Your royal highness Emma I of Omaha requests your presence at her court (WordPress blog).
Official Invite from Su Majestad el Rey (his Majesty the King):
Who: King Felipe VI of Spain
What: Fulbright Spain 60th Anniversary
When: Tuesday October 16, 2018
Where: the Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
You can bet I RSVP’d so dang quick…
On Tuesday October 16, 2018, I woke up expecting it to be just like any other ordinary day…
Except that it was in no way a normal day!! Similar to Harry & Meghan’s wedding day, I prepared myself to bask in the warm glow of royalty with a ruffled J. Crew skirt, curling iron, and Starbucks Chai Latte.
Brooke & I had spent the night in a hostel in Madrid, both extremely excited to be in the presence of royalty. The festivities began at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. This is considered one of the best museums in the world, and here we would meet the King.
We approached the Prado Museum from the side entrance, with security (probably the King’s secret service) looking suspiciously at us, two young Nebraska girls. As we got closer, we were greeted by the Fulbright Commission: “Princess Brooke & Princess Emma, we are honored to have you here.” We were motioned inside.
As all the Fulbrighters gathered inside we were separated for an official picture with the King. I was one of three Fulbright English Teaching Assistants from Galicia chosen to be in the picture. I positioned myself as close as possible to the King. Although the photographer tried to move me multiple times, I remained!!
Can’t find me? Look closer! (The King has on a pink tie)
We stood waiting in position for the photo to be taken for about 30-45 minutes. Immediately when the King and other dignitaries arrived the photo was snapped.
No one said 1, 2, 3 cheese, so I was caught off guard!
The King turned around after the picture, looking in the general vicinity that I was in (he looked right at me!!) and said “Happy Anniversary!” with a slight Spanish accent.
Following the photo, those in the picture were led into the mostly full auditorium to our assigned seats. A quick presentation followed about the 60th anniversary of Fulbright, some lifetime achievement awards were presented, and then cocktail hour began!
The King had disappeared so the other Fulbrighters and myself had some midmorning wine and began to enjoy meats, cheeses, breads, and many other appetizers that were bought out constantly by waiters. After about 30 minutes of eating and drinking, I heard someone mention that the King was in the room, and that they had gotten to speak to him.
In a slit second, I made a 180 degree turn, set down my glass of wine, and walked toward the crowded far corner of the room. I squeezed my way right up next to a security guard standing at the King’s back. I waited about 10 seconds until the circle moved.
“Hola, mucho gusto!” (hello nice to meet you) I said to the King.
I was directly next to him, maybe 5 inches away.
“Una foto por favor?” (a photo please?) I asked.
(No one else had asked this?? You have to ask for what you want in this life, folks.)
“Si,” said his Majesty the King.
I turned around and stood directly next to him, seven other women JUMPED into my photo. Its fine.
I said “gracias” (thanks) and walked away and picked up a new glass of wine.
I had won the day, in every single way!!
The King left the room almost immediately after this picture, so only a few people ended up getting a picture.
I posed for a few more photos then grabbed my complementary Fulbright Spain Tote bag and headed away from the Prado.
Every single moment of the day was a dream. I left Madrid and headed back to Ourense so absolutely enthused about being in Spain. I really do feel so grateful to have these once and a lifetime opportunities because of the Fulbright Spain Commission.
Thanks for reading about my royal encounter. Until next time, ciao!