Alberta woman to meet royals 72 years later
Published Friday, June 24, 2011 9:59PM EDT
An elderly Alberta woman will have a second chance to meet royalty 72 years after she was first supposed to present flowers to the King and Queen when Prince William and Kate visit Calgary next month.
In 1939, Frances Miller had been selected by her school to help greet King George and Queen Elizabeth when they arrived in the small town of Walsh, Alta., on a cross-country tour.
At nine years of age, she was standing on the train station platform when the royals were due to arrive.
"My hair was naturally curly so my mother put it in ringlet," recalled Miller, gazing at a photograph of herself on that day. "It was just very exciting and something I was really looking forward to."
But the train never stopped, apparently due to a miscommunication. Two weeks later Buckingham Palace sent Miller a photograph of the Royal family.
Miller's local newspaper, Medicine Hat News, recently learned of her story and began sending letters to Buckingham Palace, Heritage Canada and to the city's member of Parliament in the hopes of having Miller added to William and Kate's itinerary during their upcoming visit to Canada.
"I think in some way I identified with her being a 9-year-old, very excited about a special occasion and then the let down," said Gillian Slade, a reporter at the newspaper.
"We've had people phoning in saying they've grown up in Walsh, they remember their grandparents telling the story," she said.
The letter campaign worked. Miller was recently invited to present flowers to the couple right before they fly out of Calgary on July 8.
"It's very exciting and it makes you feel wonderful," Miller said.
Despite the disappointment surrounding the missed opportunity, Miller said she has always followed the Royal Family.
The 81-year-old is already focusing on what to wear on the big day, and says she plans to bring her grandchildren to meet William and Kate.
With a report from CTV's Janet Dirks and files from The Canadian Press