Deemed 'crazy' by royalty - January 23rd, 2014
24th January 2014
I was once taught the concept of 'mirroring', matching one's facial expressions and body language to the person you are talking to - helping ensure they are comfortable. I appear to have perfected this and apparently did a perfect job with Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, by pulling a truly bizarre facial expression.
Meeting HRH... only to be told
My Dad got an MBE a couple of years ago. Amazing achievement. I sat on the sidelines with great pride as the Queen gave him his medal and chuckled at something he said (he still doesn't remember what this was). Whilst not quite as high profile, I was honoured to be asked to meet HRH Princess Anne on behalf of VSO as an ambassador for their fundraising programmes.
Mental deficiencies by declaration of royalty
I was given the 'brief' of what to do and what not to do... typically just a guide in my book as I think we have far too much formality in the UK. That said, I didn't want to make a total fool of myself and try and kiss her on the cheek or any other such imbecilic action. I was introduced by Katie (my counterpart at VSO) as 'a superstar fundraiser who went to the North Pole and is now fundraising by running across the Sahara desert'. On shaking her (gloved) hand, she had a very perplexed look on her face (one that I can see I so successfully 'mirrored') and said quite simply 'are you mad?!', to which I replied something along the lines of 'I get told that a lot, so perhaps I am...'
We had a good chat and she was really nice and quite down to earth. She genuinely did consider me to be a little mad and couldn't quite fathom what I was doing, but to be fair, I can say that of the vast majority of people I meet.
A great experience and good to be recognised for the stupidity of running 100km a week.
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Maps & Tracking
You can explore the full route to the North Pole and follow Paul’s progress with live maps that will plot his position each day as he progresses towards the pole more >
VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries (www.vso.org.uk). The Fire and Ice Challenge is aiming to raise £50,000 for VSO’s secure livelihoods programme more >