It’s Story Time!…….
Chapter 22 of London and UK’s BEST feline adventure!
(Suitable for ages 12 and upwards, and younger with adult permission.)
Mr Herod was greeted at the main doors by Herman, and gave the guard a brief rundown of matters as he expected them to happen and also the guest list for the day. He also, thanks to a note pinned to the guest list by Mrs Herod, was reminded to tell Herman that there was one additional guest, A Mrs Hudson. She, he advised, would be arriving with her charming charge, the Princess Erin. Herman was not at all phased by receiving a list of such noteworthy guests, and just surveyed the list and nodded. Whilst on active service abroad, as a General’s adjutant he’d met many sheiks, crown princesses and princes, and countless heads of state. The name of Mrs Hudson however, did illicit a momentary widening of the pupils and a raised eyebrow.
The staff, hand-picked for both the Companion Department and the special event, awaited in the lobby for Mr Herod’s arrival, to receive a pep talk. They were advised of their roles, and to be in their places straight away and not to leave, come what may, until the opening was over. Most importantly, they were given a instructions on how to act and speak in the presence of royalty. They weren’t however, expected to talk. They had to remain silent unless spoken to by one of the special guests, or Mr Herod himself. The talk had left the staff feeling rather sombre and set upon. But spirits were lifted and smiles returned when each was given a red and gold trimmed velvet purse containing a gold half sovereign. It was a bonus and a thank you from Mr Herod, for attending much earlier than their normal hours, and for the rigours that lay ahead.
A few miles up the road, the General was helping Mrs Hudson and Jenny into his staff car, driven by the Captain Jones. He would be travelling in another, less grand military car, to Buckingham Palace where he would join the royal party and entourage. The staff car’s drab-olive, military colour outside, belied the Bentley’s sumptuous, but practical, deep burgundy leather upholstery, and the polished rosewood interior. Erin’s own pink Bentley, a much older model, was as nice, but had been mothballed in a barn on the estate some years back. Not that it was broken, as a Bentley seldom if ever goes wrong, but because neither Mrs Hudson or Erin held a driving licence. It was therefore cheaper, and safer, where it was with the horse, than with either behind the wheel. In any case, as Erin said each time she went out, Mrs H’s cycling was far more fun.
Jenny and Mrs Hudson sat side by side, each in their own way looking glamorous and composed. Though if you had looked closely at Jenny you would have detected a slight shake to her hand and elevated breathing. Mrs Hudson had seen this, and understood her nerves, and spoke kind words of advice and guidance.
She explained how nervous the young Queen would be, on this her first real formal engagement. Pressures from that as well as dealing with the passing of her own mother, the old Queen, only months before.
Yes she, the Queen of the empire and this fair land was scared too, like Jenny. It would be a big relief for her, if Jenny was herself, kind and confident when spoken to, and most of all had a smile on her face and didn’t look like a scared rabbit. Whilst Jenny doubted that she would even be spoken to let alone looked at, Mrs Hudson knew she would. She would find that she had a friend in the monarch before the day was out, one that would last a lifetime.
The cavalcade entered the Quadrangle of Buckingham Palace, and stopped just below the Grand Entrance. Guards flanked the steps, and bore arms that were held in readiness by their sides. The General trotted quickly up the steps and saluted the guards as he went, and disappeared into building. Moments later he exited, and at a relaxed pace walked down the steps, checking his watch as he went. He talked briefly to the driver of the staff car and instructed him to make for King Herod’s at a not too hurried pace. In fact, he was to give the ladies within, a once around the delights of Kensington borough, and then the timing for their arrival at the store should be perfect. He saluted and tipped his hat to the car’s occupants as they drove off, and then ascended the stairs once more, and disappeared from sight into the palace.
To be continued………
What is the general up to in the palace? Will the car get caught in traffic and make it in time? And what is the connection between Herman and Mrs Hudson, and should Herman’s wife be worried? Tune in next week to find out what happens when, or IF, the guests make it to the store on time….
And Here for all my readers is this weeks selfie…..
This weeks selfie is titled………. Work, play and shopping makes Erin a tired princess.