Imagine you own a quilt shop in the Yukon Territory of Canada. Imagine your shop is 500 miles from the nearest quilt shop. Imagine you are from England, living in Canada, and you meet Prince William.
Well, have I got a story for you!
Ruth owns Bear’s Paw Quilt Shop in Whitehorse, Canada. Prince William and Princess Kate were touring Canada. On the road to Alaska is Whitehorse, a town of 5,000. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were walking down the main street in Whitehorse meeting the locals – a parade of sorts. Prince William was on one side, Princess Kate on the other side of the street. For some reason (I’m sure it’s because Ruth is so outstanding), Prince William made eye contact with Ruth and walked directly toward her. And they met!
Backing up to earlier that day… Ruth was at Bear’s Paw Quilt Shop and getting ready to head downtown. One of her staff asked if she was planning on taking a quilt to present to the Duke and Duchess if afforded an opportunity. Ruth was concerned there might be Royal protocol for gift giving plus she thought most of her quilts were traditional piecing and patterns. She wasn’t sure she could pull this off. Then she had an ah-hah moment! Her Row by Row for 2016 reflected the Northern Lights which Whitehorse is known for. Ruth took it off the wall, put it in a plastic bag, and headed down for, if she was lucky, a Royal glimpse or sighting.
As Ruth tells it, “I was standing on Prince William’s side of the road, he made eye contact with me, and came straight over to me.” Now, Ruth describes herself as looking quite ordinary and wondered how it happened that he picked her to talk to. She felt it was ‘just meant to be’. As Ruth was holding her Row in the baggie at her side, Prince William asked, “Is that for me?” Ruth said, “Yes”. Then he invited her to take a picture of him and the Row. You can see the Northern Lights in a bargello pattern at the bottom of the picture.
Ruth describes the Prince as having a very genuine personality, “gracious and enchanting.” She said, “We had a real conversation.” And to add to this memorable day, Ruth recently received a thank you note, handwritten, from Prince William and Princess Kate thanking her for the gift.
I enjoyed talking to Ruth about this. I can imagine how exciting this would be for someone born in England, and after moving to Canada, being one of the people that gets a personal moment with a Royal.