Doug, my brother in law is a member of MENSA and, for the last few years has been badgering me to take the test. He assures me that I have the smarts to pass this test. I am not as confident as Doug as the following story will show just how dumb I can be.
One of my duties while in the British army was as a French Horn player in the Regimental band. Though enjoyable and included additional funds to my income, I have to admit that I was never a great instrumentalist. In my opinion I only just scraped by.
In the late 70’s we were slated to play at a garden party given by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham palace. The garden party was to take place on the front lawn(?) at Buckingham Palace. Now some of you may not know this but, the view that most will visualize as Buckingham palace is actually the back door and not the front. The front has vast rolling lawns and gardens with plenty of trees for shade. Anyway the day went ahead and we played our program while all the guests wandered around doing whatever the upper crust are apt to do. Following the end of our program we were shown into a tent where food and refreshments were provided. After eating my fill I wandered outside for a breath of fresh air. I was standing about 20 yards away from another group of our band who had stepped outside for a smoke. A few minutes had gone by when this very well dressed, elderly lady approached me, smiled, greeted me and began asking me questions. Was I enjoying myself? Had I been in the army long? Where did I come from? The questions went on and on. I saw no harm in answering her questions and quite happily stood and chatted with her for what must have been 20 minutes. Eventually she excused herself and wandered off towards the official guests, followed by a pair of men dressed in suits ( which I thought was a little unusual). When she had passed out of sight my Sergeant Major ( George Johnston) walked up to me and asked if I had had a pleasant conversation with the lady. I answered yes it had been a quite pleasant few minutes. I then said “ You know sergeant major, I can’t help thinking that I have seen her somewhere before though?” The sergeant major looked at me with a look of amazement on his face and said “ What do you mean?” “Well she sure looked familiar but, I cannot quite place her?”
The sergeant major looked at me and said” You mean to say that you have just spent the last 20 minutes in conversation with her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and you think she looks familiar?” Needless to say you could have floored me with a feather.
A blog about meeting famous people? Oh no where do I start? As for her Majesty not getting on me for using her title, well that's kind of normal for the Royal Family. After talking to others who have met the Queen and others of the Royal Family they are all like that and seem to take great efforts to put people at ease with them. I have met HRH Prince Phillip on more than one occasion as he was the Colonel of my Regiment in the British Army.