One of the side-effects of moving to Abu Dhabi, apart from learning to pole dance and belly dance, is meeting interesting people and going to glittering events. It is true that in Gabian the most glittering event was watching Italy beat France in the football world cup with a few locals who seemed to care less than we did. I often wondered if we had hidden ourselves in the depth of the countryside a little too early.
All that has changed. As I write a stunning brown sequined gown lies in my bedroom ready for a reception this evening in honour of the King of Sweden. It is backless and off the shoulder, cut on the bias. I hope the king likes it. I have been told I might be able to interview him.
I have never met a royal, at least not knowingly. The closest I got was Margaret Thatcher and only because she had by then adopted the royal “we”. I am intrigued as to what he will be like. I know from Wikipedia that his father died when he was nine months old but that he wasn’t told about it until he was seven. Tragic and almost comic; you can imagine questions along the lines of “er, whatever happened to that bloke who used to have breakfast with us?”
I am keen to ask him what it’s really like to be royal. Is it as much fun as I think it could be; sleeping in silk sheets and having anything you want. Or does he feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday and long to escape? I wonder where he would go in Abu Dhabi – Marina Mall perhaps? There’s an IKEA there, we might find him asleep on one of the sofa beds.
I suspect it really isn’t that much fun. It must be tiresome never being alone, always having someone around you to pick things up or tell you what your next meeting is. Meanwhile I am very much looking forward to slipping into my full-length glittering dress, it makes me feel like I’m going to the Oscars. Maybe if I’d worn it to the World Cup final the Gabian villagers would have perked up a bit. I may go back and try it at the annual school party.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008