looks on TV, but shorter in stature. He is ready for a quip, asks the right questions, is inclusive, outgoing, jolly, personable, very kind. My impression was that he was very keen to meet people working on issues that he most deeply cares about: it was almost as if he could not wait to greet us. I came away thinking "He is the first person, apart from loved ones, who has showed real appreciation for I am doing".