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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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Charles and Camilla, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, were toodling about Toronto yesterday. And by "toodling" I mean keeping up a breakneck regimen of public appearances that would stagger an Olympic gymnist a third their ages. I, as it turned out, was not working in Toronto, or I would have had to take a long lunch, to go catch them at the Legislative buildings or something.

I am an unabashed, card carrying monarchist, though tempered by the other responsibilities in my life. I was unwilling to rearrange my schedule to such a degree that I could catch a glimpse, though I was tempted. Primarily I was tempted because on Camilla's last visit, I got to shake her hand. It would have been nice to say I saw her on each of her Canadian visits. But such is life. I was busy - and the Palace didn't think to ask my preference of days for the Royal Visit. Understandable. Completely.

When the Queen was here for the previous jubilee, 10 years ago, I did take the aforementioned long lunch, and dropped by the Royal York Hotel to watch Her and Price Philip wave goodbye. It is a story that my partner likes to relate, how I visited the Queen's luggage.

I travel from out of Toronto to mid-town Toronto by getting off the GO train and heading to the subway. That said, I know the route I take, and that's it. I am not an expert on all the various exits of the subway stops downtown. So, when I heard on the radio that the Queen would be leaving the Royal York, I was unsure about the exact stop and exit I should take. As it turns out, I came up what was obviously a little used stairway (at least, little used at that time of day) towards the far east end of the Hotel. I can only assume that the driveway nearby is used for official hotel business and the like. And there was a trolley of luggage there, quite unattended. Now I'm sure this was a security breach, but I don't know how large a breach. The luggage was clearly labelled as belonging to the Royal party. But was I indeed looking at suitcases which, if opened, would reveal far more than I wanted to know about my Monarch? Or were these the bags of some minor Royal lackey, who's life (were I to be honest) I am truly envious of?

I will never know for sure, but Stephanie likes to tell the story of the day I visited the Queen's luggage. And so do I.

Preachy end note:
The Canadian (and British) Monarchy are not some archaic institution. The Monarchy is evolving with the times. The Queen and her family, through some tough times, have shown us a fine example of concerned citizenship. An example of philanthropy and generosity, an example of hard work and dedication to people, that many a government leader, or corporate leader for that matter, could learn from. I am proud of our Monarchy, and proud to be their Subject.

23 May 2012 AD
23 May 52 JHE

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