Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Royal Letter

With the upcoming visit of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge William and Kate and their children on a B.C. tour later this month that will include a stop in Kelowna letter this month. I thought I would share my photo I took of Prince Andrew while on a visit to a local forestry mill on Vancouver Island in July of 1977.

 I was working at the Goldstream Gazette, a weekly newspaper when we got a hot news tip that Royalty was coming to town. Actually the whole Royal family, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were visiting various parts of Canada in 1977 to celebration of the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

 I don't recall exactly how we heard about it, because there was no email, no internet, no fax machine, but it turned out that Prince Andrew, the younger brother to Prince Charles was going to be visiting the Sooke Forest Products Mill. I also don't recall there being any media accreditation needed, I just showed up at the mill along with a Gazette reporter and we just tagged along during the tour. There might have been a few other media types there, maybe a photographer from one of the Victoria Dailies.

 Anyway during the tour, there was lots of facts and figures about how many board feet the mill produces and other very interesting information that I'm sure that the Prince found fascinating. When the mill manager was saying these figures, at this very moment I made this picture of HRH with my Nikon F and a 105mm lens as the Prince was listening very carefully to what was being said and he goes "Mmm". I clicked the shutter, didn't really know what I had until I developed the Tri-X film back at the office, I think front page in the next weekly edition.

 My editors thought it was a pretty interesting and funny picture, so one of my editors, George Manning, I think suggested that I make a print and send it to the Prince, so I did and packaged it up, no postage needed, I think I just sent it to "Prince Andrew, Buckingham Palace, England" or something like that.

Well a month or so later I got this letter back, no postage stamp, addressed to "Gary Nylander, Esq., Goldstream Gazette" It was a bit of a surprise when the letter showed up and I excitedly opened it, we in the newsroom had a pretty good chuckle about my "Royal Letter", something that I have always cherished and kept from years as a newspaper photographer.

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