/Meeting the Queen

Meeting the Queen

To the Editor,

In 1984, the Queen arrived at the Toronto Harbour on her Royal Yacht Britannia.
Brian Mulroney was prime minister. My nephew Bill Pristanski was his executive assistant. The prime minister’s wife, Mila Mulroney thought some of Bill’s family should have the opportunity to meet the Queen. Bill’s dad, Julian got that chance. Since my sister Lorna had just passed away in 1983, Julian invited me to be his escort.
We went to a hotel in Toronto to learn the etiquette on meeting royalty. Then we were driven to the enlarged parking lot (now empty) after dressing in our formal attire. A crowd waved to us as we left the limo at the gangplank. Before going up, I said “My gloves are soiled.”
“Not to worry” was the reply. “The queen has her gloves on!”
I boarded and was followed by Julian. The Queen is short with very blue eyes. I remembered my etiquette as I met the Duke. She spoke to Julian: “Are you from Toronto?”
Julian said “No. I’m from Sault Ste-Marie”.
The Queen said, “I shall have to visit there the next time I’m in Canada!”
I visited with the crew.
“How long is your time? How were you chosen?”
The Queen had us all move to the side of the yacht to watch the ceremony of the Royal Grenadiers in their Busbys. Very impressive! We then disembarked.
I had worn my turquoise “Mother of the Bride Dress” with my late sister’s mink short jacket and long white gloves. Julian wore a tux as did nephew, Bill.

Lois Rigney