Prelude: A couple of weeks ago, the phone rang (loudly).
The ringtone: Black and Yellow (very classy).
It was Governor General's (GG) office.
"Yassmin, would you like to come to a reception to meet Prince Will and Kate in a few weeks?"
"Um...sure?!", was my response, a little shocked.
I agreed immediately to the event in Canberra at the Governor General's residence. No thoughts were given to the logistical details or how I was going to make it work. How could one say no?
Not a word was to be breathed about the event beforehand though either, so the countdown was on...
Today: 3am wake up, flight to Sydney from Perth and then down to Canberra.
Fortunately I had only packed the one outfit, because I could have spent hours deciding what to wear. Why the outfit matters so much I am not sure, as one rarely remembers. Irrationally though, that is almost always one of the first things on my mind when I get an invite to a fancy event. In fact, the immediate thought is usually: what scarf?!
The night arrived sooner than I prepared for, and here are some of the highlights (after the jump!):
1. Almost arrived late. WOO! My ride got slightly lost and I made it to a 6pm event at 5.58pm...cutting it fine.
2. What that did mean though is that I was near the front of the pack, at the top end of the room. That's the only reason I could be at the right place for this shot...
3. Anyhow! So as we were standing around in awe of everyone else in the room (few VC's, few Aussies of the year, general debauchery), making small talk, a bell is rung.
4. "No personal photos!" we were told, and we're given the impression that if you do whip out the iPhone for a selfie with the Duke, it may be the last thing you ever do... (in that room). The rules are set. "The Duke and Duchess will circulate. Hold your positions". Instructions given, we awaited the Royal entrance.
5. I sauntered over to meet the Sochi Olympians. Their medals were AWESOME! Very heavy; a large subway cookie-size piece. I was suitably impressed...
6. The Royals and the GG + Wife made the entrance. Speeches made, they begun to circulate...
7. The Winter Olympians and I spoke to the Duchess first off the bat! She gave her undivided attention to each person she spoke to, seemed genuinely interested in asking questions and quite lively, particularly given the fact that their trip has been insanely packed. I spoke to her about Youth Without Borders and the work we do, she said she loved my gold flakes necklace (from Melbourne markets) and continued circulating.
8. The rest of the night was meeting the other folk in the room. I told Harry Kewell how much of a Liverpool/Scouse fan I was (and how excited I am about how close we are to winning the league!), finally met the lovely Jess Watson and was embarrassed by the fact that I didn't know the dude from NXS who had a lovely suit. I also laughed with a bunch of pilots and defence people who definitely thought I was insane. Caught up with a number of old friends and met the Governor General himself, who was also a great conversationalist and seemed very approachable. "We love making use of this house!" he said, and I thought that was rather great.
9. All in all, it was an enchanting night. The caterers were also quite diligent: a lovely lady named Sarah always brought me the vegetarian options for the refreshments first.
10. What now?
Yes, these things are mostly ceremonial. However, they are also an opportunity to meet some amazing people and hopefully have the chance to work with others who share similar interests. As I am very interested in equity of opportunity for young people, particularly for those from diverse backgrounds, I hope tonight will be the catalyst for a few of those conversations...
Who knows right?
Oh - and for my friends who are interested, this was the total outfit (white pants...too risky!):
PS: Would it be tacky to say I've had Lorde stuck in my head all day?