29th April 2011- Fiji
Everyone in Fiji thought I had met the Queen. Being British they were convinced that I went to the Palace every once in a while for cream teas with Her Majesty. They couldn’t believe the fact that I’d never even clapped eyes on her in the flesh and had only given Buckingham Palace a fleeting glimpse on a dash through London.
‘Weren’t you invited to the wedding?’
‘Erm, no. My invite must have been lost in the post!’
I felt like I should keep their dream alive, tell them that I go round every Sunday for afternoon tea, along with the rest of us sixty million Brits.
The questions and subsequent disbelief intensified in the build up to the Royal Wedding. Everyone loved Kate and Will, ‘no I haven’t met them either’.
The wedding was being broadcast in the middle of the night and everyone from the small village gathered around the small, flickering tv to get a glimpse of the nuptials. I was staying at a diving resort on Mana Island. A small island an hour or so away from the main island, Viti Levu. The island itself was beautiful, surrounded by transparent waters which were filled to the brim with aquatic life. We were staying in a simple hut with a bed and a bathroom and not much else. To get to our hut we had to walk through the tiny school and village which shared the resort’s land. The guests mingled with the locals and played football with the kids at break time. Pretty damn cool.
The television picture was very hit and miss, the set must have received quite a few beatings over the duration of the wedding. The women shrieked as Kate finally appeared and gossiped about her dress. The final consensus: Beautiful.
Now I’m not one to be majorly interested by the Royal Family but being British I felt the responsibility of the nation to represent our excitement overseas. I teared up as Kate walked the aisle and screamed at the tv when it briefly cut out, missing the ‘I dos’. At the end of the ceremony everyone was clapping, raising their coladas high. A surreal experience if I’d ever had one.