Oye Oye all Regina Royal Watchers!
Based on my up close and professional observations, from the Toronto red corded sections of the media sidelines, here's a strategic guide how to for your Royal watch of their Royal Highnesses:
Although the Royal family does not expect anyone to spend money to meet them, especially in these tough economic times, it is recommended that you dress for the occasion to look like you belong.
Foremost, Their Royal Highnesses are drawn to poised and welcoming Canadians. Of course, young girls with a flower bouquet are adorable for all, including royalty. Fascinators will help distinguish you from the crowd and a Canadian or U.K. flag will also guide them in your direction.
At some events, you may be handed a Diamond Jubilee flag, in that case Their Royal Highnesses are about 10 minutes away. If you also wish to receive those flags or other promotional items to celebrate along with Her Majesty during the Diamond Jubilee weekend of June 2 to 5 click here.
Once upon a time hats and gloves were the norm but today they are at the welcomers' discretion. Hats are best worn before 18h30.
If you have adorned your hands in gloves you may keep them on to shake hands or curtsy.
The curtsy is no longer mandatory but still an appreciated greeting. Young official flower girls practice for hours in front of the mirror: right toes behind left heel and go down for a light bob at the knees accompanied by slight head nod to the right. Gentlemen may bow with a head tilt, also to the right, at a 45 degree or so angle.
Arrive about 60 minutes before the ETA of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Place yourself opposite the media; sometimes that may mean across the street.
You have a choice of behind the light fencing for frenzy or at a distance for full effect. Up close, because of the excited crowds' movement, you may see a royal right hand wave, Camilla's perfect flip or Charles' cuffed pant over butler buffed shoes. At a distance, your memories may also include the entourage of security service men and women, first aid personnel and a lady in waiting or two.
One of the first indicators that one or both of the Royal Couple is about to arrive is the sound of helicopter rotors.
Then comes the in and out of secret service people from the doors of the visit venue. Yes, they are easy to pick out, They are just like in the movies: they wear sunglasses, they have wire that run from their ear to the top of their perfectly ironed shirts, they have an RCMP pin on their left lapel and some of them, the ones that work closest to their Royal Highnesses talk into their sleeve cuff.
Another visible sign is the appearance, at the main entrance, of the location's distinguished host(s). Then comes the motorcade. At that time you want to look out for the limo with the Royal flag. That's where they will be exiting from.
The expected time for contact with the Heir to the throne and/or his wife of seven years is of about five minutes. It is very quick and it foremost depends on their itinerary.
Once they are inside for the reception or meeting you may relax and take the time to upload your pictures for your Facebook friends or call Mom to share your encounter with the 63-year-old heir to the throne and his 64-year-old spouse.
To get your departure clues your attention should now be on the motorcycles. Watch for RCMP, provincial or municipal drivers putting their helmets back on. You will then see the sirens flash and sound as they line up to prepare to escort the Mountbatten-Windsor couple to their next engagement.
Switch your phone to camera mode, take out your flag and offer a welcoming smile for this twice-married seven-year-old couple on their second official visit to Canada. This the Prince's 16th visit to Canada since 1970.
Should they include you in their walkabout address either of them as Your Royal Highness or Sir for him and Ma'am for her.
Depending on your summer vacations plans you may also have the opportunity of celebrating with other Royal members that will commemorate Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the Commonwealth.
Enjoy this most probably, once in your lifetime, celebration of service to the only Queen that was ever known to 80 per cent of Canadians. She is the second sovereign to have a Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria was the first to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee with 63 years and seven months.
Long live the Queen!
Background on Camilla's bubble umbrella:
The Duchess of Cornwall probably borrowed an umbrella from her mother in law...
One of our Diamond Jubilee serving Queen favourites was a plastic transparent bubble umbrella with a white trim. It came from a young commoner who probably dreams of one day being a princess.
Her Majesty was delighted by her gift and said "It is perfect! Everyone will be able to see me." She then requested that many more be ordered in all colours of trim so they can match her legendary regal wear.
Fresh off the Royal Tour background info
Duchess Carries Nova Scotia designers' Michique Hand Bag During the Queen's Jubilee Tour Yesterday at Fort York.
Link to images of the Duchess holding the Michique Clutch.
Follow Julie Blais Comeau on Twitter: www.twitter.com/EtiquetteJulie