Thirsty Queen congratulates academic on latest leg of jubilee tour (Rousse)

For security reasons the date of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit to campus had been kept a closely guarded secret. It was a complete coincidence that I happened to come into the office on that particular day at the height of the summer vacation.

However, my dress for the occasion was completely unsuitable. I was ashamed to be wearing my “jupe des taches”, last seen circa 1982 when I looked after D and RM as their jeune fille au pair in France. Fortunately KT came to the rescue and was able to supply me with a formal Black Watch tartan kilt. Her own outfit comprised a cotton dress also in Black Watch, finished off with a tight black bow at the collar, so we now matched one another nicely. Meanwhile LC was adamant that she would not change out of the mini-skirt that she had discovered amongst my pile of sixth form cast-offs. She was welcome to it. That particular item of clothing would certainly never fit me again.

When the Queen eventually arrived I jostled with BP for a good position to photograph her. We stood together at the front as a University dignitary took the Queen through a PowerPoint presentation that listed staff achievements. When a slide popped up describing all my recent triumphs the royal guest turned round to congratulate me in person. Then she took a sip of water from a glass.

I took this opportunity to pass on some important advice. Anyone on the move as much as the Queen would be much better off carrying a sports water bottle to quench her thirst at regular intervals. She seemed to like this idea, but how would she manage to carry a sports bottle when she was already lumbered with all those bouquets of flowers?

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