Briefly In The Presence of the Queen

Author’s note:

In honor of tomorrow’s royal wedding, here is a short story about a young Carleton College graduate in the autumn of 1962 who happens upon a royal holiday and commemoration ceremony. His name for the purpose of the story is Jack Grantham. All other names and events are authentic. A short silent video provides documentation.

Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, Scotland, October 17, 1962

The second week in October Jack Grantham arrived by train in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, where Allen Shaw and his wife, Leslie, met him at the station. He could not know when he arrived in this ancient city of stone on high, treeless moors, he was about to have one of the memorable experiences of his life. He had planned to arrive on a Thursday, visit for a couple of days, and on Saturday return to Oxford. Accordingly, Allen and Leslie drove Jack by car to their townhouse and, the following morning, in an unexpectedly luxurious touch of hospitality, served him breakfast in bed. It was, they said, their way of delaying his having to arise for the day before the house had a chance to warm from the night’s chill from the glow of its freshly-lit fireplaces in each room.

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