Royal Visit

Simon Morris on the Royal visit to Tottenham

It was only the night before the visit that a hint was dropped that ‘an HRH’ was coming to the parish. The previous week I’d been asked by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant to find a group of parishioners to meet senior business people and asked if they could use one of our halls for the meeting. I had wondered who these ‘senior business people’ might be, but reassured myself that it couldn’t be anyone too important as things like that don’t happen to me. In the end I met Their Royal Highnesses outside St Mary’s and took them across the Vicarage Garden, where a path had been swept through the snow.

They went to our Kemble Hall to meet local residents, people who had lost their homes during the riots, and members of the business community. While the Duchess warmly and charmingly went round and spoke to people over tea downstairs, the Prince had his meeting with, among others, Sir Stuart Lipton. The members of the congregation reacted in disbelief when I told them who was coming; some complained they’d underdressed. With characteristic enthusiasm, one member of the team told the Duchess of Cornwall she should come here to Mass one Sunday. ‘You invite me,’ she said. ‘I think we will.’

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